Brothers key to Ballina's grand final win over Red Devils
TWO sets of brothers won back-to-back premierships with Ballina in the Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League grand final on Sunday.
Brett and Clarence Kelly played in the 17-6 win against Byron Bay along with Dylan and Kane Montgomery.
Front-rower Robby Miles won his first premiership after missing the grand final through injury last year and Greg Ryan and captain Simon Perkins have likely played their last games at the club.
Those are just some of the stories that have made 2014 one of the best for Ballina in the NRRRL.
They won back to back for the first time and won the minor premiership for the first time in 21 years.
Celebrations wrapped up late Monday night as players and supporters had plenty to cheer about.
The Seagulls won the grand final after losing five talented players from the 2013 team.
Grafton Ghosts were the last team to go back to back in 2010-2011.
"It's a very big achievement and we found it challenging being the defending premiers," Ballina coach Greg Barnes said.
"It was another big season for us but everyone really stepped up."
Eight Ballina players made the Northern Rivers representative team that played at the NSW Country Championships in June.
Five-eighth Andrew Battese, Brett Kelly and the Montgomery brothers went on to be selected for NSW Country.
"A big thing is that we had 17 local juniors in the side again," Barnes said.
"To be able to do that two years in a row when we lost five from the previous season is a massive effort.
"It's been a three-year journey to get here and we were thrilled to get the minor and major premiership along with the Denis Meaney Shield for the first time."
Grand finalists Byron Bay were worthy premiership contenders and left nothing in the tank on Sunday.
They made it to the big game from fourth and had to beat top sides Casino, Murwillumbah and Kyogle in the semi-finals just to get there.