Byron Shire battle boils over
THE Byron Shire derby delivered on all that was promised with the Red Devils running over the top of Mullumbimby late to prevail 25-14 in Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League action at Byron Bay Rugby League Ground yesterday.
In a spiteful game, the staunch rivals went blow for blow until a 75th minute Sam Barnes field goal gave Mullum the wobbles and the Bay a 15-14 lead.
Then moments later the Kelly brothers, Clarence and Leon, showed their football nous to deliver a one-two knockout blow with a pair of freakish tries.
Minus five first-graders, it was always going to take a Herculean effort for Byron to get their first win since the third round, but with captain Simon Kelly and prop Chris Coleman running on sheer guts they posted a much deserved win.
Byron played with 11 men for 10 minutes after a melee saw three players marched midway through the opening half.
Giants interchange forward Adam McKenzie was like a wild bear unleashed when he took the field, and when he lay all over Bay winger Duane Cahill for too long, Jonathon Cox was forced to remove him with a few short uppercuts.
All 26 players flew in and plenty of punches were thrown before Cox, McKenzie and Coleman were sent to the bin.
Byron held strong to allow only one try while down a man – a pleasing effort for captain-coach Kelly.
“That was semi-final type footy today,” Kelly said.
“The way we defended when they attacked our line was unbelievable.”