Bombers’ ace joins 200 club
NOTHING - not even a home loss - could take the gloss of a memorable day for dedicated Ballina Bombers' stalwart Jason Ross.
The back pocket ace made his 200th appearance for the Bombers in the South East Queensland AFL/Northern Rivers Division Four South clash with Lismore Swans on Saturday.
Both teams assisted the celebrations, with the Swans hosting a pre-match guard of honour for Ross.
Although his side was defeated, Ross, who also turned 43 yesterday, said he had been "honoured" by the commemorations.
"It was a really special day," he said.
"For the Lismore guys to do that was a great honour. I don't know if you'd get that in another league.
"I couldn't be prouder.
Players don't come much more committed than father-of-three Ross, who started back in his club's juniors in 1984 and is now Bombers' president.
He retired at the end of last season, but was pressed back into action due to a player shortage.
"I've actually enjoyed this year more than any other year," he said. "We have a great bunch of blokes here.
"I love my football and I love our club.
"I love this area as well. Even though we play against each other, it's a real football community.
"I will see how I feel, but I might have another year yet."
The Bombers fielded a weakened team for Saturday's match, with a finals berth already in the bag.
With a home semi-final to come next Saturday against Bond Uni, Ross said the season may become even more spectacular.
"I'm really excited," he said.
"We should have everyone on the paddock. We need to make sure we are on the ball and we get the win."
While a happy day for the Bombers. It was an ultimately miserable one for the Swans.
Despite the victory, the city side looks to have missed out on a finals berth.
The Byron Magpies-Tweed Clash was not contested due to player unavailability.