Ballina's junior Bombers jubilant in victory
"IT'S the best I've felt since the Sydney Swans won the grand final."
That was the verdict of jubilant Max Squires after he helped his Ballina Bombers under-14 side grab victory at this year's Northern Rivers Juniors AFL grand final.
The Bombers and opponents Byron Bay Magpies were cheered on by a vibrant crowd at Lismore Oakes Oval, which was filled with proud parents and passionate supporters.
Footy-loving Lennox Head junior Max said the win was as good as seeing his beloved Swans claim last year's flag.
"It's amazing - awesome," he said. "It was brilliant to play in front of a crowd like this. I'm so glad we got this one."
On the pitch, the players provided some eye-catching action, while in the stands it was just as lively.
Loud cries of "Bombers" and "Magpies" regularly greeted each successful major, while successful tackles and blocks were met with equally joyful responses. Plenty of spectators also got in the grand final mood, bringing placards, pom-poms and streamers to decorate the stadium's grandstand.
Fourteen-year-old Max said his team's determination had been crucial to success.
"We just all go in as hard as we can," he said. "They are a great bunch to play alongside. Byron Bay were so tough. They played amazing footy and made it really hard for us.
"It is an unbelievable feeling to have won this."
Byron Bay took the under-12 grand final in the day's other match, defeating Tweed Coast Tigers 4.4. (28) to 2.7 (19).