Swans thrown to Lions
ALL the finals hopes that Coffs Swans harboured prior to the weekend disappeared in one fell swoop with all three of the club's teams knocked out in the first week of the AFL North Coast finals.
The senior team was unceremoniously dumped from the finals race when Nambucca Valley scored a comprehensive 44-point win in the sudden-death 1st semi-final.
The Swans' run in reserve grade was brought to a sudden stop by North Coffs, who ran out impressive 66-point winners, while Sawtell ended Swans hopes in the under-18s with a comfortable 26-point win.
In the top-grade clash, the damage was done in the second quarter when the Swans had the aid of a two-goal breeze.
Inaccurate kicking in front of goal in the first term meant the Lions led by only four points at quarter time and the Swans were expected to take advantage of their solid early defensive work when the second stanza began.
Somebody forgot to tell the Lions the script and their midfield simply worked harder than their Coffs Swans counterparts, booting six goals to one into the breeze to open up a commanding 36-point break at half-time and effectively end the match as a contest.
The three-pronged talls set-up that the Lions employed in attack paid tremendous dividends with Aaron Clarke, Jimmy Angel and Ray McGrath providing a constant threat.
The trio combined to kick 11 of Nambucca's 15 goals with Clarke the star of the show in front of the sticks with six majors to his credit.
It was in the midfield though that the battle was won with Lions star Jed Ellis-Cluff roaming far and wide to collect plenty of possessions while Luke Benson, Justin Saker and Trent Baade provided plenty of support in the tight clinches.
The Swans battled hard against the prevailing win after the main break, kicking three goals but still couldn't make a dent in the margin.
With a 46-point advantage at the final charge, the Lions were able to ease up in the fourth quarter and start concentrating on their appearance in the preliminary final in two weeks' time.
Craig Parsons six goals for the Swans while Evan Willumsen and Peter Robinson tried hard in defence.