Breakers top of the pops in 73-point win
COFFS Breakers sit atop the ladder as the only unbeaten team after thrashing an undermanned Sawtell/ Toormina by 73 points.
Last year's grand final replay was virtually over at half-time when the Saints could not capitalise on kicking with the aid of the breeze in the second quarter and the Breakers went to the sheds with a 33-point lead.
Shayden Close was a livewire up forward for the victors, kicking five goals, while Jed Ellis-Cluff led the goal scoring for the reigning premier with three in a busy performance.
In the Sawtell camp there was no sign of panic after the match.
"Last season we only won one of the first four matches so we're already better placed this season,” coach Jim Angel said.
Meanwhile, Grafton ended a 644-day-long drought with a nail-biting four-point win over Port Macquarie, with a late goal from Ben Holder proving the difference for the Tigers.
"Port came hard at us in the last quarter and almost got the win, that would have been heartbreaking,” a relieved Grafton coach Luke Stanford said.
AFL NORTH COAST
7.2 7.4 16.719.7 (121)
1.2 1.7 2.76.12 (48)
Goals - Coffs: S. Close 5, J. Mapleson 4, L. Valdes 2, B. Gibbeson 2, N. Stanlan-Velt 2, F. Duryea, J. Sincock, L. Symons, R. Close. Saw: J. Ellis-Cluff 3, A. Pocilujko, L. Matthews, L. Stuart.
4.3 7.7 11.812.11 (83)
1.0 4.5 7.711.13 (79)
Goals - Graf: B. Holder 4, D. Lang 3, L. Stanford 2, P. Curtain 2, C. Leslie. Port: S. Johnson 4, L. Dunlop 2, B. de Braun 2, L. Boxhall, F. Carroll, J. Terley.