Local derby result builds intrigue ahead of Finals

Photo: Brad Greenshields, Coffs Coast Advocate

Sawtell Toormina Saints claimed local derby honours this season by beating Coffs Harbour Breakers in three of their five meetings, but Breakers have won the last two head to head clashes and move towards the Finals confident of their chances against their fiercest rival.

The scene is set for at least one gripping Finals encounter between these two teams, with only Port Macquarie standing in the way of these rivals meeting in a third consecutive Grand Final.

Breakers claimed the win on the back of a spirited second half comeback having trailed by three goals at quarter time and four goals at the main break. Whatever coach Kevin Wilson had to say at half time certainly did the trick with Breakers reducing the deficit to just one goal at the last break before finishing the job in the last term where they outscored the Saints by seven goals to two to record an impressive 26 point win.

The Breakers all round team performance was highlighted in the goal kicking, with ten individuals all hitting the scoreboard, and five of these players recording multiple majors. Royce Close and Luke Valdes each kicked three goals, with Nick Stanlan-Velt, Liam Paige and Jacob Sincock adding two apiece in what was the Breakers most productive and complete effort in front of goal all season.

For Sawtell, Mitch Napier and Jim Angel matched the efforts of Close and Valdes with three goals each, but a lack of further contributors of multiple goals was a key difference to the outcome.

These teams next meet in three weeks’ time in the Qualifying Semi where a spot in the Grand Final goes on the line.

Coffs Harbour Breakers 17.7 (109) defeated Sawtell Toormina Saints 12.11 (83)

A depleted Breakers Women’s team was unable to back up last week’s maiden win, going down by 32 points to Sawtell Toormina Saints.

The Breakers were competitive throughout the first half and only trailed by a point at quarter time and seven points at the half. A strong third quarter performance by the Saints saw them kick two straight goals and hold the Breakers scoreless, setting the scene for victory as they went to the last break with a healthy 19 point lead.

Breakers lifted again in the final term to register another major but Sawtell took the honours in this period, and with it the competition points, as they posted a further three goals.

Keira Bassett was her usual reliable avenue to goal for the Saints, kicking four majors for the match. Kacee Uikelotu, Alana Hanson, and Fiona Lane provided valuable back-up with one goal apiece.

Breakers goal kickers were the dependable Remi Banuelos and Laura Young, who is finding fitness and form after a belated start to the season.

Sawtell Toormina Saints 7.5 (47) defeated Coffs Harbour Breakers 2.3 (15)