Red Devils run out of legs
A GRITTY Byron Bay fell to its second straight NRRRL defeat, this time 27-18 to Cudgen.
The Red Devils overcame a crippling injury toll to lead 18-16 with 10 minutes to play but ran out of legs as Cudgen exploited the limping defence.
Gun centre Clarence Kelly tweaked a hamstring in the first half; Jared De Thierry aggravated a foot injury; and Bill Lowrie returned from injury early to make up the numbers, played on one leg, and re-tore his hamstring.
Captain-coach Simon Kelly was far from disappointed with the defeat, which came in the most trying circumstances.
“Our bench was empty pretty early,” Kelly said.
“So my blokes did a great job to go so close.”
Marist Brothers got back on track with a 34-6 win over Grafton Rhinos at Crozier Field, Lismore.
The Rams overcame an 11-2 penalty count to lead 10-6 at the break before running away with the match courtesy of four second-half tries.
Noel King bagged a double from the wing, while Mitch Krause scored on debut on the opposite flank.
Coach David Krause thought his men played up to their full potential.
“That was our best 80 minutes of the year,” Krause said.
“The first half we just dug in, then in the second we scored some really good tries.”
The Bombers finally broke their 2010 duck, prevailing 30-12 over Murwillumbah in a bog at Stan Payne Oval, Evans Head.
Ryan Eckersley, shifted to halfback for the clash, stood out, scoring three tries and controlling the game with his boot.
The Bombers led 12-6 at half-time on the back of dominant forwards, and exploded in the second 40 to run in three more tries.
Club manager Brad Mayes said the whole club was relieved to have the monkey off its back after going so close, but falling short a couple of times this season.
Tweed Coast continued the misery for Lower Clarence, handing them their fourth consecutive thrashing, this time 52-18 at Cabarita.