Pies challenge ladder leader but come up short

Port Macquarie's Kye Taylor gathers possession against the Coffs Breakers. Photo: Green Shoots Marketing

THE Coffs Breakers were forced to come from behind against Port Macquarie to maintain its unbeaten record.

The Breakers trailed by 12 points at half time after Port Macquarie kicked five goals in the second term and when Max Mangan kicked the first goal of the third term, the Magpies led by 16 points.

Braden Saggers, even though he was ill and posted in a permanent role, was a constant thorn for the Breakers defence and his three goals and involvement in several others was the catalyst for Port’s hot term.

The Breakers were challenged by coach Kevin Wilson at half time to lift and from the time Mangan kicked his goal, the home team did kicking the next seven goals without reply to practically ice the result.

“The first half was disappointing, the second half was really good, we got back to the structure that we needed to play,” Wilson said.

“I think the first half the boys just weren’t enjoying it, it seemed like a bit of a chore and I just said ‘it’s about enjoying ourselves, have fun, let’s go out and have fun’. I think that worked better in the second half.”

Angus Wood and Darcy Homan collected plenty of possessions for Coffs while being married clearly agrees with Jake Hayes as he returned from his wedding a week ago to kick three goals.

Port Macquarie coach Matt Clarke said the loss was disappointing but there were positives to take away from the defeat.

“We’ve got a young side right now and they just don’t know that feeling of having to dig deep to get that last quarter effort,” Clarke said.

“There were some young guys that stood out but just as a team you could tell the energy had been sucked out, they’re not aware of the momentum change within a game. Just because a team gets three goals up like we were up after half time, it didn’t stop them (Coffs Breakers) coming out and getting up three goals.

“Once we learn that that momentum can come back our way, and we’ve got to maximise it when it does, we’ll be fine, we’ll win that game.”

COFFS BREAKERS 14.13 (97) def PORT MACQUARIE 10.14 (74)

Reserves: Coffs Breakers 14.9 (93) def Port Macquarie 3.7 (25)

Under-17s: Coffs Breakers 13.6 (84) def Sawtell/Toormina 10.8 (68)

Max Mangan kicks a goal early in the third term against the Coffs Breakers. Photo: Green Shoots Marketing

SAWTELL/TOORMINA has just completed a hellish couple of weeks.

Last week it was a trip to Port Macquarie for the seniors and reserves while the under-17s played in Tamworth. On Saturday it was a road trip north to Lismore while the under-17s played in Coffs Harbour.

Both matches have ended up in losses by more than 100 points.

The Lismore Swans were able return to the winner’s list at Oakes Oval with a resounding 110-point victory and maintain their healthy percentage which is the highest in the competition.

The Saints travelled to Lismore with 17 players and the Swans were sporting in dropping a player off the field and making the contest 17-on-17.

The trouble for Sawtell/Toormina was a couple of injuries in the first half meant they had to play after the major break two men down.

Usually the Saints have several under-17s players who back up and play in the seniors. Over the past two weeks the Saints have been unable to rely on the star under-17s contributing to the senior cause.

Word has it the fortunes at Sawtell/Toormina are about to improve dramatically and what they’ve produced over the past two weeks isn’t indicative of their full potential which the Saints are looking to unleash in the second half of the season.

LISMORE SWANS 20.16 (136) def SAWTELL/TOORMINA 3.8 (26)

Northern Beaches had a solid win against Casino. File photo: Green Shoots Marketing

THE Casino Lions are yet to notch up a win but they’re getting closer.

Northern Beaches were too strong for Casino on Saturday but there were positive signs for the Lions.

For the second week in a row Casino kicked the first goal of the match, this time it was 16 year-old Brady Noll who earned the honour.

“We keep improving, we’re getting better every week,” Casino Lions coach Rod McKey said.

“There’s still a few coach killers and a few mistakes being made but it’s not through a lack of effort or lack of heart from the players.”

McKey was impressed with Athol Williams-Torrens who kicked three goals while Liam Fitzpatrick and Steve Formaggin also played well.

For the Blues the result was their third win in a row and coach Rory Evans was happy to keep the momentum going.

“We had a lot of scoring shots yet we didn’t make the most of our opportunities. But we got the four points and we’re still ticking along with only one loss so far this season,” Evans said.

The Duryea brothers Fraser and Evan headed the goal kicking list for the victors.

NORTHERN BEACHES 13.17 (95) def CASINO LIONS 3.8 (26)


Coffs Breakers 6 6 0 0 100 630 341 184.75
Northern Beaches 5 3 1 1 70.00 353 267 132.21
Lismore Swans 6 4 0 2 66.67 782 345 226.67
Grafton 6 3 1 2 58.33 511 320 159.69
Port Macquarie 6 3 0 3 50.00 576 458 125.76
Sawtell/Toormina 5 2 0 3 40.00 249 368 67.66
Nambucca Valley 6 1 0 5 16.67 179 470 38.09
Casino Lions 6 0 0 6 0.00 163 854 19.09

Port Macquarie congratulates Braden Saggers after he kicked one of his three goals against the Coffs Breakers. Photo: Green Shoots Marketing

ROUND 7 FIXTURE – Saturday, June 5

NORTHERN BEACHES vs PORT MACQUARIE at Centennial Oval, Woolgoolga
(11.50am – Women; 1.20pm – Reserves; 2.50pm – Seniors)
NAMBUCCA VALLEY vs LISMORE SWANS at EJ Biffin Playing Fields, Nambucca Heads
(2.50pm – Seniors)
COFFS BREAKERS vs CASINO LIONS at Fitzroy Oval/Old Camp, Coffs Harbour
(2.50pm – Seniors)
SAWTELL/TOORMINA vs GRAFTON at Richardson Park, Sawtell
(10am – Under-17s; 11.50am – Women; 1.20pm – Reserves; 2.50pm – Seniors)

The Coffs Breakers under-17s will be playing a cross-conference match against Inverell Saints at Inverell. The match starts at 11am.