Another top moment for local sport in 2015 was Ballina bowler Aaron Teys winning the Australian Open on the Gold Coast.
Another top moment for local sport in 2015 was Ballina bowler Aaron Teys winning the Australian Open on the Gold Coast. Glen Wimberley/ Bowls Australia

Seagulls soar, Rovers roar: Great sporting moments of 2015

Ballina Seagulls win three straight in NRRRL

Ballina created more club history winning its third consecutive premiership in Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League.

It was a big effort considering they lost no less than 10 of its premiership winning team from 2014 and had a new coach.

The Seagulls never looked like losing in the finals and blew Murwillumbah off the park 34-6 in the grand final at Kingsford Smith Park, Ballina.

Evans Head were the big improvers and made it to the preliminary final for the first time.

Marist Brothers second-rower Sam Elliott represented the New South Wales Under-18 team against Queensland.

Cudgen dominate in both formats

Cudgen were far too strong beating Ballina Bears in the one-day and two-day finals of Far North Coast LJ Hooker League cricket.

All-rounder Caleb Ziebell capped a memorable season scoring 131 in the two-day final.

Ziebell scored 911 runs and took 35 wickets for the Hornets.

Meanwhile, Andrew Lindsay and Justin Moore represented NSW Country for the second consecutive year.

Both have played first grade in Sydney with Lindsay captain of Lennox Head this season and Moore skippering Ballina Bears for a second year.

Teys takes home $16,000

Former Ballina lawn bowler Aaron Teys won the $16,000 men's singles at the Australian Open on the Gold Coast.

Teys is one of the youngest to win it at 21-years-old and beat Canadian international and Commonwealth Games silver medallist Ryan Bester in the final.

The final was played in front of a bumper crowd of 500 people and televised on Foxtel.

Ray Glasser also beat Bester in the final of the Summerland Singles at the Ballina Bowling Club in January.

Busy year of baseball

Lismore hosted the Australian Little League Baseball Championships at Albert Park in June.

Cronulla ran out winners at the conclusion of the week-long competition which saw 20 teams from across Australia turn out

They went on to represent Australia in the Little League World Series in the United States in August.

Another 32 teams took part in the annual Timberjacks carnival a month later.

Easts Redbirds were far too strong in the FNC Major League baseball grand final beating Lismore Workers 12-5 in the first two games of the best-of-three-series.

Gibson achieves dream

Lismore golfer Rhein Gibson achieved a lifelong dream after securing a spot on the PGA Tour in October.

Gibson, 29, cemented his place after finishing fourth in the Web.com Championship event in Florida.

He finished 10th overall in the secondary tour's four week finals series with the top 25 earning tour

cards.

He also set a course record during the Australian PGA at Royal Pines on the Gold Coast earlier this month.

Pioneers party

The Wollongbar-Alstonville Pioneers won back-to-back premierships after a hard fought 40-36 win against Byron Bay in the Far North Coast Rugby Union grand final.

The Pioneers finished the season undefeated and have not lost a game since May 2014.

Five-eighth Ben Damen and No 8 Jerry Faifaise played in the NSW Country Cockatoos team.

Wollongbar juniors Jake McIntyre and Alex Gibbon were part of the winning Brisbane City team in the National Rugby Championship.

Glee keep winning

Glee won its 15th straight premiership in Far North Coast women's A-Grade hockey when they beat Ballina 4-0.

Only coach Rhonda Mathers and two players - Emily Savins and Cassie Hughes have featured in all 15 grand finals.

Savins and Hughes were15-year-old Lismore High School students when Glee won the first grand final in 2001.

Key players Renee Dunstan, Stacey McLennan and Kim Chappel have played in 10 or more of the grand final wins.

Northern Star beat Ballina 4-2 in the A-grade men's grand final.

Rovers get the better of Byron Bay..... again

It was deja vu when Richmond Rovers celebrated its 15th Far North Coast men's premier division soccer title after a thrilling penalty shoot-out win over Byron Bay in the grand final.

The game had finished locked at 2-all even after extra time.

It was the second straight year Rovers were underdogs and beat the more fancied Rams in a penalty shoot-out.

Bangalow took out the women's grand final while club junior Josh Wallen signed a professional contract with the Queens Park Rangers in England.

Local surfers shine

There was plenty of competition for Far North Coast surfers around Australia and overseas this year.

The annual Skullcandy Oz Grom attracted its biggest field at Lennox Head in July.

The likes of Luke Condon, Zak Condon, Kyuss King, Stu Kennedy, Nyxie Ryan, Soli Bailey, Harry O'Brien, Jack O'Brien, Mikey McDonagh and Jack Murray had success in various events across Australia.

Former world No 3 Danny Wills won the annual Ben King Memorial Surf Classic in Byron Bay.

Heath Norrish won the Byron Bay Malibu Classic before Gold Coast surfer won the Evans Head Malibu Classic in October.

Lennox Head surfers Adam Melling, Owen Wright and Tyler Wright competed on the World Championship Tour.

Collar the perfect fit

Cessnock trainer Jeremy Sylvester went one better this year when Collar won the $50, 000 Slipway Hotel Ballina Cup.

It was the first cup win at Ballina for leading Brisbane jockey Tegan Harrison.

The Harrison-Sylvester combination struck again when they combined to win the $45,000 XXXX Gold Lismore Cup.

Last year Sylvester and Harrison won at Lismore with Uno Five and this time with Plutorius, a horse Sylvester had only been training for a matter of weeks.

Thrills and spills with speedway

Lismore driver Mark Robinson added another state championship to his impressive resume taking out the 2015 Queensland V8 Dirt Modified Championship at Brisbane's Archerfield Speedway in May.

There was plenty of events at Lismore at the start of the year with the World Midget Car Championships in January.

With everything from V8 Dirt Modifieds to demolition derby, speedway continues to be one of the most popular spectator sports in Lismore.

Australian champion Jai Stephenson took out the V8 Dirt Modifieds Lord Mayor's Cup in November.

Other bits and pieces

Professional triathlete Sam Appleton won the Byron Bay Triathlon for the first time while Brisbane's Sarah Crowley won for a second straight year in May.

Gold Coast professional Tod Power beat Australian Masters champion Peter Senior in a play-off in the Australian Legends Tour Championship at the Byron Bay Golf Club.

Elsewhere, Brisbane teenager Aleksa Cveticanin dominated the women's open division at the Ballina New Year Open tennis tournament.

The 15-year-old beat defending champion Taylah Beckman 6-3 6-3 in the final.



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