Lismore City thrashes Byron 50-5 in preliminary final
LISMORE City returned to form with an emphatic 50-5 win against Byron Bay in the Far North Coast Rugby Union preliminary final.
Injuries and allegations of an unregistered player taking the field for Byron Bay in the minor semi-final hampered their preparation in the lead-up.
But the player in question didn't take the field on Saturday and wouldn't have made much difference in the eight tries-to-one romp.
There was no such trouble for Lismore with try-scoring doubles to prop Damien Keys and centre Matt Bermingham highlighting the win.
We were a bit embarrassed by Wollongbar and have a bit of a point to prove
It was a massive turnaround from the side which was beaten 38-17 in the major semi-final against a red-hot Wollongbar.
"We were a bit embarrassed by Wollongbar and have a bit of a point to prove," Lismore coach Craig Whitby said.
"We still haven't proven that but at least we get the opportunity now.
"I would have been absolutely gutted if we didn't get the chance to do that."
City made their intentions clear from the start by opting not to kick for goal while receiving numerous penalties.
They turned down at least four certain shots at goal and were determined to tear the opposition forward pack apart.
Captain Ben Felicioni was in doubt all week with illness and came on from the bench after halftime. He made an immediate impact, scoring shortly after to give his side a commanding 31-0 lead.
Byron Bay was dominated in every facet of play and only had a couple of players on the bench to call on.
Prop Craig Wallace gave his side something to cheer about when he crossed late in the second half.
"Hopefully we can carry this into Wollongbar and I think it will be a good grand final," Whitby said.
Earlier, City reserve grade had a 30-17 win against Wollongbar-Alstonville.
It will be a big weekend for Lismore which also has teams in reserve grade and the Presidents Cup grand final on Saturday.
(All matches at Crozier Field, Lismore this Saturday):
First grade: Wollongbar-Alstonville v Lismore
Reserve grade: Ballina v Lismore
Presidents Cup: Lismore v Mullumbimby