Early salvo from the Ghosts seals vital win
THE season's first Saturday night footy fixture at Frank McGuren Field doubled as one of the best games of the year.
Grafton Ghosts went into the game after a weather-enforced bye while the Marist Brothers Rams were in red-hot form after stampeding their way to three consecutive wins.
But, it was the Ghosts who were celebrating when the final whistle sounded, having prevailed 22-6.
The home side dominated the opening half, running in five unanswered tries to lead 22-0 at the break.
"We got them in the first half," Grafton captain-coach Ryan Farrell said.
"We built really good pressure and finished all of our sets. I think we had about 90% of the ball in the first 10 minutes and we made it count."
Daniel Lollback starred on the right flank for the Ghosts, bringing up his hat-trick at the half-hour mark.
"Dan was great for us. He's really starting to find some form," Farrell said.
"I think everyone did well though. We lost our two front-rowers to injury so we had blokes playing out of position.
"Tim Tilse was a bit crook before the match but had a great game when he was out there. Mitch Wicks copped a pretty hard knock to his shin but I don't think it's too serious.
"As a result we didn't have much rotation of our forwards and they had to stay out there. Adam Elliott ended up having his first game too."
Marist Brothers lifted in the second half as they attempted to claw their way back into the match.
The Ghosts, however, produced a determined defensive effort, letting in just one try.
Farrell said he believed it would not be the last time they see Marist Brothers this year.
"They are a good team," he said. "We managed to nullify a lot of their attack but I still think they'll be up there.
"They have a few good young blokes in the team who will only get better."
The Ghosts will travel to Byron Bay next week to face the Red Devils.