Surprises as home teams get the spoils
Coffs Swans 14.10-94 def. Sawtell/Toormina 10.6-66
Coffs Swans Best Players: Evan Duryea, Blake Ford, Shane Adams, Jason Sincock, Tristan Snow, Peter Chadwick
Sawtell/Toormina Best Players: Ben Hooke, Tristan McCormack; Daniel Johnson, Beau Matthews, Mark Couzens
The Swans showed their potential with a big second-half display to run over Grand-Finallists, the Sawtell Saints in front of a bumper crowd at Fitzroy Oval.
After a strong opening half where the Saints asserted their physicality on a youthful Swans outfit heading into half-time with a strong lead, led by recruit, Ben Hooke, the Swans rallied to kick six goals to one in the final term to outclass a Saints side many said were too individualistic.
Evan Duryea had a strong game after receiving a heavy knock early on to boot a couple of important goals late in the contest, and he was well-supported by fellow young stars, Blake Ford and Shane Adams, and veterans, Tristan Snow and Peter Chadwick. Jason Sincock was pivotal as he played his role to perfection floating across the back line stopping many of the Saints advances.
In a great advertisement for the game locally and the young talent the area possesses, it was the Swans proving their credentials, with the Saints having to go back to the drawing board to find a way to return to their dominant standing in the local competition.
Grafton 38.12-240 def. Nambucca Valley 10.7-67
Grafton Best Players: Sean Purton, Luke Hayman, Dale Beaver, Dave Gordon, Bryce Kurtzmann, Mark Blundell
Nambucca Best Players: Mick Townsend, Ray McGrath
What a difference a week makes?! Grafton after being humiliated by close to 250 points by Sawtell, have posted their first win since the early stages of last season against an insipid and dispondent Lions outfit.
Led by Sean Purton, who followed on from Steve Kreemers masterful display in the Reserves, booted 14 goals as he out-led and out-leapt his established opponents in Mick Townsend and Blake Toohey, who both tried valiantly to stop his influence.
Grafton had a monopoly in the midfield winning a strong percentage of clearances and hit-outs courtesy of Dave Gordon's strong performance and tap-work in the ruck and the youthful exurbance and ability shown by Dale Beaver, Luke Hayman and Bryce Kurtzmann, in particular. The midfield paved the way, especially in the second quarter as they put the Nambucca defence under unbearable pressure stream-lining the forward 50 on the short Ellem Oval field.
Nambucca were poor and could not stop the Tigers dominance as they became frustrated and ill-disciplined as the contest became more and more one-sided. They need more class and ability in the midfield and attack to support their suffering defence.
For Grafton, however, after the doom and gloom of the first round, they get the sweet taste of success on the same weekend Carlton broke their long-standing winless drought, and now sit just outside the Top Four in a tightly-fought start for the AFL North Coast competition.