By DAVE MORRISON
THE Grafton Redmens' backline clicked into top gear to spearhead an entertaining 36-10, six-try to two win over Wollongabr in Saturday's Far North Coast Rugby action at South Grafton.
The Grafton backline was dangerous all day, and capitalised on a heavy first half possession advantage provided by their pack to set up a match winning 26-0 first half lead, four tries sealing a valuable bonus point by the break for oranges.
The mid-field trio of Jon Chevalley, Paul Allen and Matt Coombs dominated the game, with Allen's standout attacking performance perfectly complementing the easy to under estimate but telling defence of Chevalley and Coombs.
The game was just three minutes old when fullback Justin Spurway sliced through to score after good lead up work by his inside men.
Just a few minutes later, it was Chevalley's turn to score, finishing off a 60m counter attack, a fine example of running rugby.
Wollongbar regrouped somewhat after these early setbacks, and despite little ball, held Grafton at bay for almost half an hour.
However, it seemed that Grafton's dominance up front would inevitably result in more points or later.
That proved to be the case in the five minutes before the break. First, lock Mark Robinson crashed over after some telling pick and drive play from the Grafton forwards close to the line.
If that did not seal the result, Chevally's individual effort to score under the posts moments later effectively settled the winner.
It looked like being more of the same to come in the second stanza when Robinson finished off a rolling maul to score his second.
From that point however, the game meandered for a while, Grafton losing their urgency and Wollongbar lifting to try to regain some credibility.
The visitors got reward for their efforts with two, well constructed tries.
Fittingly it was man-of-the-match Allen who completed to scoring with a fine try, bursting through on the quarter line to score wide out.
The whole Grafton backline played well, with wingers Tom Gerrard and Brad Lloyd adding finish out wide.
Flanker Paul Cameron continued his form, once more being the most effective on baller on the paddock.
The Redmen Seconds went down in a nail biter, 15-18, a late penalty breaking a deadlock in a game where little separated the sides all day.
Grafton's Thirds were plucky against a far bigger Byron Bay side, the 19-0 score line not a true reflection of the game.