SAFL with Roly Wintle
Fierce premiership rivals, the Ballina Bombers and the Byron Bay Magpies, squared off in an intense showdown this round. On a wet and windy afternoon in the seaside metropolis of Ballina the Bombers exacted revenge for their past two defeats to the Magpies with a gritty 7.12.54 to 5.8.38 win.
It wasnt flash and it wasnt pretty, however, it did secure the Bombers second spot on the ladder and the all important double chance come finals time.
The Bombers kicked with the wind in the first and third quarters and duly used that to swing momentum their way. The Magpies were only three points down with only 15 minutes to go when a couple of late Bomber goals sealed their fate.
Shem Aitken kicked three goals for the visitors, while Patti Bulzome and Tim Price were the chief destroyers for the Bombers.
Sean McQueen was best for the Magpies with a solid roving display, whilst veteran fullback Andy Robinson and Scott Butcher tried hard for the Bombers, who were missing key forwards Ben and Gavan Plummer. Meanwhile, the Magpies were without Blair Patterson, Billy Smith, Mick Kosta, Johnny Jingles and Peter Hymann.
The Lismore Swans did not play due to a forfeit by an undermanned Murwillumbah outfit. Coach Ronnie Meldrum and his wily assistant Roly Barrett know that this is most definitely a two-horse race in the 2006 SAFL premiership. The Swans have not revealed their strongest line-up all season and have a lot of their flock still hidden under an injury cloud.
This week the Swans travel to Schulz Oval in Bangalow to take on Byron, whilst the Casino Lions host the Ballina Bombers in Round 18 of the SAFL.
Up their Cazaly!
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