GRAFTON Tigers wrapped up the 2012 AFL North Coast minor premiership with a 195-44 victory against Coffs Swans at Fitzroy Oval at the weekend.
The Swans, languishing at the bottom of the ladder, were expected to struggle but still their hopes of springing an upset were boosted when the Tigers were left without six of their regular starters, including the competition's leading goal kicker Lee Anderson.
However, the home side's hopes quickly faded as the Tigers raced out to an early lead and never looked threatened.
It was another hard day at the office for the Swans who could never be found guilty of not trying.
Tigers captain Daniel Zacek praised his players following the win.
"We were a bit flat before the game but the boys stood up when it counted," he said.
"Last year we lost this game and it's the only match we had lost in two years so that was in the back of our mind going into the game.
"Five or six of our regulars were missing today so it was a great chance to give some of the other guys a bit of a run and they all performed well."
An eight-goal first quarter from Grafton set the tone for the match and the visitors continued to stretch the lead at each break.
With the minor premiership wrapped up, Zacek turned his attentions to next week's bye round before a final round duel with second-placed Port Macquarie.
"Even though top spot has been decided, we are still focusing on each week as it comes," the Grafton skipper said.
"Hopefully during the bye, the boys can get over any niggling injuries and we will have a full contingent to pick from in the final round against Port."
In reserve grade, with the scores even at halftime, the Swans powered away after the main break to a convincing 74-35 victory.
With Tigers prolific goalscorer Mark Blundell suffering a possible season-ending leg injury, the premiership hopes of the Tigers reserves are not looking good.
The Tigers have the bye next week before playing Port Macquarie on August 4.
Goal kickers, Grafton: S Morrison 6, C Boehme 5, D Zacek 5, R Sheather 3, E Duryea 3, C Holder 3, R Newman 2, L Hayman, S Duroux goals. Coffs: D Dickson 3, A Munro 2, T Snow, M Pearce goals.
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