Redmen top four dream in tatters after Lennox loss
THE Australian Hotel Grafton Redmen have left their Far North Coast top four hopes in severe jeopardy after going down 28-23 to Lennox Head at Williams Reserve Oval on Saturday.
Grafton's season has suddenly reached desperation point and it will need to win its remaining games to challenge Lennox and Bangalow for the all- important fourth position on the table.
Grafton held the home side to 11-all at half-time but two contentious calls from the referee against the Redmen either side of the break proved decisive in the game's final analysis.
"We had a couple of crucial calls go against us just before and after half-time which didn't help," Redmen prop Beau Brotherson said after the game.
"I thought we started the game strong and finished strong but had a lapse early in the second-half," Brotherson said.
" It was a tough game and even though we lost we can hold our heads high. We never gave up and almost snatched victory at the end," he said.
"We picked up a valuable bonus point which was very important with the semis just around the corner."
Grafton boosted by the late inclusion of five-eighth Andrew Pye who was inspirational, and young gun John King was arguably Grafton's best player in a torrid and sometimes brutal encounter.
"Pysey played with busted ribs and ended up playing the entire 80-minutes…it was a gutsy effort," Brotherson said.
"Pockets (Scott Lloyd) had a blinder and Kyle (Hancock) was fantastic at the back and I thought Tom Ellem also stood out in the centres," he said.
"But John King was without doubt one of the best on the field, he was in everything."
The Redmen are away to Bangalow next week in a must win game.
A loss against the Rebels will all but end Grafton's semi-finals aspirations.