Bombers outclass Magpies
AFTER a stellar month, the Byron Magpies came up short as they were gunned down by the Ballina Bombers 15.9 (105) to 7.4 (46) at Fripp Oval, Ballina, in South-East Queensland Division B (South) Aussie rules.
In a fast and skilful game, the scoreline did not do justice to the quality of the football and Byron rued not having an interchange bench to bring in fresh players. Superior numbers and astute rotation by Bombers coach Peter Plummer all but guaranteed a spot in the semi-finals for Ballina.
Missing last week, Bomber Doug North returned to the midfield and dominated in a best-on-ground performance, while Jacob McPherson was a pillar of strength across the backline. Jesse Leeds kicked six goals and popped up everywhere, and captain Jake Hayes chimed in with four goals. Luke Cornwell on the flanks and Isaac Cleary in the middle also shone for Ballina.
In a blow for the Bombers, Cleary is reportedly leaving the region and his agility and strength diverting marking opponents from the other on-ballers will be sorely missed.
For the Magpies the desire and endeavour never fell away, with Sam Mitchell constantly repelling the Bombers' raids, Kane Bullock gathering plenty of possessions across the middle and Rhys Lavery, Ryan Pomeroy and Dan Davidson all giving lion-hearted performances.
The Magpies will regroup knowing they are still finals contenders after the Lismore Swans were beaten by the Tweed Tigers 15.15 (105) to 11.6 (72) on Saturday.
The Bond University Bullsharks all but wrapped up the minor premiership with a resounding 14.18 (102) to 0.1 (1) victory over the Robina Kangaroos on Friday night.
Ballina v Robina
Bond v Lismore
Byron v Tweed
Points: Bond 48, Tweed 36, Ballina 30, Lismore 22, Byron 16, Robina 4