Sunday's knee jerk reaction: Coffs Coast weekend sport
LAURIE, LES AND NAOMI
WHEN Coffs Harbour Basketball Association president Rob Hoy told me he was going to make a presentation to Laurie Van Loo, Les Gough and Naomi Markham for being named life members I admit my initial reaction was surprise.
The first words I said to Hoy were something along the lines of "why didn't this already happen five or ten years ago?".
This trio have given so many voluntary hours over many years that being awarded CHBA life membership is a just reward.
The reason for my surprise stems from the fact that it was way back in 2011 that Les was inducted into the New South Wales Basketball Hall of Fame while last year Laurie was named as the Coffs Harbour region's Woman of the Year.
There'd barely be a junior basketballer in Coffs Harbour who hasn't come into contact with at least one of these three and they should be congratulated on having their years of wonderful service recognised in such a way.
CALL THAT AN INJURY?
STILL on basketball, any players complaining about being a bit sore in the calf or maybe having a niggle in their hip or shoulder should take a leaf out of Felicity Cook's book.
On Saturday night Cook played her first Waratah League match of the season.
What's the big deal about that?
The fact that it was only seven weeks ago that Cook gave birth.
Playing only seven weeks after that is a phenomenal effort and makes a few a little niggling injuries others complain about pale in comparison.
Child birth is the only thing on this planet that is worse than man flu.
Cook didn't make any baskets but speaking to coach Connie Woods after the 66-39 win over Goulburn she said the new Mum's presence and experience is worth more to the team than any impact she can make on the scoreboard. Particularly with so many young players in the squad.
No doubt the points will come the more Cook recovers.
By the end of the season the only thing that could possibly keep this super woman down is a lack of sleep.
PACE IS A WEAPON
IN last year's AFL North Coast grand final, Sawtell/Toormina was blasted off the ground by the superior pace of the Coffs Breakers.
On that day the Saints looked old and slow with many of their veterans being exposed for a lack of leg speed.
Saturday saw a younger Sawtell/Toormina outfit take to the field against the Coffs Breakers and it was the Saints who looked quicker as they ran away with a 10 goal win.
Perhaps losing a few veteran players wasn't such a bad thing.
SCRUM FREE FOOTBALL
MANY times when I get home on a Sunday night 'The Darl' will ask me how the footy was. Many times my response bemoans the number of scrums I saw during that afternoon's rugby league match.
On average I reckon I see 18 to 20 scrums a week.
Once my answer was I saw 27 scrums. Do you know how minutes of football you don't see while players wander around like Brown's cows for 27 scrums.
That's not my answer today. It was the 70 minute mark of today's match at Coramba Sportsground when I looked at my notes to confirm my suspicions that I hadn't seen a scrum in the second half.
Orara Valley was the beneficiary as it was obvious South Grafton was severely fatigued without being able to take a breather.
In the first half the Axemen's ball control was poor and South Grafton was able to store up plenty of energy waiting for a scrum to pack.
The result? An 18-6 lead to the Rebels at the break.
Not in the second half though. Orara Valley scored five tries to one after the interval to be the outright leader of the competition.
All on the back of scrum free football. It's pleasing on the eye and gives the fitter teams an advantage.
THREE HORSE RACE
TODAY marked the end of the completion of the first of three rounds of matches in the Men's Premier League.
With 14 weeks to go before the semi-finals begin, it's already become clear that behind Boambee, Urunga and Coffs United, the rest of the competition is simply playing for fourth spot.
That doesn't mean there's a lack of interest. It's just a shame that the gap between the top three and the rest has become so apparent so early.
Every time the Bombers, Raiders and Lions play against each other it's an event worthy of getting along to as the standard of play the three teams are producing is eye catching. There's seven of these matches to be played until the semi-finals begin.
And the battle for fourth spot is an interesting one as the Coffs Coast Tigers, Maclean, Grafton United and Northern Storm are all evenly matched.
Saturday's encounter between the Storm and Tigers was a beauty with the Tigers prevailing 4-3.
The Storm host another important match this weekend when they meet Grafton United.
THE North Coast under-23 men's representative team had played well for two weeks beating Central Coast and a CRL Newcastle line-up but on Saturday they couldn't beat time with a stick.
In the first half of the CRL Championships semi final at Sawtell the defence offered up the middle by the North Coast was flimsy.
Line break after line break started in the middle third of the field and the contest was as good as over after only 20 minutes. At half time the score was 38-0 and I heard overheard a couple of spectators ask if they could get their $5 entry fee refunded.
North Coast coach Dean Hurrell said the result and the missed tackles were a result of the players' attitude.
If you're playing a sport where spectators are asked to pay to watch you play, you can't have a poor attitude. It's disrespectful.
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Orara Valley def South Grafton 34-22
Grafton Ghosts def Coffs Harbour 44-12
Macksville def Sawtell 26-18
Ladies League Tag
Bellingen def Nambucca Heads 34-4
South Grafton def Orara Valley 18-4
Grafton Ghosts def Coffs Harbour 14-10
Sawtell def Macksville 18-0
Under-23 representative match at Sawtell.
Northern Rivers def North Coast 64-12
Coffs Snappers def Kempsey 28-22
Hastings Valley 41 4 tries def Port Pirates 412
SCU Marlins def Wauchope 74-15
Coffs Snappers def Kempsey 19-7
SCU Marlins def Wauchope 22-15
Women - Coffs Harbour Suns def Goulburn Bears 66-39
Men - Hills Hornets def Coffs Harbour Suns 88-48
NORTH COAST FOOTBALL
Men's Premier League
Urunga def Grafton United 2-0
Coffs Coast Tigers def Northern Storm 4-3
Boambee def Westlawn Tigers 10-1
Coffs United def Maclean 4-0
AFL NORTH COAST
Sawtell/Toormina 16.13 (109) def Coffs Breakers 7.7 (49)
Port Macquarie 14.11 (95) def Grafton 9.12 (66)
Sawtell/Toormina 6.5 (41) def Coffs Breakers 0.1 (1)