Ghosts come up big with derby day glory
RUGBY LEAGUE: The Grafton Ghosts could not be stopped at McKittrick Park on Sunday afternoon as they ran out 48-18 winners over arch-rivals South Grafton Rebels.
Mitchell Gorman scored four first-half tries for the Ghosts and, once the visitors found the lead, they didn't look back despite a late push from the Rebels.
As anticipated, the opening stages were full of huge hit-ups and cautious plays but as the nerves settled the Ghosts started to take control of the game.
Gorman opened the scoring inside the first few minutes after bursting through from a lovely set-up play.
Before too long, the skilful Ghosts man was crossing for his third for the afternoon as the Rebels struggled to find any breathing room against their well-drilled opponents.
Tim Rigg looked to spark a comeback for the Rebels after finding a rare gap in the Ghosts backline but Joel Moss answered back almost immediately for the visitors with a strong finish after a great set-up pass from Danny Wicks.
Ghosts captain-coach Wicks added to the Rebels' misery with a trademark run of his own as the points started racking up for the visitors.
Grafton started the second half with the same intentions as Matt Muller crossed the line in a matter of minutes.
The Rebels weren't going to go down without a fight and Lewis Cooper took matters into his own hands with a quick-fire runaway try.
The home side continued to push despite the large gap on the board between the two sides and it was clear that pride was on the line.
Grafton will be unhappy with the way that they finished the game as they let the Rebels cross the line once more to bring the margin back to 30 points.
Tempers were put to the test as the disappointment started to show within the Rebels' ranks and a number of players saw time in the sin-bin throughout the affair.
But the game was kept under control as the rivals held back from delivering any unnecessary blows to their counterparts.
Both sides saw players battered and bruised after yet another cross-river derby and South Grafton's Austin Cooper looks set for some time on the sidelines as he was helped off the field late in the game.
Grafton will jump to second on the Group 2 first grade ladder with the big win providing a bonus for the side's for and against.
South Grafton now drop down to fifth place.