FLYING HIGH: Ballina’s senior men’s team showed how they won the match at Oakes Oval in wet conditions despite a very competitive Lismore. Photo Alison Paterson
FLYING HIGH: Ballina’s senior men’s team showed how they won the match at Oakes Oval in wet conditions despite a very competitive Lismore. Photo Alison Paterson

Mud, blood and skin in the game

THERE was plenty of mud, a bit of blood and a huge amount of talent leaping, kicking, marking, running, and it must be said, slithering on the ground when the Lismore Swans clashed with the Ballina Bombers on Saturday at Oakes Oval.

An already wet ground saw some spectacular manouveres as players, tested by slippery conditions, adopted cross-code tactics with plays more often seen in soccer, league and union in their attempts to hold the ball and convert.

SLIPPERY WHEN WET: Wet conditions in the reserves game between Lismore and Ballina Bombers at Oakes Oval on Jul 25, 2020, saw some spectacular play. Alison Paterson
SLIPPERY WHEN WET: Wet conditions in the reserves game between Lismore and Ballina Bombers at Oakes Oval on Jul 25, 2020, saw some spectacular play. Alison Paterson

By the final quarter, increasing rain caused a goal umpire to hold an umbrella, as the Swans won 6.15.51 over Ballina’s 1.9.15, thanks in part of Will Alexander booting three goals.

GUTS AND GLORY: In wet conditions the Lismore Swans played the Ballina Bombers at Oakes Oval on July 25, 2020. Alison Paterson
GUTS AND GLORY: In wet conditions the Lismore Swans played the Ballina Bombers at Oakes Oval on July 25, 2020. Alison Paterson

Reserves playing coach Tim Whalan said he was proud of the squad’s efforts, which put them in a respectable sixth place on the reserves ladder.

FABULOUS FOOTY: In wet conditions the Lismore Swans played the Ballina Bombers at Oakes Oval on July 25, 2020. Alison Paterson
FABULOUS FOOTY: In wet conditions the Lismore Swans played the Ballina Bombers at Oakes Oval on July 25, 2020. Alison Paterson

“With Ballina a few players short, Lismore dropped to 16 on the ground,” he said.

“My first win as coach, they really played well.”

TOUGH STUFF In rugged conditions the Lismore Swans played the Ballina Bombers at Oakes Oval on July 25, 2020. Alison Paterson
TOUGH STUFF In rugged conditions the Lismore Swans played the Ballina Bombers at Oakes Oval on July 25, 2020. Alison Paterson

Ballina’s reserve captain Sam Hunt was gracious in defeat.

“All credit for Lismore, we did not get over this time,” Hunt said.

When the senior men’s siren sounded, it was clear that both teams were out to make their mark after both lost their previous matches.

New signing and former national union and league player Shannon Walker showed his cross-code background with some gutsy moves.

FAST FOOTY: Former national rugby cross-coder and new seniors recruit, Shannon Walker, seems to float above the pack as he gestures toward Tommy Gillet to pass the ball. Photo Alison Paterson
FAST FOOTY: Former national rugby cross-coder and new seniors recruit, Shannon Walker, seems to float above the pack as he gestures toward Tommy Gillet to pass the ball. Photo Alison Paterson

At halftime coach Joey Mitchell told his players who hail from across the country, they needed to lift another gear.

He said accurate kicking is the path to glory.

“This game is played below the knees,” he said.

Despite courageous play across the team including three goals from Andrew Baker, Lismore lost 6.9.45 to Ballina’s 8.5.53.

Mitchell said the team is improving.

“If you look at our losing margins they are narrowing,” he said.

“Every game you play you have to be better than you were.”

BLOOD AND MUD: After a hard fought win against Lismore a Ballina player bears an injury. Photo: Alison Paterson
BLOOD AND MUD: After a hard fought win against Lismore a Ballina player bears an injury. Photo: Alison Paterson

Senior umpire Ben Johnson, 43, had his sons Alastair 16, and Riley 14, also on the whistle.

HOLY GRAIL: The umpires walk onto the ground, holding the golden ball everyone wants to thread through the goalposts. Photo Alison Paterson
HOLY GRAIL: The umpires walk onto the ground, holding the golden ball everyone wants to thread through the goalposts. Photo Alison Paterson

“It was a tough and physical game,” Johnson said.

“You could see the passion in both sides.”

C'MON DAD! These future AFL players made an enthusiastic cheer squad as they braved the rain to cheer on their dads playing for Lismore Swans. Photo: Alison Paterson
C'MON DAD! These future AFL players made an enthusiastic cheer squad as they braved the rain to cheer on their dads playing for Lismore Swans. Photo: Alison Paterson

In the QFAW Northern Rivers Division, the Ballina Women’s team showed their finesse when they prevented the Swans from scoring to win with a crushing 13.11.89.

GIRLS GAME: In wet conditions the Lismore Swans women were defeated by the Ballina Bombers at Oakes Oval on Jul 25, 2020. Alison Paterson
GIRLS GAME: In wet conditions the Lismore Swans women were defeated by the Ballina Bombers at Oakes Oval on Jul 25, 2020. Alison Paterson
WONDER WOMEN: The Ballina women’s team outclassed Lismore in a crushing defeat at Oakes Oval on July 25, 2020.
WONDER WOMEN: The Ballina women’s team outclassed Lismore in a crushing defeat at Oakes Oval on July 25, 2020.

Meanwhile, Byron Bay maintained their curve with a win 2.3.27 over Tweed Coast 2.3.15.

2020 QFA Division 2 South



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