Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

Ballina on Top after a Determined Win; Seahorses Edge out Lennox

Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

Ballina on Top after a Determined Win; Seahorses Edge out Lennox

Article excerpt

Byline: Mitchell Craig

BALLINA is on top of the ladder for the first time this season after a hard-fought 27-19 win over Lennox Head in Far North Coast rugby union at Williams Reserve, Lennox Head, on Saturday.

The Seahorses were in control for most of the first half, up 7-0, but found themselves chasing after the break following back-to-back tries to Lennox Head.

A determined effort saw Ballina flanker Stan Lolohea force his way over from directly in front while fullback Joel Staude finished the game with a try-scoring double.

"There was a bit of pressure on us at certain points but I'm happy with how we responded," Ballina coach Chris Hickey said.

"It's getting down to the business end of the season and it was important for us to see where we were at.

"We probably wasted a few opportunities but in the end we were good enough to win.

"They came back at us multiple times and it was everything you would expect from a top-of-the-table clash.

"We're not getting too far ahead of ourselves, there is still plenty to work on."

The win puts Ballina in the box seat to make a charge towards the minor preimership and a home semi-final with a catch-up game against Casino still to be played.

Captain Andrew Burke led from the front on Saturday with solid contributions also from front-rower Staude and Sam Pearce.

"Andrew has played consistently well for a long time but even by his standards he was fantastic in this game," Hickey said.

"Joel is still new to the full- back position but he's definitely getting more comfortable there."

In other games:

A rare try-scoring double to second-rower Matt Scott highlighted a 36-21 win for Wollongbar-Alstonville over Byron Bay at the Byron Bay Recreation Ground.

It was an important win for the Pioneers coming off a bad run of injuries and consecutive losses.

Casino kept its semi-final chances alive by defeating Southern Cross University 31-17 at Albert Park, Casino. …

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