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Blistering start

North Coffs AFLplayer Darren Funston, leaps high to secure a mark despite the attentions of Coffs Swans rival, Scott Morgan. F
North Coffs AFLplayer Darren Funston, leaps high to secure a mark despite the attentions of Coffs Swans rival, Scott Morgan. F

By CHRIS McKINLEY

A BLISTERING start by North Coffs has laid the foundation for their 81-point thumping of cross-town rivals the Coffs Swans on Saturday.

Half way through the second term the scoreline was ten goals to nil in North Coffs favour and the game was all but over as a contest.

For the second week in a row, the star for North Coffs was new recruit Darren Funston.

He kicked another bag of twelve goals, taking him to the lead of the competitions goal kicking table after only two games.

While Kangaroos coach David Velt was happy with the form of his forwards, he was most pleased with the defensive efforts of his midfield when they didnt have the ball.

"I thought the way we worked to get the ball back with our tackling was great," he said.

"And although the scoreboard shows an easy win, our backline was forced to work hard today and I thought they stood up."

But it was the Swans backline that needed to do the most work.

A three-pronged forward line of Funston, Jason Mayer and Todd Gill constantly had the Swans defenders on their toes.

Wade Hickey and Trent Cook stood up the most when they needed to for the Swans, but there were few other solid contributors for the club to really expect success against a team that had so much midfield dominance through Brad Giri and Jason Bencich.

Everyone keeps waiting for the bubble to burst at Sawtell/Toormina, but the Saints are showing no signs of weakness as they keep their undefeated record in tact.

Woolgoolga was victim number five on the weekend, but Sawtell didn't dispose of the carcass as easily as some people might have thought.

At the final break, Woolgoolga were still an outside chance of an upset victory trailing by only four goals.

Sawtell though play the spaces on their home ground to perfection and using their superior fitness, ran away with the game in the last quarter to run out 51-point victors.

With Luke Matthews missing from the line-up through injury, the Saints again turned towards Brad Guthrie to fill in the key forward role. And he didnt let his team down.

Continually presenting himself as an option with smart leading, Guthrie finished the day with five goals.

In what was sometimes a scrappy game, Woolgoolga, who were seething after last weeks loss to Nambucca, put paid to the two man team theory that many have been sprouting (including myself).

Sure Brod McDonald and Tristan Snow put in fine efforts, but the best players came from a list of Gareth Nichol, Brad Bird, Simon and Chris Mezher and Glen Bailey.

Simon Wall proved a focal point for the Blues finishing the day with three goals.

For the second week in a row Grafton have left the field with their tail well and truly between their legs.

Having lost to North Coffs last week by 197 points, their follow up effort against Port Macquarie on Saturday was no better when they were soundly thrashed by 172 points.

The total points over the last two weeks for Grafton are 34 points against 403.

Port went on a goalkicking spree with Jason Harrison bagging six majors, ably supported by Scott Payne and Dean Gedded who both slotted through four goals.

Shannon Skreja was magnificent in the midfield and showed the discipline to also not crowd the Magpies forward line, even though easy goals were on offer.

Grafton have the next two weekends off due to a bye, as well as the Inter-League match on the QueensBirthday weekend.

The Tigers would be best advised to use these two weeks to lick their wounds and regroup.

Match details

PORT MACQUARIE 7.4 14.10 22.13 27.19 (181) d GRAFTON 1.1 1.1 1.2 1.3 (9).

Goals

Port: J. Harrison (6), S. Payne (4), D. Geddes (4), C. Martens (3), J. Schmidt (3), A. Brown (3), B. Dunlop (2), D. Nankerval (2). Grafton: S Purton.

Best

Port: S. Skreja, D. Nankerval, D. Butterfield, D. Geddes. Grafton: S. Purton, W. Seewald, W. Bagnall, J. Boccafuso.

Under 18s: Grafton 8.14 (62) d Port Macquarie 5.7 (37).

SAWTELL/TOORMINA 4.3 7.8 10.14 15.18 (108) d WOOLGOOLGA 2.0 4.2 8.2 9.3 (57).

Goals

Sawtell/Toormina: B. Guthrie (5), J. Hardy (2), H. Schmidt (2). Woolgoolga: S.Wall (3).

Best

Sawtell/Toormina: H. Schmidt, P. Sens, D.James, A. Pearson, A. Bennion. Woolgoolga: C. Mezher, G. Nicholls, G. Bailey, B. Bird, S. Mezher.

Reserves: Woolgoolga 5.12 (42) d Sawtell/Toormina 2.3 (15).

NORTH COFFS 6.0 11.4 13.7 19.9 (123) d COFFS SWANS 0.1 3.4 5.5 6.6 (42)Goals

North Coffs: D. Funston (12), T. Gill (3), J. Mayer (2).

Swans: T.Cook (2).

Best

North Coffs: D. Robinson, D. Funston, J. Bencich, B. Giri, R. Wood.

Swans T. Cook, J. Reed, D. Colman, W. Hickey.

Reserves: Coffs Swans 10.6 (66) d North Coffs 3.4 (22). Under 18s: Coffs Swans 15.11 (101) d North Coffs 5.6 (36).