GHOSTS SEE RED: Rebels roll on to reserve grade grand final
RUGBY LEAGUE: The South Grafton Rebels pulled of an almighty upset to eliminate minor premiers Grafton Ghosts 18-14 in the reserve grade preliminary final.
A Ghosts red card marred the afternoon for the hosts as the Rebels took advantage with three tries including a Steve Kirby brace.
South Grafton got off to a hot start picking up the first try of the day through veteran Kirby after he bashed his way through the Ghosts backline.
It didn't take long for Grafton to hit back though, when youngster James Martin returned serve just two minutes later with a flashy breakaway try.
The half rolled on in true Grafton derby style with some massive hits from both sides leaving some players looking worse for wear.
South Grafton took their chance to open the gap with a penalty kick half way through the first period before Andrew Kapeen turned on the turbo to take the lead to 8-points.
Tempers started to reach boiling point but the referee was quick to take charge sending Kyran Heron off with a red card as well as putting Craig Waters in the sin bin.
The Ghosts did their best to stay in the game with a brilliant close-quarters kick and gather from Cameron Stewart to put him in and through.
Rebels forward Kirby found his second of the afternoon with a steaming run to boulder through the Grafton defence half way through the second half.
The back and forth continued when Martin made a flying run to go the length of the field and was wrapped up before Riley Taylor made the Rebels pay on the next play.
Grafton thought they'd bagged another when Brayden Lollback crossed the line out wide but the pass was ruled forward.
The resilient Rebels will hope to continue a dream finals run as they go on to play the Sawtell Panthers in the grand final at Geoff King Motors Sports Complex next Sunday.