Bombers have all the answers

By Darren Moncrieff

THE fortress walls at Fripp Oval remain intact for another week at least after the Ballina Bombers disposed of the Lismore Swans in the Summerland Australian Football League's (SAFL) final round on Saturday.

The Bombers, who also sewed up the minor premiership, sent an ominous warning to the would-be challengers ahead of this week's second semi-final between the two sides after a devastating second quarter to set up the 12.19 (91) to 6.9 (45) win.

Bouncing back from a tardy first quarter, the Bombers kept the Swans scoreless in the second and nailed 5.6 to set up the 46-point win.

While the game on Saturday wasn't pretty, Ballina coach Scott Brooks was relieved to have his side come out of it largely unscathed.

Both sides employed a loose man in defence but the Bombers got greater value from that tactic.

"I guess it was good to win ugly," Brooks said.

"It was an insignificant game insofar as the overall picture is concerned and that's absolutely no disrespect to the Swans but it means we've got the minor premiership and we play them again (on Saturday)."

Andrew Attewell played one of his better games for the Bombers while team-mate Pat Bulzomi was at his elusive best.

"We're very impressed with the improvement in Andy's game," Brooks said.

"He's very handy to have, that tall sort of player that he is."

Poor decision-making at key moments cost Lismore dearly, especially coming out from defence.

Swans coach Ron Meldrum was livid at the half-time break and gave his players a fair serve for an insipid second quarter.

He rung some changes for the third and the plan worked with the Swans getting to within 19 points at one stage.

But they were unable to bridge the gap and faded out of the contest in the final quarter, going goal-less while the Bombers added three.

Exacerbating the Swans' loss was a broken nose caused by friendly fire to key defender Simon Lovell just on half-time. His absence hurt the Swans and he is unlikley to play in the finals.

Team-mate Josh Suffolk suffered mild concussion and James Howard was troubled by knee soreness.

Lions down Demons

THE Casino Lions will enter the finals with some measure of confidence after several top-notch performances over the past fortnight.

The Lions downed Nimbin Demons at Nimbin on Saturday by 121 points, 20.20 (140) to 3.1 (19).

Youngsters Mitch Montgomery and Gerard Oliver were among the Lions' best with Steve Formaggin winning a lot of the ball from half-back and in the middle.

Will Alexander was the Demons' best, along with Zed Novak and Royden Butler.

The Demons celebrated three 2milestones 1in their final game this season Jimmy Geurnson's 100th, Julian Sharma's 50th and Rohan Wolczac's final game.

Storm's first flag

THE Northern Rivers Storm won a thrilling grand final yesterday to win the AFL-Gold Coast Juniors Division 2 premiership.

The Storm held off the Coomera Magpies at Coomera by three points in a tense final quarter.

The Storm started the game strongly and skipped out to a four-goal lead by quarter-time before Coomera came back into the contest.

Scores were level at full-time and the lead changed several times in the frantic final minutes of extra time.

Full report in Junior Sport in The Northern Star on Thursday

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