Saints the side to beat?
Sawtell 26.24-180 def. Coffs Swans 2.4-16
Goal Kickers: B. Hooke 9, J. Gillingham 3, D. Pritchard 3, J. Hardy 2, L. Cohen 2, E. Schmitt 2, T. Matthews, L. Matthews, M. Couzens, M. Bibby, D. Johnson
Best Players: D. Pritchard, D. Carey, M. Couzens, J. Gillingham, T. Matthews, B. Hooke
Goal Kickers: S. Turner, L. Maher
Best Players: S. Turner, S. Phillips, B. Wyld, R. Eddy.
Sawtell have staked their claims for favouritism in the AFL North Coast competition after annihilating the Coffs Swans at Fitzroy Oval.
The Saints were never troubled as they led from start to finish. Daniel Pritchard enjoyed his best game of the season for the Saints, with experience shining through in their dominance of the contest.
The home side were unable to combat Sawtell’s monopoly in the centre with Todd Matthews and Mark Couzens providing well to Ben Hooke who finished with nine majors.
With the match effectively over at half-time, the Swans dark day got worse as they failed to kick a goal in the second half. Sam Turner was the best for the red and whites, and along with Sam Phillips and Ben Wyld, battled manfully for the losing side depleted by injury.
The win sets up an enticing clash against the undefeated Kangaroos at the Leisure Park on Saturday.
North Coffs 23.19-157 def. Port Macquarie 7.1-43
Goal Kickers: J. O'Connor 5, D. Funston 5, S. Dawes 3, T. Merrick 2, T. Heather 2, M. Crispe 2, A. Rhodes, R. Wood, T. Cook, B. Norton
Best Players: D. Funston, B. Giri, M. Quinlan, S. Dawes, J. O'Connor, T. Heather
Goal Kickers: S. Payne 2, S. Williams, D. Rider, A. Bagnall, A. Beasley, C. Miechel
Best Players: M. Lill, D. Nankervill, D. McNeill, T. Donohoe, A. Bagnall
It was a similar story across town with North Coffs never in doubt against a stretched Port Magpies outfit.
Darren Funston was superb and reaping the benefits of a strong pre-season with an energetic performance, which included five goals. Brad Giri and Sam Dawes shared the midfield dominance, as Matthew Quinlan continued his form in the ruck for the Kangaroos.
Port, without a reserves bench, was competitive with Matthew Lill doing his best to close down the ‘Roos Rolls Royce midfield. Dean Nankervill was a strong aerial target but inevitably the side was outclassed in terms of depth.
The missing pieces seem to be coming together for the current top side with Jordan O’Connor again a target up forward with five goals.
Grafton 17.11-113 def. Nambucca Valley 14.6-90
Goal Kickers: S. Purton 5, G. Blackwell 4, D. Beaver 3, D. Zacek 3, Z. Edwards, D. McGregor
Best Players: T. Whalan, D. Zacek, S. Purton, R. Sheather, P. Rathby, D. McGregor
Goal Kickers: R. McGrath 3, J. Saker 3, J. Ellis-Cluff 2, M. Schmidt 2, D. Linares 2, J. Angel, J. Boatfield
Best Players: M. Schmidt, J. Angel, J. Ellis-Cluff, L. Benson, R. McGrath, H. Schmidt
Grafton survived a scare in holding off a resurgent Nambucca Valley at Ellem Oval.
Trailing by two goals at half-time, a four-goal third term gave the Lions a chance of a rare victory before a flying finish from the Tigers.
Shawn Purton returned with five goals, with Tim Whalan and Daniel Zacek again playing well in the centre.
The bad news to come from Grafton’s win is reports that gun recruit; Tim Davis succumbed to a season-ending knee injury.
Monty Schmidt and Jim Angel were Nambucca’s best as the side kicked their highest score of the season. Ray McGrath and Justin Saker presented well up forward, with Jed Ellis-Cuff giving the Lions a glimpse of the talent at their disposal.
With the desired four points in hand, Grafton are in a position to seal their spot in the top four with a win over the Swans this weekend.