RUGBY LEAGUE: Comets shoot to grand final glory
RUGBY LEAGUE: Coffs Harbour Comets leader Brandon Costin has become one of the oldest playing coaches to clinch a first grade grand final in Country Rugby League history.
At 46 years young, Costin was front and centre as the Comets racked up a memorable 30-14 grand final victory at Geoff King Motors Oval.
A double to runaway lock Steven Spencer put the full stop on what was a stellar season for the former Sawtell Panthers leader.
The Comets started the grand final in the same fashion they started each game this season working their way through the middle of the opposition. It was strong carry after strong carry from the Comets big men in the middle led by Group 2 Player of the Year Matt Cheeseman.
But with the tryline in sight, it would actually be a piece of silky ball skills from Comets lock Steve Spencer that would produce the first points of the Group 2 grand final.
Standing at first receiver Spencer took the ball to the line before turning at the last second to offload to electric five-eighth Simon Brittain-Snowden out the back.
In almost identical fashion to their opening try against the Grafton Ghosts in the major semi-final, the five-eighth sliced through the defensive line to open the Comets account.
Despite points coming in the opening 10 minutes for the Comets, the grand final soon settled into a heavy-hitting battle of tug-o-war between the two sides.
The spirited Sea Eagles outfit were defending their hearts out, but it would all be in vain after the Comets crafty dummy-half Kerrod Selmes drove his way over from dummy-half to extend the lead.
It was a brutal opening 40 minutes punctuated by heavy contact and half breaks, but the Comets would enjoy the comfort of a 10-0 lead at the main break.
The home side resumed the second half in the same way they finished the first half with Spencer scoring a well-earned four pointer to stretch the lead.
The momentum of the clash swung early in the second half after an attempted 40/20 off the boot of Nathan Curry sailed over the touchline on the full. Macksville wasn't going to let its first attacking opportunity slip through the fingers, with interchange forward James Weimer barging his way across the stripe.
The Sea Eagles were invited back into the Comets red zone after a Cheeseman knock on early in the set and again they were keen to make the home side pay.
After back-to-back penalties on the Comets line, the defence finally cracked with Sea Eagles centre Kaji Buchanan diving over the line.
While Macksville appeared to be fighting back late in the game they would ultimately be put to rest by the boot of Nathan Curry, with back-to-back long range kicks giving the Comets prime field position.
With the Comets earning possession back and the clock ticking over into the final 10 minutes, it would be a fitting moment as Cheeseman put the final nail in the coffin with a try under the sticks.
A late try to Sea Eagles centre Kaji Buchanan brought up his double and reduced the deficit but it was not enough for the Sea Eagles to earn a fairytale finish to the season.
Spencer would ice the premiership victory with a breakaway try on the final siren to seal a historic victory for the Comets.
SCOREBOARD: Coffs Harbour Comets 30 (Steven Spencer 2, Simon Brittain-Snowden, Kerrod Selmes, Matt Cheeseman tries; Nathan Curry 4, Snowden goals) def Macksville Sea Eagles 14 (Kaji Buchanan 2, James Weimer tries; Jack Ireland goal)