Ghost-busting effort maintains Panthers' unbeaten start
IF there's something strange in your neighbourhood call the Sawtell Panthers because they're the Ghostbusters.
Sawtell inflicted the first defeat on the Grafton Ghosts since the 2016 grand final with a last minute try from forward Lewis Cooper to win 24-22 and pull off what has become Group 2's mission impossible - beating the Ghosts at Frank McGuren Field.
The Panthers were super impressive in the first half, heading into the sheds with a 20-12 lead but tries to Mitch Gorman and Todd Cameron after a long arm wrestle put the reigning premier ahead.
The Panthers are now the only team to have two wins from the opening two rounds and they sit equal at the top of the table with great rival Coffs Harbour whose first grade team enjoyed the bye this weekend.
Orara Valley secured its first win of the season by outclassing Macksville 30-8.
Winger Brendan Downtown scored a first half double to help the Axemen open up a 20-0 lead in the first half.
That lead was never challenged by a Macksville combination that allowed the opposition too much possession with poor ball handling the major culprit.
On Saturday South Grafton bounced back from last week's big loss to overcome an improved Nambucca Heads 36-14.
SAWTELL PANTHERS 24 (Austin Cooper, Jordan Cavanah-Hayward, Tyson Hoffman, Lincoln Cutmore, Lewis Cooper tries; Zac O'Brien 2 goals) def GRAFTON GHOSTS 22 (Mitch Gorman 2, Jake Frame, Todd Cameron tries; Todd Cameron 3 goals).
ORARA VALLEY AXEMEN 30 (Brendan Downtown 2, Liam Dunn, Marley Wellar-McCullock, Michael Hart, Vinnie Williams tries; Dunn 3 goals) def MACKSVILLE SEA EAGLES 8 (Kaji Buchanan, Cameron Blair tries).
SOUTH GRAFTON REBELS 36 (Anthony Skinner 2, Jeff Skeen, Karl Woodley 2, Josh Harris, Nick McGrady tries; Grant Brown 4 goals) def NAMBUCCA HEADS ROOSTERS 14 (Koby Ned, Brody Symon, Kurt Kelly tries; Edward Weldon goal).