Ballina Bombers blow five-goal lead against rampant Tweed
BALLINA had a five-goal lead before eventually being run down in the local Aussie rules preliminary final against Tweed Coast Tigers.
The Bombers could not hold off a rampant Tigers who won the game by five points (11-14-80 to 11-9-75).
Tweed kicked eight goals to three after halftime to qualify for their sixth consecutive grand final.
Byron Bay is undefeated and will host the grand final at Ewingsdale on Saturday.
Captain Ash Gemmil proved to be the X-factor for the Tigers, kicking five goals and joining John Weston, Sam Edwards and Josh Edwards as Tweed's best.
Jacob Secomb also chipped in with three majors.
William Walker led the scoring for Ballina with four goals while club-leading goal-kicker Timothy Price and Ryan Seymour both managed two apiece.
Patty Bulzomi followed up his three goals against Lismore last weekend with an impressive performance, being named as the Bombers' best.
After originally leading by a slender eight points at the first change, the Tigers surrendered that lead in a flash.
The Bombers kicked out to a 30-point margin on the back of a seven-goal second quarter, wrestling back control of the penultimate match at the main break.
Almost a carbon copy from their only meeting this season in June when the Bombers led by 47 points at halftime.
Tweed came storming back in the premiership quarter to trail by a single kick at the final change.
Ballina held on back in June to win by 12 points, but could not maintain their slim lead on this occasion, eventually succumbing by five points.
The Tigers now turn their attention to gaining revenge for the heavy defeat to Byron in the qualifying final last weekend.