Ghosts return to winning ways against Axemen
GRAFTON Ghosts returned to winning ways in Group 2 Rugby League with a 36 to 4 victory over Orara Valley Axemen.
Competitive in most of their recent outings, including a 36 to 32 win over Sawtell in round six, Orara Valley came to Frank McGuren Field with confidence. Trailing 12-4 at half-time, the visitors were very much in the contest and continued to have their fair share of opportunities.
However, handling errors proved costly while some refereeing calls went against the Axemen at crucial time.
On the contrary, the Ghosts took their opportunities to runaway in the second half and stem a two-match losing streak in the bud.
The turning point came 15 minutes into the second half. An alert Blake Winmill went for a quick tap in centre-field, earned another penalty and the back-peddling Axemen were never going to stop Ben McLennan from close range.
Flying winger Mitch Gorman continued his try-scoring frenzy adding two more to his tally for the Ghosts.
"A long 10-hour bus trip there and then a good seven hours back yesterday so it was a long weekend," Slater said. "But footy's football so I enjoy it and don't really mind.
"We knew during the week we had to get back to winning ways so it was good to come back and get the win."
GRAFTON GHOSTS 36 (Mitch Gorman 2, Todd Cameron, Khan Williams, Ben McLennan, Raih Woodley, Dylan Collett tries; Matt Muller 4 conversions) defeated ORARA VALLEY AXEMEN 4 (Hayden Spokes try) at Frank McGuren Field, Grafton.
Check out DEX sports editor Bill North's live commentary feed on Twitter @bill_north #Group2
Meanwhile Macksville upstaged Coffs Harbour 40 to 22 and Nambucca Heads also staged an upset, too good for Sawtell 52 to 30.
GRAFTON GHOSTS 36 ORARA VALLEY AXEMEN 4
SOUTH GRAFTON REBELS 42 BELLINGEN DORRIGO MAGPIES 10
MACKSVILLE SEA EAGLES 40 COFFS HARBOUR COMETS 22
NAMBUCCA HEADS ROOSTERS 52 SAWTELL PANTHERS 30
RESERVE GRADE: Grafton 32 def Orara Valley 12, South Grafton 40 def Bellingen 22, Macksville 28 def Coffs Harbour 22, Sawtell 24 def Nambucca Heads 16.
UNDER 18s: South Grafton 38 def Bellingen 18, Coffs Harbour 18 def Macksville 8, Sawtell 26 def Nambucca Heads 16.
CASINO COUGARS 44 LOWER CLARENCE MAGPIES 8
BALLINA SEAGULLS 18 MARIST BROTHERS 10
BYRON BAY RED DEVILS 32 KYOGLE TURKEYS 22
EVANS HEAD BOMBERS 52 MULLUMBIMBY GIANTS 6
CUDGEN HORNETS 36 NORTHERN UNITED 18
RESERVE GRADE: Casino 30 def Lower Clarence 20, Marist Brothers 26 def Ballina 6, Kyogle 34 def Byron Bay 16, Cudgen 12 def Northern United 8.
UNDER 18s: Lower Clarence 34 def Casino 24, Ballina 22 def Marist Brothers 16, Byron Bay 28 def Kyogle 20, Mullumbimby 22 def Evans Head 14.