AN understrength Port Macquarie Magpies kept the pressure on Coffs Harbour at the top of the ladder with a comfortable 113-point win over Grafton Tigers.
With a number of players missing, many of the Magpies who made the trip north found themselves having to double up between reserves and seniors.
Port were dominant in the first half, using the reserve grade match as their warm-up and striking hard before legs got heavy and bodies fatigued on the way to a 21.15 (141) to 4.4 (28) victory.
They kept the Tigers scoreless in the first quarter whilst posting seven goals of their own, then backed this up in the second term with a further five goals against one for Grafton.
Ryan Barnett had five goals for Port, Cooper Pascoe kicked four, Brice Hayward three, and Matt Clarke and Kye Wilson contributed two apiece.
Meanwhile, Northern Beaches/Grafton continued their recent strong form to push Port Macquarie Magpies all the way in their women's clash, but came up short against a competition heavyweight for the second week in a row.
Port Macquarie were down on numbers due to university holidays, but had an unexpected boost when Cambridge McCormick returned from Ipswich for the match.
She was again an influential figure around the park in their 4.7 (31) to 2.2 (14) win.
The Pies started strongly to land the first two goals of the match and hold the Blue Tigers scoreless in what appeared an ominous sign.
However the Blue Tigers bounced back strongly in a second quarter that quickly became a shootout.
Both teams kicked two goals to ensure that the lead was only eight points at the long break and the game was well and truly in the balance.
The third quarter went the same way as the first, Port adding one goal while Northern Beaches/Grafton were unable to trouble the scorer.
Neither team were able to grab a decisive advantage in the final term as the match became a stoppage fest with neither team able to kick a goal.
Casey Miosge kicked two goals for the victors, with Anishah Burnes and Fiona Bagley each kicking one.
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