Connor's late goal seals long awaited Grafton City title
A FRUSTRATING three-year journey is finally over for Grafton City.
City has consistently been one of the top teams in the North Coast Football 2nd Division North competition, featuring in the finals for the past three years.
They have however always fallen at the final hurdle as seasons that began full of promise ended in heartache.
City's torment is finally over after they fought back from an early deficit to beat Yamba Breakers 2-1 in the grand final at Rushforth Park on Saturday.
City coach Tony Blanch, complete with his sensational sparkling blue hat, said his team deserved the win.
"That's three years we've been there but haven't been able to go all the way," he said.
"We lost the grand final last year and we made the semis before that.
"The guys deserve it."
City dominated possession in Saturday's decider but it amounted to nothing early as wayward strikes or poor play spoiled their chances.
The Breakers created only a handful of opportunities but in the 39th minute Brock Ryan deflected the ball into the net to deliver a 1-0 advantage.
Blanch's half-time address worked a treat for City who presented a much more controlled performance in the second stanza.
City striker James Connor became the club's grand final hero with two goals in the second stanza, including one in the 88th minute.
"Jimmy was outstanding up front," Blanch said.
"We lacked a bit of finishing power after dominating in the first half. Jimmy, Keith Grant, Michael Fletcher and Nathan Blanch all had great games."
Earlier, Iluka completed the fairytale after beating Maclean Bobcats 3-0 in the 3rd Division North grand final.
Iluka finished fourth at the end of the regular season and were outside chances to feature on the final day.