Semi-Final 1 – Ballina Bombers v Lismore Swans @ Fripp Oval
Ballina gained revenge for last week’s five-goal defeat to Lismore by turning the tables and eliminating the Swans in a nail-biter at Fripp Oval on Saturday.
A spirited, all-round performance from the Swans couldn’t quite repeat last week’s effort, and sees the Swans finish the season without consecutive wins.
The four games this season between the teams were split at two wins each, however Ballina claimed bragging rights when it mattered most.
Ballina’s Jesse Leeds took best-on-ground honours for consecutive weeks, while Timothy Price (four goals) and Patty Bulzomi (three goals) were influential for the Bombers.
Lismore’s leading goal kicker John Lawson kicked two goals, while William and Taylor Alexander both chipped in with a couple of majors apiece.
The Bombers shot out of the gates, kicking the opening four goals whilst keeping the Swans scoreless in a dominant first quarter.
The Swans returned the favour in the second, storming their way back into the match by kicking six goals to two to close within six points at the main break.
Once again, Ballina pulled away in the third quarter. The Swans out-did their first quarter effort by managing a solitary point in the premiership quarter to the Bombers’ 3.3.21.
The scoring-end trend continued in the last as Lismore battled valiantly to eclipse the 26-point three-quarter time deficit. Three goals to none in the last quarter proved to be insufficient to snatch the victory though as Ballina held on for a seven-point victory.
Semi-Final 2 – Byron Magpies v Tweed Coast Tigers @ Byron Bay Sports Complex
Undefeated minor premiers Byron Magpies secured a Grand Final berth with a comprehensive victory over the Tweed Coast Tigers.
The Tigers had consistently been the one team to challenge the Magpies throughout the campaign, however the 63-point defeat was their heaviest of the season.
The Magpies’ leading goal-kickers in Joseph Ryan, Thomas Rehn both got on the board while Sam Lucas had a field-day, kicking five goals.
Dave Smith played another standout game for the Magpies, being named in the best for a seventh time this season.
The Tigers kept pace with the Magpies for most of the opening period, trailing by just 14 points at the first break.
The early threat from the Tigers seemed to spark the Magpies into life in the second term, piling on five goals to one to lead by 40 points at half-time.
The Tigers again battled valiantly to stay in the contest. A tight third quarter saw Tweed Coast keep pace with the minor-premiers yet fail to claw away at the deficit which saw the visitors trail by an even seven goals at the last change.
The Magpies then ensured they’d take the automatic entry into the grand-final piling on another four goals in the final quarter to run away with the honours.
The Magpies will now host the grand final at Byron Bay Sports Complex on Saturday 5th September. Their opponents will be decided when Ballina meet Tweed Coast in a Preliminary Final at Fripp Oval this Saturday afternoon.
By Aaron Cooper
Photo: Byron Magpies facebook
Tweed Coast Tigers v Ballina Bombers
Fripp Oval, Ballina
Saturday 29th August, 2pm