Red Devils beaten but certainly not disgraced

TACKLED: Byron Bay’s Tim Foster and Ryan O’Connell tackle a Grafton Ghost player during the match at McGuren Park on Saturday.
TACKLED: Byron Bay’s Tim Foster and Ryan O’Connell tackle a Grafton Ghost player during the match at McGuren Park on Saturday. Debrah Novak

BYRON BAY Red Devils may have been beaten by the Grafton Ghosts on Saturday, but they were far from disgraced.

The Red Devils surprised most local rugby league pundits when they convincingly beat Marist Brothers 30-6 in last week's elimination final.

Their performance against the Ghosts in Saturday's semi-final loss would give Red Devils' fans enormous hope of going further next year, but that could not mask halfback Ryan O'Connell's disappointment after fulltime.

"It was always going to be hard after we lost one of our key props (Chris Colman) in the first set," O'Connell said.

"There's no denying how good Grafton were though.

"I'm pretty disappointed with the result but it's been a pretty good year. We beat the Ghosts earlier this year and we beat Murwil- lumbah.

"Have to be happy with that."

O'Connell almost single-handedly brought the game back to Byron Bay's favour with precision kicking.

His ripper 70m run through the Ghosts defence and into open space in the eighth minute threatened to put the Red Devils in an early lead, but was run down by a determined Ghosts' chase.

The skilful halfback would not make excuses for the loss, instead focusing on the future.

"We had a poor pre-season which contributed to a few early losses so we weren't far from a top-three finish," O'Connell said.

"Today was really good for us and our defence was pretty good.

"We have a bunch of good kids coming through so hopefully we can add a bit of depth and be back stronger next year."



Grand reopening planned for iconic Lismore shop

premium_icon Grand reopening planned for iconic Lismore shop

4am starts and late nights have all been worth it

Gynecologist accused of sex assault to face court

Gynecologist accused of sex assault to face court

The former Lismore doctor is facing 69 charges

'No evidence' 200-year-old tree is causing damage to home

premium_icon 'No evidence' 200-year-old tree is causing damage to home

Councillor makes last-ditch effort to save iconic fig tree

Local Partners