Bombers dive; Swans fly
THE star-studded Tweed Coast are into the Summerland AFL grand final after withstanding a spirited Ballina in the second semi-final at Oakes Oval, Lismore,on Saturday.
But the Tigers are likely to be without Arnold Knight, arguablythe league's best player, when the midfielder was sent off after an altercation with Bombers onballer Travis Clarke early in the second quarter.
Tweed Coast absorbed much of what Ballina threw at them winningby 28 points, 13.14 (92)to 9.10 (64).
The Bombers, however disappointed at losing to the Tigers, would be pleased with the form of several players including Jonathon Leach, who provided a lively target for his side, and Matt Bell across the backline.
Ballina's youth brigade, led by Liam Stafford and Lee Pittavino, were among their better players.
Tweed are a well-drilled and highly skilled side and despite the early loss of Knight, who had already kicked two goals before being sent off, stuck to their general game plan which has served them well throughout this season.
Ballina will play Lismore in the preliminary final on Saturday after the Swans ran Byron Magpies off their legs in the second half of their first semi-final, also at Oakes Oval.
The Swans restricted the Magpies to just two goals in the second half after an even first half to win by 63 points, 17.12. (114) to 7.9. (51).
Ben Hughes was the standout Swan.
His booming right foot and defensive presence in the backline gave the half-back line the space to run.
Pocket-rocket Alex Aitken bobbed up in the Swans' forward line to be their leading goalkicker with four while Jak Johnson, despite the close attention of the Magpies' Kurt Bullock, contributed three.
The news wasn't all good for the Swans, how-ever, with Mitch Montgomery receiving a knock to the head in the third quarter.
He had to be carried off on a stretcher.
This weekend's preliminary final between Ballina and Lismore will be played at Round Mountain Oval, Pottsville.
The Summerland AFL presentation night will be held at Pottsville after the game.