Tigers taken apart by Magpies
ONLY a major catastrophe will see Port Macquarie Magpies fall outside the top two on the North Coast AFL ladder before the finals start in three week's time after they crunched the Grafton Tigers on Saturday.
Giving up a home game to take on Grafton in neutral territory to avoid excessive travel between the two clubs, the Magpies virtually did as they pleased after an even start to run away impressive 112-point victors.
Gaining control of the midfield through the classy Daniel Butterfield, Port began to gradually draw away and it was a nine goal to nil third term that put the result beyond doubt.
Up forward John Bain and Jesse Schmidt were waxing and both had a day out finishing with eight each, but they still couldn't get the reward of best afield honours.
Butterfield was clearly best on the paddock as he amassed more than 35 possessions.
Grafton were not without hope, but every time perennial solid performers Mark Blundell and Scott Onus pushed the ball forward, the brick wall that is Clayton Miechel repelled their efforts.
Port's captain-coach Matt Newton was happy with the performance despite the slow start to get out of the blocks.
"We perform well against the good sides, and it took us a while to get going today," he said.
"No doubt we were the stronger side and it was a very disciplined effort today as we look towards finals action."