Byron Bay continued its winning ways proving too strong for the Coffs Breakers at Fitzroy Oval.
Byron Bay continued its winning ways proving too strong for the Coffs Breakers at Fitzroy Oval.

Three-way race for this year’s title continues

THE race for this year’s AFL North Coast title continues to be a tough one to call.

The upshot of the weekend cross conference round where local teams face opposition from the Northern NSW competition is that Port Macquarie has returned to the winners list and regained top spot on the table in the process.

Coffs Harbour Breakers faced the outfit that could probably be called be the best team north of the Hunter and came up short while the title defence of reigning premier Sawtell/Toormina is gathering momentum.

The Saints made the long trek north to Bogangar with an undermanned side but managed to guts out a five-point win against the Tigers.

Most eyes were on the action at Fitzroy Oval though.

Port were favoured to take the points against Lismore Swans but surprisingly the Magpies found themselves behind by eight points at the major interval before drawing away in the second half, kicking eight goals to three.

A six-goal-to-one third quarter paved the way for Byron Bay to record a 39-point victory over Coffs Breakers in the clash of the two top-of-the-ladder teams.

The loss by the Breakers combined with Port Macquarie’s win over the Lismore Swans means the Magpies have returned to the top of the ladder.

Next week the Saints play at home in the local derby against the Breakers. The result of this clash may offer some added clues as to how this year’s premiership race will pan out.

See Wednesday’s Advocate for more details.

CROSS CONFERENCE ROUND

Fitzroy Oval

Byron Bay Magpies 14.17 (101) def Coffs Breakers 10.2 (62)

Port Macquarie 12.13 (85) def Lismore Swans 9.7 (61)

Round Mountain, Bogangar

Sawtell/Toormina 9.9 (63) def Tweed Coast Tigers 8.10 (58)

Ballina Bombers 23.27 (165) def Grafton 1.3 (9)