Rams win keeps hopes alive for second premiership in a row
REIGNING major premiers Byron Bay have set up the chance for consecutive titles by booking a berth in the grand final of the Football Far North Coast Premier League.
The Rams outclassed Richmond Rovers 4-1 in the major semi-final on Tuesday night and, after already wrapping up the minor premiership, can also achieve the double, something they have achieved only once, back in 2006.
The Bay was on home soil and began well but they looked likely to concede the opening goal when Rovers striker Jonathan See broke away defence to set up a one-on-one with stand-in goalkeeper Damien Smith.
Fortunately for the Rams his shot hit the woodwork, and they made the most of it with two quick goals in response.
Kazi Tsukamato headed in the Rams first from a Michael Kelly cross, before a deft through ball from Connor Cannon set up James Tomlinson for their second.
Rovers hit back when set-play specialist Russell Dent curled a free kick around the wall to find the corner of the net, leaving the scoreline 2-1 at the break.
The second half saw Rovers gradually tire in their third game within a week, while for the fresh Rams it was their first game in 10 days and they went on with the job with goals from Connor Cannon and Herrick Schulaman.
"Rovers have had a tough schedule and we thought they would tire, so the game plan was percentage football early till the game settled, then hold the ball and run them around as much as possible," Rams coach Damon Bell said.
Bell praised the four goalscorers for strong games and will now have plenty of time to prepare his side for the decider, while Rovers have another short turnaround before hosting arch-rivals Thistles in the preliminary final on Sunday.