Three tries to Lennox Head fullback Brenton Cochrane helped the Far North Coast rugby union competition leaders to a 28-19 win over Grafton at Grafton on Saturday.
The defeat has seriously weakened the prospects of Grafton, minor premiers and beaten grand finalists last year, of making the play-offs.
Grafton now sit in sixth place, two behind fifth-placed Ballina, who beat the Redmen in last season’s grand final.
In other games:
- It must be uni holidays — Southern Cross University were hammered 86-0 by Wollongbar Alstonville, with Ben Damen and Brad Marsh each scoring three tries.
- Ballina’s semi-final hopes are in the balance after losing 31-21 to Lismore.
- Coolongatta Tweed maintained a top-five spot with a 27-7 win over Casino.
Lennox Head 28 (Brenton Cochrane 3, James Barnes 2 tries, Trent Gasnier penalty goal) d Grafton 19 (Chris Jackson, Tom Ellem, Brett Graham tries, Trent Dickson 2 conversions).
Coolangatta Tweed 27 (Tamhiti Coates 3, Shane Proctor tries, Ioane Sauia conversion, penalty goal, Todd Heywood conversion) d Casino 7 (Luke Serone try, Brok Doohan conversion).
Wollongbar Alstonville 86 (Ben Damen 3, Brad Marsh 3, Tim Perkins 2, Arlo Cluff 2, Simon Perkins, Scott Jenkins, Ryan Hamilton, Kent Sharman tries, Ben Damen 8 conversions) d Southern Cross 0.
Lismore 31 (Joe Akkersdyk, Scott Lancaster, Stephen Hughes, Matt Bermingham tries, James Wood 3 conversions, Matt Bermingham conversion, penalty goal) d Ballina 21 (Brent Horan, Nathan Wyatt, Luke Watling tries, Adam Fisher 3 conversions).
Pointscore: Lennox Head 44, Wollongbar Alstonville 42, Coolangatta Tweed 42, Lismore 40, Ballina 26, Grafton 24, Casino 22, Southern Cross 12, Yamba 10.
Ballina 26 d Lismore 12
Grafton 19 d Lennox Head 0
Southern Cross 38 d Wollongbar Alstonville 29
Casino 24 d Coolangatta Tweed 7.
Casino 23 d Evans River 7.
Grafton 50 d Lennox Head 0
Wollongbar Alstonville 19 d Southern Cross 0
Ballina 35 d Lismore 0.
Village Competition (Round 15):
Bangalow 15 d Kyogle 10
Byron Bay 5 d Evans River 0.