After cruising to victory in the major and minor premiership race last year, the Byron Bay Rams are well on the way to add their third preseason trophy to their bulging trophy cabinet.
On Sunday the premiers came home 3-2 winners over last years bolters, the Lennox Head Sharks.
The Sharks opened the scoring after Peter Edwards found the back of the net with a long shot. This stirred the Rams into action and they hit back with two goals, a clean finish from close range by Todd Knaus and another from Brazilian import Thiago Priori. Aaron Richter Steers sealed the win with a penalty in the second term however, Paul Kirkland did score a late goal to made the last few minutes tense for all concerned.
Maclean continues their positive start to the season with a 2-1 win over the Goonellabah Hornets which all but seals the Bobcats place in the semis along with Byron.
Maclean have won both minor and major premierships, but never an Anzac Cup and in this, their last season in the local league, they will want their name on the trophy.
Two first-half goals from Kevin Crofton and Aaron Bylos set up the win as the Bobcats close passing game thrived. Hornet speedster Daniel Morrow managed to get one back before the break but Macleans domination of possession proved the difference.
Italo Stars claimed a convincing 3-0 win over arch-rivals Richmond Rovers at Barrow Lane on Sunday with Casino import Zac Innes scoring an impressive opener for his new club.
Innes made a run from midfield and hammered home after a lovely interchange of passes. Jamie Austen extended the lead in the second half after meeting a Jake Pratten corner for their second goal.
Wayne Mortimer scored their third goal after running onto a well-weighted pass from Max Latimer.
The win gets Stars a spot in the semis.
Bangalow celebrated its first win back in the top flight with a 3-1 win over Workers. Sebastian Bell nailed the Bluedogs opener after beating the keeper in a one-on-one.
The Redmen hit back, thanks to a volley by champion player Anthony Alvos, before an own goal put them behind the eight ball.
Workers failed to capitalise on early pressure and Bangalow wrapped up the game with a late goal from the boot of Glen Sheldrick.
Byron Bays B side has shown just how much depth the Rams have this season, with a 1-0 home win over Burringbar on Friday night.
Garath Evans scored the only goal of a tight match, a fine volley from 25 metres.
One of the Rams Brazilian signings, Paolo Andrade, looked good in his first appearance at striker.
Ballina, thanks to Shannon Maciejewski, came away with a 2-0 win over Lennox Head B at Ballina yesterday. After a deft flick on header to help set up Cerys Hawkins for their opener, Maciejewski sealed the match by scoring the Seahorses second.
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