AFL North Coast junior grand finals to be decided in Coffs Harbour

The Bellingen Bulldogs and Port Macquarie Magpies face off in their semi-final.


SOME of AFL North Coast’s best junior teams booked their places in this year’s grand finals during a big day of semi-finals at Nambucca Heads and Port Macquarie.

Last weekend’s winners will now face off for the ultimate prize on Sunday in their respective grand finals at the Ce.x Coffs International Stadium.

The Coffs Harbour Breakers play off against Port Macquarie teams in the Under 11 and Under 13 grand finals, while the Nambucca Valley Lions and Port Macquarie Magpies face off in the Under 15 decider.

The Sawtell/Toormina Saints Youth Girls will look to cap off a magnificent undefeated season when they take on the Bellingen Bulldogs.

AFL North Coast’s Community Football & Competition Manager Paul Taylor said the scene was now set for a fantastic finish to the season.

“A great day of Junior Semi Final action sees the scene now set for Sunday’s climax to another outstanding season.”

The junior semi-finals had it all – sun, rain, a close result, skilful play, great teamwork, and plenty of excitement.”

Under 11

The first of the Under 11s matches saw Coffs Harbour Breakers claim the local derby against Sawtell Toormina Saints.

The Breakers defence kept the Saints to a solitary behind in the opening quarter and this set the tone for the match, with Breakers holding a handy 14-point lead at the first break that they were then able to extend in both the second and third quarters.

Credit to the Saints who were able to win the last quarter even though the match result was virtually decided by the three-quarter time break.

The second match in the age group saw a tight opening quarter as the South West Rocks Dockers did extremely well to score, kicking into the breeze to trail Port Flyers by just two points at the first break.

However, the Flyers hit top gear in the second and third quarters to be 37 points up at the last break.

The Dockers had the advantage in both territory and possession in the last quarter but were unable to convert this into scoreboard pressure to see their fairy-tale season draw to a close in a positive style.

Under 13

The Under 13 match between Port Flyers and Coffs Breakers was the match of the day with lead changes and just an eight-point final margin.

Breakers held a seven-point lead at the first break before the Flyers countered in the second and reduced this to just two points at half time.

Flyers continued their momentum into the third to jump out to a ten-point lead at the last break but the Breakers lifted in the last quarter to keep the Flyers scoreless and regain the lead and claim the win.

This was a great match that would have been a worthy Grand Final – a credit to both teams.

Light rain started in Port Macquarie early in the Under 13 match between Port Swoopers and Port Bombers but it seemed to have little impact on the quality of the play.

The Swoopers dominated the first quarter to hold a 40-point lead at the first break, but late arrivals of two Bombers players saw the team burst into life and claw back 16 of those points in the second quarter.

The decisive moment came midway through the third quarter, Swoopers lead had been further reduced to 16 points, the Bombers had a chance to score off the ground, but two Swoopers chased back, stopped the threat and set up a counter attack that led to a goal.
Bombers were brave and earnt plenty of admiration for the way they competed throughout.

Youth Girls

The first of the Youth Girls matches was decided in the second quarter when the Bellingen Bulldogs were able to post five goals and keep the Coffs Breakers scoreless after a tight opening term.

The second half was an arm wrestle, with the Bulldogs claiming the third quarter by two goals to one, and the final term with one goal to none.

Despite not being able to make scoreboard headway, credit goes to the Breakers for digging deep and making a real contest of the second half.

The undefeated Sawtell Toormina Saints confirmed their favouritism for the flag with a strong win over the Grafton Tigers.

The Saints set up the win with a seven goal to nil opening quarter and continued in this direction in the second term. Despite trailing by more than 70 points at half time the Tigers showed true grit in the third to share the spoils with the Saints in this stanza, with each team booting two goals. Saints finished the job in the final term to book their place in the Grand Final.

Under 15 In the Under 15 age group, Nambucca Valley Lions jumped the Coffs Breakers with a six goals to none opening term and were never likely to be headed from that point.

Breakers steadied in the second term and held pace with the Lions through the middle stages of the match, but the lead was insurmountable.

Nambucca Valley kicked away again at the end when the Breakers ran out of steam after having played virtual elimination finals for the past two weeks just to get to this stage.

Well done to Breakers for managing a challenging end to the season and making it this far.

The match in Port Macquarie between the hometown club and the Bellingen Bulldogs was played in very wet conditions, with rain falling throughout.

Slippery footing and a greasy ball made it hard to play flowing footy, although Port made the best of the conditions to lead from start to finish in a strong display.

Bellingen battled bravely throughout the last quarter where they dominated possession and territory, and posted five scoring shots to two, but they struggled for accuracy throughout the match with the slippery ball.

Both sides had 14 scoring shots, but Port’s ten goals to one was a fair reflection of their control of the match.

Semi-final results
Under 11: Coffs Harbour Breakers 8.7 (55) def. Sawtell Toormina Saints 3.4 (22)

Port Macquarie Flyers 7.12 (54) def South West Rocks Dockers 2.5 (17)

Under 13: Coffs Harbour Breakers 4.15 (39) def Port Macquarie Flyers 4.7 (31)

Port Macquarie Swoopers 11.9 (75) def Port Macquarie Bombers 5.10 (40)

Youth Girls: Bellingen Bulldogs 9.7 (61) def Coffs Harbour Breakers 1.2 (8)

Sawtell Toormina Saints 18.4 (112) def Grafton Tigers 2.2 (14)

Under 15: Nambucca Valley Lions 16.16 (112) def Coffs Harbour Breakers 2.5 (17)

Port Macquarie Magpies 10.4 (64) def Bellingen Bulldogs 1.13 (19)

Grand final day schedule
Under 11: Port Macquarie Flyers v Coffs Harbour Breakers – 9.30am

Under 13: Port Macquarie Swoopers v Coffs Harbour Breakers – 11.10am.

Youth Girls: Sawtell/Toormina Saints v Bellingen Bulldogs – 12.50pm.

Under 15: Port Macquarie Magpies v Nambucca Valley Lions – 2.30pm.



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