Jago stars as Ballina grabs grand final berth
BALLINA has moved through to the under-14 Northern Rivers Junior Aussie Rules grand final after edging out Byron Bay in their major semi-final at the weekend.
Jeremy Jago starred for Ballina with several strong marks while Byron Bay speedster Riley Buckland proved a handful at Barry Sheppard Oval, Tweed Heads.
Byron will take on Tweed Coast this weekend in the preliminary final at Fripp Oval, Ballina.
The winner will earn a place in the decider against Ballina.
Tweed earned their place in the qualifier in thrilling fashion, scoring in the dying minutes of the elimination semi-final to sneak past Lismore 6.4 (40) to 5.6 (36). It was a hard loss for Lismore who had led for most of the match.
In the under-12 competition, Byron Bay sealed their place in the premiership decider by downing Tweed Heads in the major semi-final.
Tweed fought hard in the early stages but Byron stepped up the pressure in the third term to finish comfortable winners.
Tweed will seek redemption when they take on Ballina in the preliminary final on Saturday.
Ballina, who finished the regular season in third place, advanced to the sudden-death showdown after defeating Murwillumbah in the minor semi-final.
The teams were well matched early but Ballina made the most of their opportunities inside 50 to ensure their premiership hopes remain alive.