Convincing win puts minor premiership in the bag for Byron

BYRON BAY all but wrapped up the minor premiership with a convincing 4-1 home win over local rivals Bangalow in Far North Coast premier league soccer.

Despite fielding a depleted line-up on Tuesday night, the Rams proved too strong with robust striker James Tomlinson starring with his second hat-trick of the season.

Sam Owens also scored before having to come off with a badly bruised leg in a typically fiery local derby.

Stand-in captain James Packham was outstanding in central defence, filling in for injured brother Shaun, while strikers Tomlinson and Kazi Tsukamato also continued their good form.

"We'll be back to full strength for our next game against Goonellabah, so we're confident we can wrap up the minor premiership then," Rams coach Damon Bell said.

Bangalow's consolation goal came from the penalty spot for player-coach Joel Rudgley.

The loss leaves them five points clear of Alstonville with three games to go in the race for the last place in the semi-finals.

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