In a virtual elimination final at Wayne Richards Park, it was Port Macquarie who made it to the final four and Northern Beaches who ended up missing out.
By Brad Greenshields – AFL North Coast
Port Macquarie’s 26-point over the Blues means the Magpies will now meet the Lismore Swans in the knockout Semi Final at the C.ex Coffs International Stadium.
A couple of goals late in the second quarter to Braden Saggers and Jesse Schmidt turned an even contest into one where the momentum shift went the Magpies way as it gave them a 10-point buffer at the main break.
Three unanswered goals in the third term from the Magpies had them sailing towards the finals. Schmidt and Saggers were dangerous in front of goal kicking four and three goals respectively.
The strong third term was a key according to coach Matt Clarke.
“We knew the premiership quarter is the third quarter. It’s easy to come out after half time when you’ve had a bit of relaxation and be flat footed so we knew it was that moment that we had to come out real strong and our boys did,” Clarke said.
“Once we figured out that if we pulled away from the contest and we manned up, then we actually created more space for ourselves because we were drawing them out.”
Port’s run and carry proved the difference between the two teams. Once the Magpies were able to get the ball into open spaces they looked dangerous. The longer the game progressed the more often it happened.
Northern Beaches coach Rory Evans, who was in charge of a team that was missing four players due to having to isolate for being at Covid exposure sites, admitted it was hard to stop Port Macquarie once the opposition got on top.
“The first half I think we controlled the footy through contested possession and once we stopped doing that, that allowed them (Port) to get their run and spread,”
“If we had have continued, no fault to our midfielders who battled it out all day without too many rotations but the result kind of went the way that it does if that happens.”
PORT MACQUARIE 1.3 4.4 7.8 10.10 (70)
NORTHERN BEACHES 1.2 2.6 2.6 6.8 (44)
Goals – Port: J.Schmidt 4, B.Saggers 3, M.Clarke, T.Dickson, K.Taylor. N.B: M.Huthnance 2, M.Flynn 2, J.Johnston, N.Webber.
Reserves: Port Macquarie 13.13 (91) def Northern Beaches 0.1 (1)
Sawtell/Toormina had to beat Grafton if it was to remain in second position on the ladder and earn a coveted double chance.
Doing so was a battle for the Saints with Grafton leading by 13 points at half time but Sawtell/Toormina lifted in the second half to record an important seven point victory.
The Saints turned it around in the third term kicking four goals to one to take a one-point lead into three-quarter time. Grafton would end up ruing their inaccuracy in front of goal in the third term.
GRAFTON 5.4 9.6 10.12 13.15 (93)
SAWTELL/TOORMINA 4.3 7.5 11.7 15.10 (100)
Goals – Saw: J.Perks 5, H.Anderson 3, L.Matthews 2, J.Peach 2, B.Cox 2, C.Perks. Graf: T.Churchin 6, L.Anderson 3, N.Wheaton 2, N. O’Neill, M.Luxton.
Reserves: Grafton 7.11 (53) def Sawtell/Toormina 7.6 (48)
Under-17s: Grafton 14.17 (101) def Sawtell/Toormina 11.8 (74)
The Lismore Swans did all they could to try and sneak into second position on the ladder.
The Swans overcame Nambucca Valley to the tune of 105-points but couldn’t climb a rung above Sawtell/Toormina after the Saints got past Grafton.
Nambucca Valley put up a good fight, especially early, but the Swans proved stronger in the second half kicking 10 goals to one to extend the margin.
Andrew Baker kicked eight goals to take his tally to 60 for the season and wrap-up the leading goalkicker award for the season.
LISMORE SWANS 6.1 10.4 15.9 20.10 (130)
NAMBUCCA VALLEY 2.2 2.3 3.3 3.7 (25)
Goals – Lis: A.Baker 8, J.Nicholls 4, D.Bruce 2, R.Richardson, E.McNutt, J.Ashby, T.Mowbray, P.Holden, J.McGuinness. N.V: R.McGrath 2, A.Boatfield.
Casino’s tough initiation into the AFL North Coast ranks came to an end with a heavy loss.
Facing the ladder leaders the Lions were no match for the Coffs Breakers with the match over as a contest by quarter time.
The Breakers had 14 individual goalkickers on the day with Aidan Wallace and Terrone Roberts-Potter leading the way kicking five goals each.
The Lions predicted that 2021 would be a difficult year as it set about rebuilding the foundation of the club that had been in recess for almost 15 years. With strong contributors like Liam Fitzpatrick, who was again among the Casino best on Saturday, Casino is looking forward to an improved season in 2022.
CASINO LIONS 0.1 0.1 1.2 2.2 (14)
COFFS BREAKERS 9.4 18.11 28.16 36.18 (234)
Goals – Coffs: A.Wallace 5, T.Roberts-Potter 5, J.Hayes 4, B.Neary 4, M.McMahon 3, J.Guthrie 3, O.McKenzie 3, K.Wilson 2, D.Walls 2, J.Hunt, D.Homan, R.Maher, J.Yole, J.Lansdowne. Cas: C.Reeves, J.Walker.
AFL NORTH COAST FINALS SYSTEM
1st Semi Final (3rd vs 4th) – Winner to Preliminary Final, loser eliminated.
2nd Semi Final (1st vs 2nd) – Winner to Grand Final, loser to Preliminary Final.
Preliminary Final (Winner 1st Semi vs Loser 2nd Semi) – Winner to Grand Final, loser eliminated
Grand Final (Winner 2nd Semi vs Winner Preliminary)
SATURDAY, AUGUST 14
At C.ex Coffs International Stadium
11.30am – Under-17s 2nd Semi: Grafton vs Sawtell/Toormina
1.20pm – Reserves 1st Semi: Grafton vs Northern Beaches
2.50pm – Reserves 2nd Semi: Coffs Breakers vs Sawtell/Toormina
SATURDAY, AUGUST 21
At C.ex Coffs International Stadium
10.00am – Womens 2nd Semi: Coffs Breakers vs Northern Beaches
11.50am – Womens 1st Semi: Lismore Swans vs Port Macquarie
1.20pm – Seniors 2nd Semi: Coffs Breakers vs Sawtell/Toormina
3.30pm – Seniors 1st Semi: Lismore Swans vs Port Macquarie
Lead photo: Tyran Mowbray kicks the Lismore Swans into attack at Oakes Oval against Nambucca Valley. Photo: Paul Taylor
Key info for Finals matches at Stadium: 14 & 15 August
All of the key information that players, spectators, and families need for Saturday’s (14.8.21) re-scheduled Senior Competition Semis and Sunday’s (15.8.21) Junior Grand Finals are below.
Ticketing – both events are ticketed, with tickets available:
Players and coaches receive free entry, clubs have links and will provide these to their personnel.
Parking – the main car park is out of action due to its use as a drive through COVID testing site. Parking will be in the southern car park (access off Phil Hawthorne Drive) or along the eastern side of the Stadium (along Phil Hawthorne Drive). Other parking options include at Leisure Park (off Stadium Drive), at Coffs Harbour Kart Club (Phil Hawthorne Drive), or at Coffs Harbour Leagues Club (Stadium Drive).
Venue entry – the main gates are out of action so entry will be through the southern gate, off the southern car park.
Conditions of entry – click here to see Council’s conditions of entry to the Stadium.
COVID protocols – click here to see Council’s COVID protocols that must be adhered to. Note: no mask, no entry!
Junior Grand Final live streaming – links for live streaming are below:
- Under 11- https://youtu.be/FQfjcjqRhNA
- Under 13 – https://youtu.be/jWcNtRMQn1U
- Youth Girls – https://youtu.be/LcS0N6uo8_E
- Under 15 – https://youtu.be/JA73INjt990
First published at AFL North Coast – Tuesday 10 August 2021. See; https://aflnorthcoast.com.au/2021/08/09/pies-prevail-to-earn-a-finals-berth/