Seahorses get jump on Trojans
BALLINA five-eighth Troy Nichols scored a rare try to seal a 22-5 win against the Lennox Head Trojans in Far North Coast Rugby Union at Williams Reserve on Saturday.
Whether Nichols plays halfback or five-eighth he puts in a whole-hearted performance each week and has been one of the Seahorses best this season.
His efforts were rewarded on Saturday when he swooped on a loose ball from the back of a scrum and ran away to score beside the posts with less than 10 minutes remaining.
"I got a lucky bounce but it's great to get the match winner in that sort of game," Nichols said.
"I don't score too many and it's one I won't forget anytime soon."
Nichols and second-rower Chris Long were outstanding on Saturday.
The win was the Seahorses' first over the Trojans in Lennox Head since 2008.
"We've been unlucky and had some narrow losses this season but we always lift for this game," Nichols said.
"It's a bit like a semi-final when we play Lennox and we went out there with every intention of winning it."
It took almost 30 minutes before points were put on the board in the first half when centre Jamie Coote scored a brilliant individual try.
The Seahorses continued to mount pressure and halfback Beau Milner crossed to give his side a 12-0 lead at half-time.
Ballina fullback Sam Giltrap extended the lead to 15-0 with a penalty shot at goal before the Trojans found a second wind.
Flanker Harry Witt gave his team a sniff when he scored out wide but the Trojans' hopes were hindered when prop Curtis Miles and centre Simon Deevy were yellow-carded for repeated team infringements at the breakdown.
Deevy might have to buy himself a new pair of boots this week after he tossed his away in anger behind the goal posts after being dismissed.
Centre Ray Buchanan was also yellow-carded in the final minutes for a dangerous lifting tackle.
The Trojans are now fourth on the ladder with the Seahorses nine points adrift in fifth spot and a long shot to make the finals with just two rounds remaining.
In other games, Lismore City had a hard-fought 26-19 win against Bangalow at Schultz Oval and the Wollongbar-Alstonville juggernaut continued with a 50-5 thrashing of Southern Cross University at Maurie Ryan Oval, Lismore.
Byron Bay moved into third with a 28-19 win against the Grafton Redmen at Grafton Rugby Park.
Lismore - 62
Wollongbar-Alstonville - 57
Byron Bay - 47
Lennox Head - 46
Ballina - 37
Bangalow - 33
Grafton - 23
SCU - 7
Casino - 7