SOME burnt energy on pre-match nerves cost the under 18s team dearly against Coffs Harbour Breakers on Saturday in that division's grand final.
The Magpies went down 12.8 (80) to 8.4 (52) at Coffs Harbour as they just couldn't peg back a Breakers outfit which got off to a flying start.
Blake Nelson, Sam Johnson and Jackson Terley each kicked two goals on Saturday.
Kobe McClure and Max Carter booted singles.
The Magpies had another good year, but just couldn't finish the job in the biggest game of the season.
Coach Craig Carroll said there was plenty of nervous energy before the game.
"As soon as I walked into the sheds, I could tell they were wound too tightly," Carroll said.
It cost them dearly when the walked out onto the field. The Breakers kicked away to an 18-1 lead in the first quarter.
It was 51-13 at the main break and 72-27 at three quarter time.
The Magpies came home with a wet sail in the fourth term, but they had left themselves too much to do and couldn't get there.
Carroll said the team turned too much ball over.
"They used it, we didn't," he said.
"Simple as that."
The Magpies pride themselves on ball movement and good decision making, and that went missing in the early stages on Saturday.
"A lot of our usual match winners were off," Carroll said.
Johnson had a good game up front, without kicking his usual bag of majors.
"He brought the ball down well," Carroll said.
"Fraser Carroll was great in defence and skipper Josh King was strong at centre half back.
"He led well," Carroll said.
He had plenty of praise for the Breakers.
"Hats off to them," Carroll said.
"They played well. If we were going to lose to anyone, I wouldn't mind losing to them."