Pierce shepherds Rams to qualifier with strong performance
DEDICATED Jonathan Pierce is the toast of the Byron Bay Rams - and boy has he earned his accolades.
The midfielder was the hero of the hour after smashing a stunning winner in the Football Far North Coast men's premier division semi-final against Richmond Rovers.
It was a deserving moment in the sun for hard-working Pierce, who has been with the club for about seven years.
The 26-year-old, who also coaches the Rams' Summer Youth League side and is a popular figure around the club, said he was delighted to have helped keep his side's season alive.
"I am really happy to be part of the club," he said.
"There are great people, great players and it is one of the best places to live in Australia.
"The club has been very good to me. They have treated me very well and encouraged me a lot.
"I could not ask for a better club in that regard.
"I love football and I love being part of it here."
Pierce was the match-winner in Friday night's match at the Byron Bay Recreation Grounds, which was a tightly contested affair.
Rams striker Seb Bell fired his side ahead, but Rovers equalised through a well-taken Andrew Casagrande strike.
The match seemed to be heading for extra-time until Pierce drilled home a superb 25m winner about 10 minutes from the end to give his side the 2-1 win.
It was the perfect time for Pierce, who was mobbed by delighted teammates after his strike, to score his first goal of the season.
"They don't come very often for me," he said. "I don't hit many like that.
"I knew I had hit it perfectly. I was ecstatic when it hit the net."
The loss ended Rovers' season, with the Rams progressing to the grand final qualifier against Lismore Workers this weekend.