AFTER several weeks on the road the Manning Valley Mustangs returned to Johnny Martin Oval for a North Coast junior AFL double header against the Port Macquarie Flyers.
The 11s were first up getting off to a steady start with an early behind. Strong work in the middle from Isaac Luke, Riley Hill and Tanner Lewis-Bain ensured an even first quarter with the Mustangs just a goal behind at the break.
However, the Flyers put the foot down in the second quarter extending to a 27 point lead, despite an early goal to Zac Thomson.
The momentum continued with the Flyers, but some late goals to Isaac Luke and Tanner Lewis-Bain with an assist from Ruby Luke helped put some respect back into the score line. The highly placed Flyers finished with a comprehensive 60 point victory.
A short ceremony was held between matches, with Member for Myall Lakes Stephen Bromhead unveiling newly erected goalposts.
The project supported by a NSW government grant, further supports the development of the Mustangs Club and AFL in the region, as it continues to work to attract new players, club president Rob Waddell said.
The 13s then took to the field in what promised to be an intriguing contest between the fifth and eighth placed sides.
Both sides brought strong defence to the match, with just the one late goal to the Flyers recorded in the first quarter.
The second quarter opened up with Adam Drewitt delivering an early long range goal, before Rohnan Lamb quickly booted another on the back of a free kick. The Mustangs went into the break trailing by just seven.
Two quick goals to the Flyers saw the ascendancy switch again as they went into the three quarter break with a 22 point lead.
But a tenacious effort in the middle from Ben Drewitt along with Zac Houston, resulted in 2 quick goals and behinds, with the Flyers lead dwindling back to nine.
A tense final five minutes ensued with neither side able to score again, the Flyers ultimately prevailing in an outstanding match 36-27.
It was arguably the 13s Mustangs best performance this season with all players playing their part. The Mustangs will be looking to continue this form as they travel to South West Rocks next Sunday to take on the Dockers.
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