Third-term blitz enough
AWITHERING 11-goal burst in the third term set up victory for the Coffs Swans at Fitzroy Oval on Saturday.
Going into the game as warm favourites, many would have been surprised that Nambucca Valley led the Swans by 14 points at half-time.
But the move of Leigh Maher to the ruck at the beginning of the third quarter was probably the decisive positional change of the match.
Maher's immediate dominance of the ruck, allowed Swans midfielders that were rarely sighted in the first half to suddenly have first use of the ball.
The main beneficiary of the Coffs Harbour sides dominance was captain-coach Jeff Reed. At the start of the year, Reed hinted with a wry grin that he might place himself in a forward pocket, and now we know why.
Reed kicked eight goals by himself in the third quarter as the Swans turned their long-break deficit into a 53 point lead at the final break.
The purple patch from Reed helped the Swans to kick 11 goals in the damaging period, whilst the Lions could only manage a bare behind in reply.
Unusually, Nambucca Valley actually outscored their opponents in three quarters of football, but all the damage was done in the decisive third stanza.
COFFS SWANS 1.4 4.9 15.11 16.13 (109) d NAMBUCCA LIONS 2.4 7.5 7.6 9.11 (65)
Goals: Swans ? J Reed (10), N Butcher (3). Nambucca ? K Brown (3), T Baade (2).
Best: Swans ? J Reed, T Waterfall, C Farrelly, D Colman, B Brennan. Nambucca ? M Townsend, P Grey, D Linares, N Banbrook, J Angel.
GRAFTON v SAWTELL/TOORMINA
ANOTHER commanding performance from Luke Matthews has kept Sawtell/Toormina's unbeaten record in tact.
Having kicked seven goals last week, Matthews good form has continued when he slotted through another 11 goals on Saturday.
But a set of brothers couldn't have had two games that were at such opposite ends of the spectrum.
While older brother Luke was kicking goals, younger brother Dean was left nursing a bad headache. A mellee erupted with only five minutes of play left, after Grafton's Wayne Phillips laid a strong tackle that left Dean Matthews concussed, and in doubt for the Saints' next match in two weeks' time.
After a tight start, Grafton very quickly felt the loss of two ruckmen early in the piece.
Once the Tigers fell down in the big man department, the Sawtell midfield took over in a tremendous display of hard running football.
New Saints' recruit Dave Carey began to win most hit-outs, and Jai Hardy and Mark Couzens cleaned up every offering from stoppages.
For Grafton, John Kennedy as always, played a solid game in defence, and if it weren't for his efforts, the final margin of 80 points could have been greater.
A couple of players were sent-off following the ensuing altercation.
SAWTELL/TOORMINA 4.2 9.3 17.3 21.6 (132) d GRAFTON 2.3 4.6 6.7 7.10 (52) Goals: Saw/Toor ? L Matthews (11). Graf ? S Purton (3), C Boehme (2).
Best: Saw/Toor ? L Matthews, M Couzens, J Hardy, J Edwards, D Carey. Graf ? J Kennedy, M Blundell, C Boehme, J Winters, T Carter.