Swans swoop in battle of the birds
By Roly Wintle
Amidst a capacity crowd at Schulz Oval in Bangalow, Lismore Swans were victorious over the Byron Bay Magpies 14.9.93 to 12.9.81 in a grand old-fashioned arm wrestle. The battle of the birds was a classic, crunching encounter, with the Swans holding on for a dramatic victory.
Admittedly the Magpies were without star full-forward Shem Aitken and livewire utility Stewie Burns, however, nothing could quite match the intensity and ferocity of a Swans pack which went a long way to towards re-establishing the Swans premiership aspirations.
Unlike their previous encounter with Byron, the Swans manned up all over the park, tackled well and laid on shepherds like men possessed.
The Swans also addressed another key element, lacklustre starts, to hold a quarter time advantage of 13 points. By half time Byron hit right back to lead by two goals. In the premiership quarter the red and the whites bounced back to edge in front of Byron by two points. The last quarter saw the Swans maintain their slim lead in a seesawing, gut-wrenching, heart stopping battle.
The effort of HBI (Howard Brothers Incorporated) was outstanding. Simon at fullback had a blinder, whilst James on the wing and ruck-rover Paul were fantastic and constantly linked up with each other to be a thorn in Byrons side.
Captain Lyndon Dyson again showed courage and tenacity in his attacking raids and spoils from the centre halfback, whilst Nick Heyward again proved unstoppable in the centre. Daniel Bruces tagging role on Byrons rover Blair Patterson was instrumental in nullifying their attack. The tall timbered trio of Luke Henshsce, Jason Ox Bevan and Longers Meldrum were brilliant.
This weekend Lismore take on the Murwillumbah Hawks at Mortimer Oval, whilst the Bombers host the Magpies at Fripp Oval.
Up their Cazaly!
Old hands break under bombardment
The Tatts Hotel Casino Lions went into Saturdays game against the Ballina Bombers with a few old faces popping up for their first match of the season, notably Darren Lohman and Benny Benn. This pair made an instant impact around the fringe of the ruck where they fed Casinos previously starved forward line. This allowed veteran Lee Simons to snap up three goals early in the match, which took the Lions to the first break on level points.
Sadly for the Lions, injuries to Benny Benn and Rookie of the Year candidate Scott Lill ended Casinos competitiveness, and Ballina bombarded Casinos goals for the rest of the day, running out easy victors 23.11.149 to 4.5.29.