Bellingen lose finals hope
FOR a fleeting moment Bellingen was in control of yesterday's encounter against Coffs Harbour.
Magpies' captain-coach Ryan O'Connor had scored his second try to equalise and Bellingen was again on the attack only metres from the tryline.
That moment ended quickly as a pass from halfback Greg Gibbins' was intercepted by his counterpart Nathan Curry who ran 95 metres to score.
Instead of being in front on the scoreboard the Magpies were suddenly behind and within seven minutes a further try to Curry as well as Josh Noble pushed the margin out to 16 points and the contest was over.
The loss finally put to bed Bellingen's hopes of a late charge to the finals.
Coffs Harbour though have won two on the trot and is looking to hit form at the business end of the season.
“This is where we started last year's run too,” Gilkinson said.
“We beat Sawtell in the second round last year and we did it again this year and we've started to roll on.
“We've got a few players coming back now with reserve grade having a good squad today so it's time to just keep working away towards the semis.”
At half-time though semi-finals was the last thing on Gilkinson's mind as the Comets lacked spark and intensity.
At the break the message came to get back to fundamentals and it paid off handsomely with six tries coming after the break.
O'Connor said that his team now has a new goal for the final month of the season now all hope of playing in the finals has been extinguished.
“We'll keep fighting and we want to finish sixth, I think that's possible,” O'Connor said.
If the Magpies fall short of that goal O'Connor will shout it from the rooftops that the players who take to the field injured most weeks will not be to blame.
O'Connor will point the finger squarely at those who don't have the gumption to have a dip when football is a touch uncomfortable.
“There's a lot of blokes that aren't showing up that are letting the club down and they're local blokes and they're the ones letting the club down,” he said.
“You've got blokes here giving absolutely everything they've got and blokes playing busted and then there's some blokes who won't train because it's too cold and they can't be bothered coming to training or coming to a game.”