Ghosts success built on Big D
MELEES, heavy hits, sin bins and injuries - yesterday's major semi-final between Grafton Ghosts and Coffs Comets had it all.
The Group 2 heavyweights traded punches like two champion prizefighters, neither side allowing easy inches as they fought for supremacy.
After 80 minutes it was the Ghosts who stood tall as victors by knockout, earning the right to host the August 24 grand final.
The Ghosts built much of their preparation around defence, with both first and reserve grade sides working hard to ensure they kept their shape against the toughest of challengers.
It worked perfectly, as first grade captain-coach Ryan Farrell lauded his side's effort after fulltime.
"Our defence was unreal," Farrell said.
"We were great all over the field. There are a few things we have to work on but it was solid."
It will be the 14th grand final the Ghosts have contested in their 51-season history.
Three players were sinbinned after a wild melee in the 37th minute, with Ghost Aaron Hartmann joined by Coffs pair Alex Hull and Dennis Gordon in the sheds.
Coffs coach Col Speed gave credit to the Ghosts but admitted his side had a lot to work on.
The Comets will face Sawtell Panthers in next week's preliminary final at Geoff King Motors Oval, after the Panthers eliminated Woolgoolga Seahorses 36-28 in Saturday's minor semi-final.
"We'll assess the injuries during the week and see how we are," Speed said.
"It was disappointing how we didn't stick to the gameplan. We have to focus to be ready for Sawtell."