ENTHUSIASM: Byron forward Ryan Betts takes on the Ballina defence at Quays Reserve, West Ballina.
ENTHUSIASM: Byron forward Ryan Betts takes on the Ballina defence at Quays Reserve, West Ballina. Mireille Merlet

Byron first to beat Ballina this season in FNC rugby union

BYRON Bay became the first team to beat Ballina this season with an emphatic 25-12 win in Far North Coast Rugby Union at Quays Reserve, Ballina, at the weekend.

Byron were full of enthusiasm with late tries to Ballina fullback Joe Jansson and winger Ryan Boardman, making the scoreline more respectable for the home side.

No.8 Craig Wallace was the best on field for Byron with winger James Oakley bagging a try-scoring double.

"I was disappointed with how we fell away in the last 20 minutes but anytime you can get a win at Ballina, you're doing pretty well," Byron coach Paul Jeffery said.

"The first half was the best we've played all year. We were able to bend the defensive line and shift the ball wide. James Oakley has some serious wheels and everyone in the front row really stood up."

There was plenty of niggle throughout the game with Byron Bay front-rower Jack Elborn red-carded for coming a distance to throw a punch at Ballina hooker Nathan Groves.

Ballina scored both its tries when Byron were reduced to 14 men.

Prop Syd Etuati and second-rower Josh Lupton toiled hard for the Seahorses. Halfback Sion King, prop Aaron Shakeshaft and Oakley were standouts for Byron.

In other games, Wollongbar-Alstonville jumped to the top of the ladder after 21-5 win against Grafton at Lyle Park, Wollongbar.

Elsewhere, Casino won its first game of the season with a 33-19 win against Lismore at Albert Park, Casino.

Centre Shaun Locke bagged a double as the Bulls ran in five tries.

And Bangalow climbed back into the top four with a 23-5 win against Lennox Head at Schultze Oval, Bangalow.



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