Buccaneers heartening return
By TONY WHITE
BEATEN but not bowed.
WHILE The Pacific Hotel Yamba Buccaneers were beaten 26-12 by Ballina in the club's return to first grade after a 13year absence at Yamba Oval on Saturday, president Darryl Rock is confident the club will still be a force to be reckoned with in this year's Far North Coast Zone competition.
"Although we were beaten I think we showed we'll be very competitive, that's the big plus for us," Rock said.
Before the largest home crowd other than a finals series game in over a decade, the Buccaneers were starved off the ball for much of the match.
"They (Ballina) had us pinned down near our own line for long periods," Rock said.
"It was a dire struggle.
"We had a couple of long range raids in the first half, but they broke down and in the second half Ballina were able to keep stringent control of the ball.
"They just had phase after phase and managed to control the game."
Tristan Allard scored off a great inside ball from Rob Imeson to put the Buccaneers on the scoreboard in the first half but Ballina scored in the last 30 seconds after a push over try from a maul to lead 14-7 at half time.
Weight of possession again told in the second half with Ballina scoring two tries to the Buccaneers one.
First Grade: Ballina 26 (M Koellner, Andrew Gordon, B Milner K Scott tries; A Gordon 3 conv) d Yamba 12 (L Turner T Allard tries; D McDermid conv)
Lismore 24 (G Paisley, J Lea, S Hughes, N Marshall tries; D O'Brien 2 convs) d Wollongbar Alstonville 10 (C Norton, S Williams tries)Casino 19 (T Llewellyn, T Gilmour tries; D Corrigan 3 penalty goas) d Grafton 9 (T Dickson 2, J Chevalley, penalty goals).
Point Score: Lismore 10, Casino 9, Ballina 9, Grafton 1, Wollongbar Alstonville 1, SCU 0, Yamba 0.Best & Fairest Awards: Three points ? Nathan Quirk, James Olivieri, Liam Preston;Two points ? Tony White, Ben Ralston,Ben Grayndler; One point - Terry Llewllyn, Stephen Hughes, Mick Koellner.
Reserve Grade: Ballina 15 d Mullumbimby 0, Grafton 22 d Casino 13, Lismore 20 d Wollongbar Alstonville 10.
Under-19: Casino 26 d Grafton 7, Lennox Head d Ballina (forfeit), Lismore v Wollongbar Alstonville to be played on Monday evening.
Third Grade: Byron Bay 19 d Lis- more 6, Ballina 22 d Mullumbimby 0.
Village Competition: Bangalow 9 d Evans River 0, Lennox Head v Iluka, Range v Kyogle (no results received).