Byron Rams continue miracle run
BYRON Bay coach Warren Fisher admitted he was rapidly re-assessing his hopes for the FNC rugby union season after seeing his side continue its "miracle" campaign with a stunning victory.
A strong second-half showing saw Byron seal a thrilling 23-17 win at league leaders and powerhouses Lennox Head Trojans.
The triumph has sent shock waves through this season's competition, with the Trojans seemingly looking good for another title before Saturday's loss.
Delighted Fisher said his team, which is now running third in its first season at senior level for about a decade, is now eyeing a surprise crack at finals footy.
"I'm not sure what is happening," he said. "It is something of a miracle.
"Bangalow are our arch enemies. At the start of the season our goal was to finish above them.
"Maybe we need to re-evaluate our expectations now."
A tough first half at Williams Reserve saw the visitors lead 3-0 at the break.
The second half was more open, but a late charge saw Byron sneak a six-point win.
Nathan Nicholls was in great form for the away side, kicking two conversions and three penalties.
Jascha Saeck and Jamie Blair went over for tries for Byron.
Sam Fitzgerald, Jamie Tredinnick and Sam Huddy scored tries for the hosts.
Fisher felt his depleted side fully merited its victory.
"Lennox will probably say they played badly, but we were without four or five key players," he said.
"We only took 17 players over. Our squad is low on numbers, but has good quality.
"If we can recruit some players in key positions, we can be a force.
"I honestly do not think we will capitulate now. We can build on this."
Despite the loss, Lennox Head remains top of the table, but now only has a two-point advantage. Lismore remains the closest challengers after thrashing Casino 52-0.
James Bain contributed a hat-trick to help sink the cellar-dwellers.
James Vidler also scored a hat-trick as Alstonville Wollongbar narrowly overcame Ballina 31-28.
Bangalow kept up the pressure in the chase for playoff spots with a hard-fought 24-7 triumph over Southern Cross University.
Chris Bleakley scored twice to help seal the win.
FULL SCORES: See Details, page 26.
Southern Cross University