Senior Competition starts to even out
If Port Macquarie Magpies plan was to fly under the radar in the early rounds of the competition they ruined that for themselves when they beat defending premiers Coffs Harbour Breakers by 6 goals.
New coach Russell Dawson must be pleased with the way the team has responded since the opening round loss. Most pleasing in Saturday’s win would have been the all-round contribution, highlighted by the team having nine individual goal kickers. Sam Johnson booted 11 goals in the previous round but was held to just one by the Breakers, so Fraser Carroll and Jesse Schmidt stepped up and kicked three apiece, whilst Brice Hayward and Tom Marmo added two each to reinforce the team contribution.
An opening quarter goal blitz saw Port kick seven goals straight against two for the Breakers and this set up the victory for the Magpies. They were able to extend the lead in both the second and third quarters, going to the last break with a 48 point lead and the only disappointment will be that they took their foot off the accelerator and allowed Breakers to win the final term.
Nick Stanlan-Velt was the Breakers leading avenue to goal once again to post four majors. Jacob Sincock added two on his return from the Swans Reserves, whilst Adon Thompson and Shaydan Close were the only other players to get their names in the scorebook.
Despite sitting on one win and two losses Breakers coach Kevin Wilson won’t be hitting the panic button just yet as he knows that he had quality players missing from the line-up again this week and will be looking forward to getting the full roster on the park.
Port Macquarie Magpies 15.7 (97) defeated Coffs Harbour Breakers 8.13 (61)
The Senior win capped off a great day for the Port Macquarie club as they recorded a clean sweep of the four matches. A key highlight of the day was the Women’s team getting off the mark in the first competitive fixture to be staged in Port.
Former University of Queensland player Cambridge McCormick made her debut in black and white and led the team around the park brilliantly. She received great support from another tall in Anishah Burnes, with both players kicking one goal, while Fiona Bagley was chief scorer with three goals.
Whilst Breakers were disappointed with the result there was cause for celebration with Hannah McDonald becoming the first player to kick a goal for the team. The last quarter was the Breakers’ best performance to date and this gives them plenty to build upon in the coming weeks.
Port Macquarie Magpies 6.6 (42) defeated Coffs Harbour Breakers 1.3 (9)
Grafton Tigers are still chasing the elusive first win of the season but look as though they may have turned a corner with their effort against Sawtell Toormina Saints.
The Tigers held a 12 point lead at half time, and a 5 point lead at the last break, but Sawtell finished with an eight goal final term to escape with a 35 point win.
Sawtell were missing Mitch Napier who had been a standout in the first two rounds so it fell to players such as Danniel Johnson, Todd Fagan (four goals), and Jordan Perks (three goals) to lead the last quarter fight back. The win keeps Sawtell’s momentum going, whilst the hard fought nature of it means that coach Brandt Lee won’t have to spend too much time keeping a lid on expectations.
For Grafton, it was the senior leaders that really stood up in this encounter. Captain/Coach Chris Curthoys was a standout performer, including two goals, whilst last season’s coach Luke “Mr Footy” Stanford showed everyone what the club missed last week when he played for the Swans Reserves with another outstanding performance which was capped by three goals.
Grafton are heading in the right direction. The result gives a much needed confidence boost to the Tigers young brigade who have stepped up from last year’s Under 18 and are starting to find their feet at this level.
Sawtell Toormina Saints 14.17 (101) defeated Grafton Tigers 10.6 (66)
For full results click here.