Rams still in hunt

DEFENCE STRETCHED: An Italo Stars defender tries the shirt tackle.
DEFENCE STRETCHED: An Italo Stars defender tries the shirt tackle.

THE Stars were definitely aligned for the underdogs in Friday night's Summer Youth League round.

A win for the SAE Byron Bay squad would have seen the young Rams a step closer to a third consecutive championship, but a beautifully-bent free kick from Italo Stars and an unfortunate own goal from Byron managed to upend the whole competition.

The Byron boys fought back hard, but in a fast and at times physical struggle, the Byron boys could not break through the Stars defence.

A goal from late sub James Preston put Byron on the board, but the score remained stuck at Italo 2, Byron 1 right to the whistle.

Byron's only loss this season could have meant the end of their championship hopes, but a simultaneous upset over at Crozier Oval saw rivals Lismore Workers go down 4-1 to a determined Alstonville squad.

With Byron and Workers both getting their first taste of defeat, the competition has suddenly heated up, with four teams now in contention for the title.

Byron must beat Lismore's very tough Thistles squad next Friday to take the title.

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