Summerland Junior AFL grand finals were played for the first time at Oakes Oval, Lismore, to a large enthusiatic crowd on Saturday.
Publicity officer Jill Lyons said the day proved to be a great success for all players in the junior codes who at the end of their games were able to watch the Summerland Seniors take to the field and battle it out for the premiership, which Byron Bay won, beating Ballina.
The Byron Magpies took their 11th flag from 14 grand final appearances when they beat Ballina Bombers 13.16 to 9.11.
“Due to the success of this day it is hoped that future grand finals will be played at this ground and which should ensure the continued growth and interest in the game of AFL in this region,” Jill said.
Under-12: Tweed Tigers 5 – 6 – 36 d Lismore Swans 5 – 5 – 35.
Jill’s report: The Under-12s match between the Tweed Tigers and Lismore Swans who had been the stand-out teams in this age group all season turned up the excitement in a thrilling game to end the season.
This game was played in excellent spirit that featured Lismore’s height against the Tweed’s tackling and chasing the player in possession of the ball.
There was never more than a goal between the teams all day and it could be said that this game did not deserve to have a loser.
It certainly had a lot of crowd involvement.
The Tweed Tigers were behind at three-quarter time and had been playing catch-up football all day. Scores at this stage were Lismore 22 to Tweed 18.
Three quick goals to the Tigers early in the final quarter seemed to swing the game their way.
However, a great comeback by Lismore almost stole the game.
The Tigers’ best players were Max Williams, who was brilliant all day, Mike Arnold, Sam McDonald, Byron O’Sullivan and Kurt Skuse. They were well supported by Jake King and Nathan Brown.
Best players for the Swans were Charlie Morris, Taz Emtage, Dan Flynn, Izac Stevens, Takani Dillon and Andrew McCalman.
Under-14s: Ballina Bombers 11 – 8 – 74 d Tweed Tigers 8 – 6 – 24
The match between Ballina Bombers and Tweed Tigers was something of an anti-climax, with Ballina jumping away with the lead early and continuing to stretch the lead the longer the game went for.
The Bombers started well with a goal kicked in the first 30 seconds of play by Andrew Camilleri.
The rest of the quarter was closely fought out with both teams determined to have the lead by quarter-time.
Ballina wanted to play to win the game and continued to take the lead with their excellent ball skills, goals and amazing marks.
But to the credit of the Tigers they never gave up and continued to play hard, determined to make Ballina work for the win.
Ballina in the end were by far the better team.
This win not only won them the premiership but also the title of being undefeated for the entire season.
Best players: Alex Rodda dominated all day and was supported well by Jai Stafford, Jarred Ellis, Matthew Phyland, Ryan Paesler and Jacob Rodda. All players are to be commended for their excellent team effort and spirit for the game.
Best players for Tweed were Dan Dron, Dylan Rake and Dylan Moffatt with good support from Henry Buist, Dan Bartrim, Mitch Anderson and an improved Dylan Rigby.
PICTURES: courtesy of Mark Ellis, www.nrsportingimages.com.au