Comets hold Ken Orr Memorial Shield after beating Axemen
SWITCHED on Coffs Harbour had few problems claiming the Ken Orr Memorial Shield for the seventh year straight with a comprehensive 68-10 win over Orara Valley at Geoff King Motors Oval.
The Comets were prepared to do business from the moment they left the blocks and after Peter Irwin crossed in the corner four minutes into the match, the scoreboard attendants had steady work to perform as the numbers rolled over to 34-0 by intermission.
While generally clinical in their approach and obviously cleaning up the little glitches as momentum builds for the finals, there were still a couple of blemishes.
Particularly in the second half when the game was all but won, some players showed a tendency to overrun the pass with referee Lenny Duroux whistling up an above average number of forward passes.
"That was probably about the time we started losing a bit of our structure," coach Colin Speed admitted.
"However to be fair to the boys they stated to get it right again and finished really strong in the last 10 minutes."
The proof of that statement came with the late try to Nick Monckton.
It was textbook stuff but the sort of thing they'll need to finesse for the big occasions about to arrive.
On half way, busy hooker Kerrod Selmes cruised through a midfield gap and timed a pass sweetly for Kelsie Davis.
The replacement drew three defenders and then veered back to the middle to improve the angle for wide receiver Monckton who flashed over near the posts to finish off the movement.
Things like that left Orara coach Kevin Neighbour standing silent and impassive on the sideline as he watched his men overwhelmed.
There was a short period in the second half when the Axemen took control and put a pair of tries on the board but to be honest, there was never a moment in the match the Comets looked in any danger of defeat.
One notable factor was another try to John Oakes giving the British forward an incredible strike rate this season.
Also, Nathan Curry has reached peak goal-kicking form at the right time with a success rate of 10 from 12 including a couple of towering shots from the sideline.
COFFS HARBOUR COMETS 68 (Kerrod Selmes 3, Miles Fairbank 2, Peter Irwin, Sam Miles, John Oakes, Nathan Curry, Abel Lefaoseu, Joe Worthington, Nick Monckton tries; Nathan Curry 10 goals) def ORARA VALLEY AXEMEN (Jay Silvester, Alex Peacock tries; Jarrod Few goal)
Grafton d Bellinger Valley-Dorrigo 62-4
South Grafton d Sawtell 58-20
Nambucca Heads d Macksville 32-22