Footy plays second fiddle as clubs support the community

Results in the matches between Coffs Harbour Breakers and Sawtell Toormina Saints were the support act as outstanding support for the broader community took centre stage at Fitzroy Oval. This isn’t to say that the on-field action in the local derby was any less competitive than usual, rather that the events conducted around the matches took the occasion to another level.

The Breakers wore a specially designed lime green uniform in recognition of the Black Dog Institute, with post-match sales of these garments and raffle proceeds netting over $5,700 for the mental health charity. The Saints sported lime green armbands in their own acknowledgment of the need to create a mentally healthier world, whilst also wearing the colours of the Aboriginal flag as a tribute to NAIDOC Week.

On the field, the Breakers continued on their winning way with a 46 point victory over their fierce rivals.

The damage was done in a first half that was characterised by the Breakers run and carry which was compounded by Sawtell errors that regularly turned the ball over in critical areas.

Chris Frangos set the tone with several intercept marks across the half back line. His dash opened the game up on numerous occasions and his ball usage created frequent scoring opportunities for forwards Shaydan Close and Ben Gibbeson.

The second half was a much more even affair as the Saints eliminated errors and played a more direct brand of footy. The younger brigade featuring the likes of Angus Anderson, Tyler Donovan, Ronan Singleton, and Alex Pyke continue to show their worth at this level as their combination and influence continues to evolve.

Shaydan Close finished the match with six goals for the Breakers, Nick Stanlan-Velt had four, and Ben Gibbeson celebrated his contribution to the off field activities with three first half goals.

The Saints scoring charge was led by Jordan Perks with three goals, while Lachlan Draper-Bell was the only other multiple goal kicker with two.

Coffs Harbour Breakers 17.18 (120) defeated Sawtell Toormina Saints 12.2 (74)

 The understrength Port Macquarie Magpies kept the pressure on the Breakers at the top of the ladder with a comfortable win over the Grafton Tigers.

With a number of players missing, many of the Magpies who made the trip north found themselves having to double up between Reserves and Seniors. Despite this they still had too much class for the Tigers who were missing key players of their own in Kade Bagnall and Ronan Leslie to injury and illness respectively.

Port were dominant in the first half, using the Reserve Grade match as their warm-up and striking hard before legs got heavy and bodies fatigued. They kept the Tigers scoreless in the first quarter whilst posting seven goals of their own, then backed this up in the second term with a further five goals against one for Grafton.

The Tigers turned in their best performance of the match through the third quarter but couldn’t match it with Port who won the term by six goals to two. The fatigue felt by both teams was visibly evident in the last term as the pace went out of the match and the number of stoppages increased.

Ryan Barnett had five goals for Port, Cooper Pascoe kicked four, Brice Hayward three, and Matt Clarke and Kye Wilson contributed two apiece.

The Tigers goals were kicked by Evan Whitty, Clancy O’Neill, James Green, and Lochie Gough with one each.

Port Macquarie Magpies 21.15 (141) defeated Grafton Tigers 4.4 (28)

A report on the Women’s competition will appear online on Tuesday (9 July).

For full results click here.