HEAD START: Orara Valley's narrow win over Sawtell sets the club up for a top three finish.
HEAD START: Orara Valley's narrow win over Sawtell sets the club up for a top three finish. Brad Greenshields

Blanket finish with three weeks to semis

FOOTY clubs all fall victim to mid season slumps and every coach grumbles about the pain it causes.

Still, Orara Valley's Colin Speed and South Grafton's Ronald Gordon have track records of smiling through the winter blues and their teams generally get back on track with play-offs in sight.

That's what happened this week as the Rebels and Axemen showed plenty of grit in victories over Nambucca Heads and Sawtell respectively to add to the congestion near the top of the table.

With three rounds to go it's a blanket finish but the way the draw pans out, Grafton, Coffs Harbour and Orara need one more win each to ensure they get second bites at the cherry.

That leaves one competition point separating the Panthers, Rebels and Sea Eagles for the final two positions and the fun times for all begin this weekend.

Grafton have the bye coming next and that should deliver the minor premiership.

One week later Sawtell gets to put their feet up and take all the advantages a rest weekend brings, putting enormous pressure on South Grafton to roll Macksville who could be the side to replace them in the finals.

It's intriguing but whenever attempts are made at reading tea leaves there's generally something unforeseen and this weekend may hold the answer.



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