AFL NORTH COAST: Lady Breakers blast way to grand final spot
COFFS Harbour Breakers are the first team to book a spot in the 2020 women’s grand final after six straight wins tie up top spot on the ladder.
Coffs led the Northern Beaches Blues convincingly and at the first break it looked like another routine win was coming their way.
But the Blues fought back strongly in both the second and third quarters to take the match right to their highly fancied opponents.
Through this period the Blues were able to limit Breakers to one goal and by scoring three of their own, trailed by just five points at the last break.
Coffs lifted their intensity in the final term with their defence locking down the Blues while the forwards booted another three goals for the quarter to seal a 25 point victory.
Leading the way were Katika Adams (two goals), Danielle Watson, Shannon Goodenough, and Tarryn Arnold (two goals) in a performance that maintains the Breakers as Premiership favourites.
The Blues will take a great deal from this match, knowing that they cannot only compete against the top team but have the capacity to beat them if they can put together a four quarter effort to match the middle stages of this contest.
Jazlen Hooke led the scoring with two goals, while Belinda Schofield added one.
Coffs Harbour Breakers 7.4 (46) defeated Northern Beaches Blues 3.3 (21)
In the men’s competition, Grafton kept their outstanding season going with a comfortable victory over Port Macquarie Magpies.
Consistent scoring was the key for the Tigers, booting seven goals in each of the first two terms, followed by six in the third, and eight in the last.
Young Mikey Luxton led the way on this front with seven majors while Luke Stanford added four, and five other players each contributed multiples.
The game was over as a contest by half time, at which stage Grafton already led by 11 goals.
Port tried hard all day but were significantly undermanned and light on numbers. Jesse Schmidt was at his imperious best, kicking five goals in a team that was roundly beaten, with Kye Wilson adding two of his own.
Unsurprisingly, Schmidt was best on ground for the Magpies, while Nathan Cameron-Hancock and Braden Saggers both continued their fine form for the season.
Grafton Tigers 28.22 (190) defeated Port Macquarie Magpies 8.8 (56)
Coffs Harbour’s victory over Sawtell Toormina Saints has thrown the race for second place wide open, with these two teams now in a shootout to see who hosts the semi-finals in three weeks’ time.
Breakers started slowly and inaccurately, managing just four behinds in the first quarter to see the Saints out to a two-goal lead.
However, they really hit their straps in the second quarter, booting six goals and limiting their opponents to just three behinds to catch and pass the Saints on the scoreboard.
The teams went goal for goal throughout the second half but the Breakers ultimately claimed the honours by 30 points.
Breakers’ key contributors were Liam Beacom, Michael McMahon, Aidan Wallace, and Cebastian Isherwood. McMahon, Liam Dunn, and Dean Cook each kicked two goals on a day when the team’s scoring was highlighted by having nine individual goal kickers.
Daniel Pritchard was the only Sawtell player who was able to post multiple goals with two.
Coffs Harbour Breakers 12.15 (87) defeated Sawtell Toormina Saints 8.9 (57)