Around the Grounds - Round 13 - Ballina vs Lennox Trojans and Evans Head.
Finally we got some dry weather and with the local derby on the cards, it was a great day out at Seahorse Stadium for a convincing victory in 1sts and Reserve grade. The dry weather allowed the Senior grades to clear out the cobwebs and it is always good to beat Lennox Head. It was interesting reading the Lennox Trojans match report and them explaining how our team was “monstrous” and how there “lean surfie types” struggled to match it with the Seahorses. I think we can all remember games where the opposite was true so please don’t feel bad for the Trojans
.A few away games are coming up and the match up against a fast improving Casino will also test our mettle this week. Let’s convoy across and support the Seniors. If you don’t feel like a trip to beef-town, stick around home where the super competitive Dark Horses (Presidents Cup) will be taking on the Tenterfield Bumblebees and I am sure there will be some fun after the game.
Go the Seahorses.
First Grade Report - Lennox Head - Andrew Fraser
After nearly 2 weeks of no football, minimal training, Ballina on the crest of the top 4 and Lennox siting in second spot Saturdays fixture versus the villagers was always going to be a spectacle.
The rivalry of both clubs is quite infamous, with this years fixture seeing a lot of friendships set to square off.
Fortunately the rain stayed away, and the 1st grade match started with Ballina deep near the Lennox try line - a well worked scrum play saw quick hands and Tommy Watson looked to dot the ball down - only to have it stripped from his hands and Lennox go 100m to score - A conversion saw it 0-7 to Lennox.
Again Ballina maintained pressure on Lennox from the kickoff. Mounting penalties, and direct hard running from Stan Lolohea saw the ball kept in the hands and Grant Knight scored a reply. The conversion was missed and scores at 5-7 to the felt hats.
Minutes later smart thinking from a quick tap saw the ball in hand for Tupou Lolohea to go over untouched. Tommy Watson stepped up and kicked a nice conversion. 12-7 to Ballina.
The next 15 minutes saw Ballina mount continued pressure. Grant Knight and both Lolohea boys were making direct metres. Multiple phases from the Seahorses, and a tidy inside ball from Nick Watson saw Stan Lolohea juggle a ball for 5 metres and he crashed over. 17-7 to Ballina.
Tom Watson’s return to the starting side was rewarded when he danced over with a neat pass from Hayden Warneke, Watson backed up it up with a conversion 24-7. Joe Janson finished up a nice sweeping play and he darted over in the corner and Ballina were out to a 29-7 lead.
In the final passage of the half - Ballina had a series of phases into the Lennox half. Tom Watson caught a sweet pass and like a ghost waltzed through some missed tackles. He dotted down and kicked the conversion and Ballina headed to oranges at 36-7.
As with with many fixtures like this - The half time break stopped the horses momentum.
The second half was littered with silly penalties and self inflicted errors. Lennox bounced over for two tries to give the scoreboard some respect.
However the last 10 minutes from Ballina gave the crowd some cheers - Joe Janson scored his second and Tommy Watson crossed for his 3rd. He also converted it and the full time whistle saw Ballina win 48-19.
The win was built on the first half platform of hard direct running, strong set piece and making first up tackles. Grant Knight was immense at 12 and Nick Watson had his best game for the season - he continued to threaten the defence and show why he could become a key player in the run to the finals.
The next 3 games is key for the 1st grade side - Casino (away), Lennox (18 July - Thursday night at Lennox) and then Casuarina at home (27 July). Casino nearly toppled Alstonville on the weekend and Casuarina appear buried in the top 4. The challenge well and truly set for the player group to take on.
The points for Saturday were as follows:
3. Grant Knight
2. Nick Watson
1. Each of the starting forwards.
Hope to see you all at the away fixtures over the next fortnight.
Second Grade Report - Lennox Head - Chris Long
Saturday saw 2nds finally get a game after past weeks receiving forfeits and games washed out.
As expected with a lack of game and training sessions the boys started a little rusty, but in wet conditions played some great rugby and as the game progressed new combinations began to click. Support play was a standout for the team with several tries coming off players keeping the ball alive and great support play. In the end the Ballina boys proved too strong for the Trojans running away 41-7 victors.
Special mentions must go to the following players.
Beau Millner who lead the team onto the paddock for his 300th club game for Ballina.
Nick Brydon who slipped into the vacant half back spot. Freeing beau up to play his preferred number 8 position.
Seamus Reen for a great kicking game from fly half
Arthur Penisini who scored 2019 most talked about try (mainly only talked about by Arthur)
Points went to
3 - Sylvester
2 – Inasa
1 – Beau/ Nat
Players player – Beau (MR 300) Millner
The boys are off to Casino this weekend to take on the Casino Bulls.
Presidents Cup Report - Ballina vs Evans head match - Al Barrett because Jamie Coote has Man Flu.
Match Report for Evans Head v Ballina, 6-July kick off 2.30pm.
Went down to 2nd placed Evans Head with a reasonably inexperienced back line with a new halves combination of Jacob Buckley at 9 and Mark Pitt at 10.
Game started well for us with Danny Lickiss charging down a clearing kick to regather and score our first try in the first 2 minutes of the game.
Evans Head came back at us playing their forwards quite wide of the ruck putting a converted try and then an unconverted try on us to make the score 12-5
Later in the first half we were attacking Evans Head line through some consistent forward phase play and Ryan Hamilton managed to barge his way over to make the score 12-10
We went to the half time break 15-10 down after Evans Head kicked a penalty.
Early in the 2nd half Evans got through our defence out wide to score taking the score to 20-10.
Our Maul off the line out had been working well for us through the day always making consistent ground and it paid off for us later in the second half with 2 tries first one to Ryan Hamilton and our second try in the second half going to Harrison Murphy taking the score to 20 all late in the second half.
Unfortunately well after full time and amid a melee on the side line Evans Head managed to regather a kick through to score in the corner to win the game 25-20.
Our new halves combination under plenty of pressure played well and were very well supported by the experience of Matthew Lloyd who regularly busted Evans Head up the middle and stung them in defence.
Our forwards held their own Ryan Hamilton busted them up consistently in attack and defence, loose forwards Danny Lickiss, Michael Lord had strong games as well.
3 points and players player went to Mathew Lloyd
2 points went to Ryan Hamilton
1 point went to Danny Lickiss.
Womens 7’s - evanS head - Paul Giltrap
What a game!!!. Despite fielding only the bare 7 players, Ballina were simply superb in winning 53-10 against an enthusiastic, full strength Evans side . Each of the girls pushed themselves and each other to the limit, and for the 1st time this season never took their foot off the oppositions throat. Most of the nine tries scored were genuine team tries with the inter-passing, support play and off-loads a joy to watch.
Tazzy had arguably her best game and she along with Jerri and Montana were physically dominant in the middle of the park. As always, Mel was tireless in both attack and defence, while Gaby displayed some real speed out wide and toughness in contact. Besides bringing a new team song, Beinksy was all class across the paddock. The star of the show however, was Kiera who continues to impress, beating opponents with ease and tackling way above her size.
Lets keep the momentum going next against Casino.
Scorers; Keira (3), Taz (2), Jerri (1), Beinks (1), Gabby 1). Mel (1 try, 4 Cons).
Junior Seahorse Reports
All games washed out and with school holidays upon us, there will be no match reports for a couple of weeks. See you all when school returns.
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