Royce Close of the Coffs Breakers sprints away from a Grafton tackle attempted by Shannon Connor as AFL returned to the Fitzroy Oval / Old Camp ground.
Royce Close of the Coffs Breakers sprints away from a Grafton tackle attempted by Shannon Connor as AFL returned to the Fitzroy Oval / Old Camp ground. Brad Greenshields

Smart start from Breakers

THE results of the opening AFL North Coast round sets up a tantalising Friday night match between the Coffs Breakers and Sawtell/Toormina.

To be played under lights at the Fitzroy Oval/Old Camp ground, the Anzac themed clash is a replay of the past two grand finals and a meeting of the two winners from Saturday's Round 1 matches.

The Breakers unfurled their premiership flag before the start of their match then set about piling up a big score against Grafton.

The Tigers kicked the opening goal of the contest kicking into a strong breeze but that was as good as it got for the visitors.

Former captain McKinlay Pearce changed his mind on a move to Tasmania and the Breakers were glad he did, as he led the scoring with seven goals.

It was a day of returning stars for the Breakers with Jay Guthrie marking his comeback from a year away with four goals while Shaydan Close got back on the field after a bad leg break last season and celebrated with three goals.

Sawtell/Toormina proved that you write them off at your peril by recording a tough win over Port Macquarie.

Despite a massive turnover in players following last year's grand final loss the Saints know how to play their home ground, especially when the wind blows.

Kicking into a four goal breeze in the first quarter the Saints managed to restrict the Magpies to just two majors and went to the break with an unexpected five point lead.

The Saints extended their lead both times they had the advantage of the breeze to win by 28 points.

Mitch Napier kicked seven of the Saints goals with Malcolm Trotter adding three and Kane Radford two.

AFL NORTH COAST

SAWTELL/TOORMINA
3.1 7.8 9.8 14.13 (97)
PORT MACQUARIE
2.2 5.3 7.8 10.9 (69)
Goals - Saw: M. Napier 7, M. Trotter 3, K. Radford 2, T. Perks, B. Lee. Port: B. Nelson 4, T. Marmo 2, J. Schmidt 2, L. Boxhall, C. Dicker.

COFFS BREAKERS
5.6 13.7 20.12 27.19 (181)
GRAFTON
2.1 4.2 4.3 6.4 (40)
Goals - Coffs: M. Pearce 7, R. Close 4, J. Guthrie 4, S. Close 3, B. Gibbeson 2, S. Burow 2, W. Buckingham, C. Frangos, B. Vella, A. Norman, C. Dickson. Graf: L. Butler 3, C. Curthoys 2, P. Curtain.



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