Grafton's hopes of winning a third successive AFL North Coast premiership were dashed by a dominant Port Macquarie outfit on Saturday.
Grafton's hopes of winning a third successive AFL North Coast premiership were dashed by a dominant Port Macquarie outfit on Saturday. Rob Wright

Tigers' three-peat dream bounces away

IT WAS NOT meant to end this way.

Adi Campbell is credited with turning the Grafton Tigers into an AFL North Coast force.

The Tigers have been described as a basket case in the past, regularly getting smashed every time they entered the playing arena.

Campbell turned that completely around when he took over in 2011, and the Tigers finally found their bite.

They charged to their first premiership flag in 2011 under Campbell's direction, before going back to back in 2012 after a 50-odd point final quarter against Sawtell-Toormina.

It was always going to be tough to make it three on the trot, and that dream was finally snuffed out on Saturday by a rampant Port Macquarie Magpies.

Campbell, who will no longer coach the Tigers after three successful years at the helm, said it was a tough year for the team, but he would depart with fond memories.

"They smashed us all over the park from the start," Campbell said.

"This year was tough. The biggest issue we had was a lack of commitment to training.

"As I said to the boys you can't win them all. Two flags are hard enough let alone three."

Port Macquarie faces Sawtell-Toormina Saints in the grand final at C.ex Coffs International Stadium this Saturday.



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