With the season over for the under-9 and under-10 divisions, it was up to the under-12 and -14s to put the Tigers into the season finals.
Last Sunday, in warm sunny conditions at Ballina, the Tweed Coast Tigers won their way into the Northern Rivers League Grand Final. The Ballina Bombers started strongly in the first quarter, aided by a fresh breeze, and went into the first break a couple of goals up. However, the Tigers moved into top gear in the second quarter and never looked back, playing ‘champagne’ football.
The Tweed players attacked the ball, moving it quickly to teammates and converted accurately, to cruise to a 40-point victory. The win gave the young Tigers the confidence they will need for next week’s Grand Final clash against the undefeated Byron Bay Magpies.
Most valuable players were Jake Tighe, Hayden VanBeest, Callum Opperman, Mason Rhodes, Will Bernet and Koby Bell.
The Under-14 Tweed Coast Tigers took on the Byron Magpies in a do-or-die Preliminary Final at Fripp Oval in Ballina. The Byron team boasts some outstanding individual players but that did not stop the Tigers taking the game right up to them in the first quarter. Super strong defence in the Tigers’ back line limited the opportunities for the Magpies. Excellent work by Elliot and Finn Shaw and Finn Kenny held up the Byron attack. Strength and steadfastness by Gus Bourne was great to see. Gus has really improved and was among the best afield.
In the second quarter the Tigers increased the pressure in defence with Lewis Holloway planning his best football of the year. At the end of the quarter Harry Keenan was unlucky not to snap a goal before the siren sounded.
As the Tigers went into the third quarter, the coaching team asked the boys to deliver a couple of goals, which the boys did through Oscar Clarke who, as always, had a strong presence around the ground and took some excellent marks. Excellent marks were also taken by Billy and Tom Porter, with some strong plays being made by Connor and Will around the ground. Jake Pluckrose was ever present around the packs and Micah had a real go. Coby got through a couple of heavy bumps and took a good mark, while Lachlan really started to move the ball around in the last quarter and Andrew Manning made a good contribution.
In the end the Byron Magpies were too strong, defeating the Tigers 107 to 13. The Tigers finished third this year, which is great. The boys’ skills are improving and next the Tigers will be the team to beat.