Grafton sweeps Group 2 with premierships in all three grades
THREE grand finals, three premiership wins.
Grafton Ghosts and South Grafton Rebels combined to make it a perfect day for the Jacaranda City at today's Group 2 grand finals.
They did it the hard way but the Grafton Ghosts won a memorable first grade premiership in their first year back in the competition.
The Ghosts held a 16-6 lead at the break, but Coffs Comets overcame the sin-binning of second-rower Alex Hull to level the score at 16-all at the fulltime.
Grafton opted to kick off extra time, and after a few sets with little attacking opportunities the Ghosts earned a penalty about 42m out.
Despite an off day with the boot, Ghosts centre Matt Muller told captain-coach Ryan Farrell he had the distance, and Farrell pointed to the sticks.
The ball left Muller's boot sweetly and sailed through the sticks, sending the Grafton crowd in raptures.
FULLTIME: GRAFTON GHOSTS 18 (Hartmann, Cameron, Binge tries; Muller 3/5 goals) def COFFS COMETS 16 (Lefauseo, Irwin, Meadows tries; Curry 2/3 goals)
Grafton Ghosts had never won a reserve grade premiership in their 51 years, but there was no way this side were willing to go quietly.
The Ghosts only led Coffs Comets 10-6 at half time, but the home blew the opposition off the park as the Comets capitulated.
In all, three Comets were sin-binned and one was sent off as the Ghosts ran home comfortable 30-10 winners.
The premiership win marked the first time the Ghosts won a reserve grade title, and most likely the last game captain-coach Phil Warby played.
The veteran centre has intended to retire the last two seasons, but returned after suffering grand final losses.
FULLTIME: GRAFTON GHOSTS 30 (C Stewart 2, Winmill, Winters, Sullivan, Ryan tries; Fahey 2, Ryan goals) def COFFS COMETS 10 (Dowdy, Hull tries; Slater goal).
South Grafton Rebels got the day off to a perfect start by making history of their own.
The club had never won an under-18s premiership, and had a chance to celebrate the 100th year of rugby league in South Grafton in the grand final against Sawtell Panthers.
The Rebels blew the Panthers off the park, with prop Austin Cooper scoring three tries as he and his teammates terrorised their opponents.
Sawtell showed plenty of fight in the second half but their efforts were rendered futile as the Rebels ran out convincing 36-4 winners.
FULLTIME: SOUTH GRAFTON REBELS 36 (Cooper 3, N McGrady, Rigg, Thompson, Nagle tries; N McGrady 4 goals) def SAWTELL PANTHERS 4 (Morecombe try)