Magpies thrash Sharks
BELLINGER Valley-Dorrigo has secured a finals berth in emphatic style thrashing Port Macquarie 68-12 at Bellingen Park.
With a final round bye, the Magpies win has locked up fifth place on the ladder and will see them travel to either Kempsey or Sawtell in the first week of the finals, depending on next week's clash between the Mustangs and Panthers at Verge St Stadium.
Against the Sharks Bellingen couldn't stop scoring.
Tries to Jerry Key, Brandon Costin and Anthony Donovan within the opening 20 minutes set the tone for the match as the Magpies streaked ahead to an early lead.
An injury to Costin mid way through the first half saw the home side without their inspirational captain coach for the rest of the match.
Port Macquarie showed some intent just before the half time break through a Kurt Maloney try however a Ryan O'Connor four pointer on the hooter saw Bellingen extend its lead to 28-6 at the end of the first stanza.
"What stood out to me the most was the leadership of Matt and Anthony Donovan," Costin said.
"After I had to leave the field the Matt and Ant stood up and lead the side around the park to great result.
"Even though we got to a point where we had a strong lead the boys refused to take it easy which is a great sign ahead of the finals."
An early Port Macquarie try to Eddie O'Brien gave the visiting fans hope of comeback but it would be the only highlight in a tough 40 mins for the Sharks
As the half wore on Bellingen continued to run through the Port Macquarie defence as if it was a crepe paper banner scoring seven unanswered second half tries.
The final whistle couldn't come quick enough for the Sharks who will face a tough trip to Woolgoolga in what will be their final ever Group 2 fixture.
With finals football ahead for the Magpies, Costin declared this season a success
"We have exceeded everyone's expectations by making the finals," he said.
"It's great we have the bye next week because some of the boys are busted and bruised so they will have some time to get back to full fitness.
"Players like Callan Tapine have worked hard every week playing extra minutes without much of a break.
"We will look at who we have to play in the first week of the finals and start planning for that match in a week's time."
BELLINGER VALLEY-DORRIGO MAGPIES 68 (A Donovan 3 J Love-henry 2 R O'Connor 2 D Byrne 2 J Key 2 B O'Connor D Sangster B Costin tries L Beaumont 4 A Donovan 3 goals) bt PORT MACQUARIE SHARKS 12 (E O'Brien, K Maloney tries E McKenna 2 goals)
Penalties: Bellingen 10-5
Errors: Port Macquarie 12-8
Scrums: Bellingen 5-3
Referee: Nathan Grace
At Bellingen Park, Bellingen
Reserves: Bellingen bt Port Macquarie 36-28