Junior Finals picture starting to become clearer

With just one round of home and away footy left in Junior Competition we’re starting to get a clear picture of which teams will feature in the Finals, and where these matches will be played.

The fact that uncertainty still exists with only round to play highlights just how even the competition has been in 2021. This is a great reflection of the hard work that goes into all of the Junior footy clubs and teams and shows just how much our game has developed over the past five years.

Under 15: The Port Macquarie Magpies find themselves in an unassailable position at the top of the ladder which means that the club get first rights at hosting the Semi Finals between 1st and 4th in all age groups. The Magpies have confirmed that they’re keen to take up this opportunity so all Semi Finals involving 1st v 4th will be at Wayne Richards Park on Sunday 8 August*.

Hosting rights for the Semi Finals involving 2nd v 3rd will go to the team that finishes second in the Under 15 age group. With one round to go, Nambucca Valley Lions, Coffs Harbour Breakers, and Bellingen Bulldogs can all claim this position so the last round represents a good, old fashioned shoot-out for second spot and hosting rights of the Semi Final. To add extra spice to the last round the Lions (2nd) and Bulldogs (4th) play each other, whilst the Breakers (3rd) take on Port (1st), so there’s a lot to play for in both of these matches.

Youth Girls: The last round in the Youth Girls competition will have no bearing on ladder positions with Sawtell Toormina Saints confirmed in top sport, Bellingen Bulldogs in second, Coffs Harbour Breakers in third, and Grafton Tigers to finish fourth.

As each of these teams are located in the northern half of our region, both Semi Finals will be staged at the venue of the team that finishes second in the Under 15 age group.*

Under 13: This is the closest age group of the four with plenty of twists and turns still to play out in the final round.

Port Flyers and Port Swoopers are locked on a win percentage of 91.67% and are guaranteed to finish in the top two, so this week’s match-up between these teams will decide who finishes on top of the ladder.

Bellingen Bulldogs, Port Bombers, and Coffs Harbour Breakers are locked on a win percentage of 66.67% and three teams just don’t go into two positions. Bellingen are away to sixth placed Nambucca Valley, Port Bombers host seventh placed Sawtell Toormina, and the Breakers take on the ninth placed Dockers in South West Rocks in the all important matches for this age group.

Under 11: Port Flyers and Coffs Harbour Breakers are guaranteed to finish first and second respectively, so the intrigue is around the remaining two Finals sports.

Sawtell Toormina Saints have the advantage of sitting in third and can lock in this spot with victory over sixth placed Northern Beaches. South West Rocks Dockers are just one win behind and can lock in their club’s first ever Finals appearance with a home win over second placed Breakers, whilst Port Swoopers are a further win back and will be needing to beat their top ranked club mates (Flyers) and hope that the Dockers slip up.

Winners of all Semis will progress straight to the Grand Final at C.ex Coffs International Stadium on Sunday 15 August.

As was the case last year, the Grand Final will be ticketed through EventBrite. This allows us to comply with our record keeping obligations under the COVID restrictions, whilst also helping us to cover the cost of hiring the Stadium. Links for tickets will go online in the week leading in to the Grand Final.

* AFL North Coast policy provides the scope that if two teams from the same half of the region (e.g. north or south) play each other in a Semi, that match will be played in the half of the region they’re from.