Port Macquarie Magpies hold off gallant Grafton Tigers

A SIX-GOAL final quarter saved Port Macquarie Magpies from becoming Grafton’s first victim of the AFL North Coast season.

Trailing by 15 points at the last change, a huge boil-over looked on the cards as the Magpies found themselves in a real battle.

The Magpies overcame the fright and eventually did enough on the way to securing an important 12.9 (81) to 11.5 (71) victory over a gallant Tigers outfit.

Captain Jesse Schmidt again stood up and kicked three goals, while promising youngster Ed Smith also booted three majors.

“I don’t think we necessarily played poorly, they were just a lot stronger than we thought they were going to be,” Schmidt said.

“We definitely did it a fair bit tougher than we’d have liked.”

Schmidt conceded the Magpies underestimated Grafton – who pushed Sawtell for a half a game last weekend.

“It was a good contest and the last 15 minutes they had a bloke stretchered off with a knee injury,” the Magpies captain said.

“We reassessed, said we needed to pull our fingers out and have a crack and that was when we kicked a few goals and got in front.”

Schmidt said the performances of Brendan Badenoch and Zane Sparke were two shining lights in the hard-fought win.

“Overall we got a shock, but when the game was on the line we had a few blokes with ice running through their veins,” he said.

And what was the most important thing the Magpies took out of the game?

“Don’t underestimate Grafton,” Schmidt said.