Byron Bay coach Nathan Cross (7) is waiting with open arms for Sunday's rugby league grand final against the Grafton Ghosts.
Byron Bay coach Nathan Cross (7) is waiting with open arms for Sunday's rugby league grand final against the Grafton Ghosts. The Northern Star

Red Devils coach wants to 'Cross' winner's line

BYRON Bay coach Nathan Cross could never forget the last time his club won the Retravision Northern League premiership.

It was 1996.

Cross was a 17-year-old winger who lived every footballer's dream in that grand final against Marist Brothers.

After 17 minutes of extra time the scores remained deadlocked at 10-all when then coach Gary Weston put the match in his hands.

"I used to practise field goals heaps for some ridiculous reason," Cross recalled.

"Our coach at the time (Weston) knew they'd all rush at our captain and five-eighth Andrew Sheridan. Both markers went to Sheridan and I was left with plenty of time to kick it."

Cross slotted a field goal from 20m out to win the match for Byron.

"It was unbelievable. I remember all the boys just running in after I kicked it. It was something I'll never forget," he said.

It was Cross' last match with the club before he left to play with Parramatta.

"In 1999 I played in the reserve grade grand final for Parramatta in front of 100,000 people at Homebush stadium," he said. "We beat the Tigers 44-10. That was pretty special but I still think (the field goal) was the number one moment.

"It's the stuff dreams are made of. Whoever was writing my script, I should've bought them a beer because that was a pretty special day."

It's a moment that he's been reminded of plenty of times, too, since Byron qualified for Sunday's grand final, where the Red Devils will clash with the Grafton Ghosts.

"Anyone who wants to talk to me about footy in Byron, keeps bringing that up," Cross said.

The only thing that could come close to that moment, would be coaching his team to a similar win on Sunday.


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