Tigers struggle in Cross-Conference AFL opener

AUSSIE RULES: CROSS-CONFERENCE AFL made its debut in Grafton and Ballina on Saturday with two close matches and two score blow outs.

"It was a fantastic success," AFL North Coast operation coordinator Paul Taylor said.

"All eight clubs loved the concept and are eagerly looking forward to the next chance to test themselves which will come on May 21 at Round Mountain and Coffs Harbour."

At Ellem Oval, home side Grafton Tigers saved their worst half of footy for the start of their match which saw Lismore Swans establish an unassailable lead. The Tigers improved markedly in the second half and matched it with their opponents for long periods but the Swans were cleaner with their possession and disposals and stretched the winning margin to 116.

The hosts were well served by Chris Leslie, Ethan Olsen, and Blake Richards and will be better for the run.

Following the Tigers loss Port Macquarie Magpies and Tweed Coast Tigers turned on a classic.

Against the Northern Rivers reigning premiers, undermanned and sustaining injuries during the match, the Magpies showed enormous team spirit to record an against the odds victory.

They kicked five majors to nil in the first quarter, Tweed came back to within two goals.

The third quarter was an arm wrestle with Port responding every time Tweed closed the gap.

In the final quarter Tweed came within two goals, but the lion-hearted Magpies ran out the stringer to record a six-goal win.

When asked to single out his best, proud Port coach Anthony Beasley gave credit to the team overall.


Lismore Swans 20.22 (142) def Grafton Tigers 3.8 26, Port Macquarie Magpies 17.16 (118) def Tweed Coast Tigers 11.14 (80). Ballina Bombers 9.16 (70) def Coffs Harbour Breakers 9.4 (58), Byron Bay Magpies 16.16 (112) def Sawtell-Toormina Saints 2.2 (14).

Round three (Saturday)

Sawtell-Toormina v Port Macquarie (2.20pm, Richardson Park), Grafton Tigers v Coffs Breakers (5pm, Ellem Oval).

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