How the first grade match unfolded
BY the clock (the Grand Final from go to whoa) 2.56pm: The whistle of referee Rick Purton signals the game is underway. 10th minute: Port replace both second rowers. James Newell carts the ball to the 30 metre line. Dummy half Jeremy Lang swerves left to find Matt Shipway steaming on to the ball, to score left of the posts. Luke Sprague converts. Port Macquarie 6-0. 14th minute: Close to the line, Jeremy Lang goes left again. He finds fullback Daniel Webber in support. Pottsy steps right, then left to go in at the same spot as the first try. Luke Sprague boots the goal. Port Macquarie 12-0. 21st minute: With injured players reeling everywhere from the pressure, Courtney Rolff finds the strength to head towards the invisible magnet of the left of Macksville's goalposts. Anthony Shipway gets fingertip touch to the pass as he crashes into the ingoal. Luke Sprague misses the goal. Port Macquarie: 16-0. 28th minute: A swinging Macksville arm catches a Port player directly in front of the sticks. Luke Sprague makes no mistake with the penalty shot. Port Macquarie 18-0. 30th minute: The Eagles' attack breaks down inside Ports red zone after they claim the ball from a Port mistake after the kickoff. Courtney Rolff breaks the line to take play 60 metres down field. Port try some razzle dazzle of the own resulting in a try to James Collins. Luke Sprague converts. Port Macquarie 22-0. 37th minute: Two minutes from the break, Jeremy Lang gets a rush of blood to the head. Its field goal time, folks. Port Macquarie 23-0. 43rd minute: The Eagles strike hard. Pickvance unloads to Reg Donovan who flicks the ball to Neville Donovan. The little wizard reverses to the charging Jono Freeman who scores. Mick Ronan converts. Port Macquarie 23-6. 48th minute: Neville Donovan finds Dave Pickvance in cruise control on his outside. Pickvance kicks over the top, regathers the ball to cross the line untouched. Mick Ronan is spot on with the shot. Port Macquarie 23-12. 55th minute: Panic stations. Trent McKeough is smashed in a tackle as he tries to pop a pass around the back. Nev Donovan swoops on the ball in a classic intercept. His smile keeps getting wider every one of the 75 metres he runs to the opposite end. Extras added by dead-eye Mick. Port Macquarie 23-18. 60th minute: Nev is at it again. He goes right to Gonzo Jarrett who has Pickvance (again) looking for opportunities. Pickvance busts through a swarming wall of tacklers to touch down. Ronan is human after all. He actually misses a goal. Port Macquarie 23-22. 66th minute: To repeat history, Gonzo passes to Neville. He sends the pass over the top to Davis. Big Paul crashes back to the left looking for.....guess who? Neville Donovan in full flight to the tryline. The Eagles take the lead for the first time. Struth, Mick Ronan misses another goal. Macksville 26-23. 70th minute: Nifty Nev is roughed up and the Sharks are penalised. With Port arguing the toss with Rick, Jono Freeman takes a quick tap close to the line, and with on markers in sight, there's not a glove laid on him as he rushes over. Mick the magic is back in business with his goalkicking. Macksville 32-23. 74th minute: Neville passes to Dwayne Laverty, then on to Garry Jarrett. Gonzo sees nothing much on, so he adds to Ports misery with a field goal. Macksville 33-23. 78th minute: Neville has nothing to do with this, its all Gonzos doing. Jarrett sees a field goal opportunity and takes it. Macksville 34-23. 80th minute: The hooter sounds. The chants and songs start up. Mighty, mighty Macksville....mighty, mighty Macksville.