Kelly has a day out
CLARENCE KELLY bagged four tries for Byron Bay as the Red Devils pulled away from Kyogle late in their game to score a 36-18 home win yesterday in the NRRRL.
Simon Kelly, Neil Gregg and Bill Lowrie were all late withdrawals for the undefeated Devils, but that didn’t stop them running in eight tries to three in the comprehensive win.
Regular captain Simon Kelly will have a few selection headaches ahead of the next game against Northern United after his replacement Matt Conners was a standout in the win.
“Matt was unreal; he just dug in and ripped them to shreds,” Kelly said.
“The captain-coach might have to bench himself next week.”
Byron always seemed in control but kept letting the Turkeys back into it. It was 18-all with 25 minutes to play before the Devils got serious in defence.
At Mullumbimby, the Giants overcame a 12-8 half-time deficit to get the points with a 36-18 win over Casino.
That result leaves the Cougars winless while Mullum are undefeated with two wins and a draw.
Giants Under-18 captain Matt Mulchay received a late call-up and celebrated his first-grade debut with a brace of tries, while Bill Thompson grabbed a treble on the wing.
Giants coach Scott Hogan paid tribute to the Cougars’ effort.
“They were really full-on early; big and tough,” Hogan said.
“But our boys just kept digging around the middle and eventually the opposition got tired and we ran over the top of them.”
Rounding out the local games yesterday was Ballina’s 36-18 win over Tweed Coast at Kingsford Smith Park, Ballina.
The victory was soured by a broken ankle for back-rower Scott McClelland, who will be sidelined for months.
Dean Ihalainen produced a tireless performance up-front and Andrew Battese continued his roll, scoring a couple of tries and booting seven goals.
The win keeps the Seagulls on top of the ladder while the Raiders are stuck on the bottom after three decisive losses.
On Saturday, Northern United visited Evans Head and led all the way to defeat the Bombers 34-22. But it was hardly a walkover.
Evans provided stiff resistance throughout but the class of the Dirawongs’ halves pairing was too much in the end.
No 7 Evan Hickling provided good ball for his outside men with Burwood Robinson and David Briggs grabbing try-scoring doubles.
Robinson is relishing his move from the centres into five-eighth, leaving coach Chris Binge impressed.
“He was great for us in the centres last year, but five-eighth is his natural position and our halves pairing is looking pretty good,” Binge said.
MARIST BROTHERS 44 (Woods 2, King 2, De Guisti 2, McFarlane, Harrington tries; McCafferty 6 goals) d LOWER CLARENCE 14 (Randall, Griffin, Woods tries; James goal).
NTH UNITED 34 d EVANS HEAD 22 at Stan Payne Oval, Evans Head.
BYRON BAY 36 d KYOGLE 18 at Red Devil Park, Byron Bay.
GRAFTON GHOSTS 62 d GRAFTON RHINOS 16 at McGuren Park, Grafton.
MULLUMBIMBY 36 d CASINO 18 at Queen Elizabeth Park, Casino.
BALLINA 36 d TWEED COAST 18 at Kingsford Smith Park, Ballina.
CUDGEN 26 d MURWILLUMBAH 6 at Ned Byrne Field, Kingscliff.
Ghosts 6 (+92), Ballina 6 (+72), Byron Bay 6 (+44), Brothers 6 (+44), Mullumbimby 5 (+58), Northern United 4 (+28), Cudgen 4 (+24), Murwillumbah 2 (+2), Rhinos 2 (-56), Lower Clarence 1 (-68), Evans Head 0 (-48), Kyogle 0 (-54), Casino 0 (-62), Tweed Coast 0 (-70).