TRY FACTOR: Ghosts’ Cameron Stewart goes over for a try during the match against Coffs Harbour. Photo: Debrah Novak
TRY FACTOR: Ghosts’ Cameron Stewart goes over for a try during the match against Coffs Harbour. Photo: Debrah Novak

Ghosts bust Comets to claim long awaited reserve grade title

THE BLANK space in the Grafton Ghosts' honour board can finally be filled.

After 51 years of heartache, the Ghosts finally lifted a reserve grade major premiership.

After two consecutive grand final losses, the first of which the Ghosts fell two points short and the second a heartbreaking extra-time loss, Grafton finally put it together on the biggest day of the year.

The scoreline, a delicious 20-point spanking to the tune of 30-10, is not so much an indicator of how one-sided the game was but more how much Coffs Comets let themselves down.

The Comets were on fire in the first half, and held a 10-6 lead at the interval courtesy of tries to Hayden Dowdy and Justin Hull.

Ghosts co-coach Warwick Brown said he was happy with his team's first-half performance.

"I was very happy at half-time," Brown said.

"We are a second-half team and I told the guys that.

"We take the ref out of the game, we take the scoreboard out of the game, and we concentrate on getting the job done."

The Ghosts switched into top gear and turned in a more polished second half.

But it was about the same time Coffs imploded, and they lost three players to the sin bin and one sent off in a wild 35 minutes.

Coffs halfback Daniel Slater earned an early shower after he reportedly yelled at the refs to "send the whole side off".

It marked an embarrassing end to what had been a tough, physical encounter, but that poor discipline shouldn't take anything away from the Ghosts.

Cameron Stewart scored a double as he and opposite winger Matt Ryan tore the Comets apart on the flanks.

They couldn't have done it without the platform laid by the monstrous forward pack led by Cameron Winters and Jarrad Day, who never took a backward step despite the pressure.

When asked for a standout performer Brown couldn't settle on one.

"We didn't rely on one player to do anything unbelievable, everyone did their job."

The Ghosts added local flavour to the post-match presentation as the club's Old Boys presented the player awards.