Lismore Marist Brothers overcame one hurdle with their 14-9 win over Kyogle in last night’s postponed Retravision Northern League round 15 match, but they face an even tougher task when they take on Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League competition leaders Grafton Ghosts at Grafton on Sunday.
A try to Brothers with just minutes remaining sealed last night’s thrilling win — a victory which has ended Kyogle’s hopes of a semi-final berth.
The win saw Brothers move to equal third with Lower Clarence on 22 points, four behind Ghosts and one behind Byron Bay.
Tweed Coast Raiders hold down fifth spot on 21, with defending premiers Mullumbimby the only other possible semi-finalist, two points behind.
The Ghosts-Brothers match is one of three crucial games this weekend. A loss by Brothers could see them dropping back to fifth place, while a win to the Ghosts would ensure them of the minor premiership.
Mullumbimby will be at home to Lower Clarence Magpies, and the Giants must win to have any chance of defending their premiership.
The other vital match is the Tweed Coast Raiders v Byron Bay clash at Cabarita.
Tweed Coast need a win to ensure a finals berth, while Byron need a victory to maintain second spot on the table and the all-important second chance it provides in the semi-finals.
In other matches this weekend, Ballina are at home to Grafton Rhinos, while Kyogle host Casino RSM in a local derby.
Points: Grafton Ghosts 26, Byron Bay 23, Lower Clarence 22, Marist Brothers 22, Tweed Coast Raiders 21, Mullumbimby 19, Kyogle 17, Grafton Rhinos 16, Casino 11, South Tweed 9, Ballina 8, Cudgen 8, Murwillumbah 8.
This weekend’s draw:
SATURDAY August 2
- Cudgen v Murwillumbah, 3 Grades, 3pm start, Ned Byrne Field, Kingscliff. First Grade kick-off 5.45pm.
- Mullumbimby v Lower Clarence, 3 Grades, 2pm start, Les Donnelly Field, Mullumbimby. First Grade kick-off 4.45pm.
SUNDAY August 3
- Tweed Coast v Byron Bay, 3 Grades, noon start, Les Berger Field, Cabarita. First Grade kick-off 2.45pm.
- Grafton Ghosts v Marist Brothers, 2 Grades, 1pm start, Frank McGuren Park, Grafton. First Grade kick-off 2.30pm.
- Ballina v Grafton Rhinos, 3 Grades, noon start, Kingsford Smith Park, Ballina. First Grade kick-off 2.45pm.
- Kyogle v Casino RSM, 3 Grades, noon start, New Park, Kyogle. First Grade kick-off 2.45pm.
Round 17 draw: Grafton Ghosts v Casino RSM, Grafton Rhinos v Lower Clarence, Lower Clarence v Ballina, Murwillumbah v Mullumbimby, Evans Head v Cudgen, Marist Brothers v Tweed Coast, Byron Bay v South Tweed.
Round 18 draw: Grafton Rhinos v Grafton Ghosts, Kyogle v Lower Clarence, Ballina v Murwillumbah, Mullumbimby v Cudgen, Casino RSM v Tweed Coast, South Tweed v Byron Bay, Marist Brothers v Evans Head.