Sunday’s under-12 AFL match held at Round Mountain (Pottsville) was the qualifying semifinal between the first-placed Tweed Tigers and second-placed Byron Bay Magpies.
In a gruelling match players from both sides put their heart and soul into the game played in warm conditions for this time of year.
In the end it was the individual class of Byron’s leading players that stood out against a gallant team effort from the Tigers.
The Tigers were in the match early and kicked truly with the wind at their back but could not keep out the impressive Magpies who kicked goals in the critical quarters against the wind.
Nonetheless, the local supporters were impressed with the Tigers playing to the final whistle and look forward to their backing up next week in the preliminary final.
Ethan Sekac and Mason Rhodes played well with the Man of the Match awarded to Will Stone. Special mentions also to Flynn McLachlan, Callum Van Den Driest, Sam Hope and Jake Tighe.
The Tweed goal kickers were Jake Tighe 1, Blaine Thomas 1, Matthew Lambert 1, Callum Van Den Driest 1, and Callum Opperman 2.
Byron Bay 10-8-68 defeated Tweed Coast Tigers 6-6-42.
The Tigers travel to Ballina for the preliminary final on Sunday August 25 after Ballina defeated Casino in the elimination semifinal played prior to the Byron/Tigers match.
In the under-14s, the Tweed Coast Tigers took on the Lismore Swans in a knockout semifinal at Round Mountain Road. During the season the three times the Swans and the Tigers have met have all resulted in victories to the Lismore team.
The Tiger boys, however, went into this game with a positive attitude and keen to prove that they could beat the Swans.
At the end of the first quarter, the Tigers were only three goals behind, with Lachlan Sheldon scoring a good goal. Wisely, the Tigers had elected to kick against the wind and the players were happy to be in touch at quarter-time.
Oscar Clarke was dominant around the ground as always and with three on the bench every player had to prove their worth. Billy Porter played a corker of a game, and as always Tom Porter was courageous in the play.
At half-time the Swans still led but the Tigers were keen to catch up. During the third quarter the boys lifted with some wonderful play from Will Luff and strong defensive work from Gus Bourne and Finn Kenny, which was well supported by Elliot Hawkins at fullback with some pinpoint kick-ins.
The boys were also challenged to limit the Swans’ score and get at least one goal, which they did.
At three-quarter time the boys were well within reach and they were kicking home with the wind.
Great little bursts of play from Andrew Manning and Finn Shaw. Strong ruck work and clearances provided opportunities to the forwards and these were converted.
With two minutes to go in the last quarter the Tweed Coast Tigers took the lead through a goal from Will Luff. This was the first time the Tigers had taken the lead and they did not let it go.
The Tweed Coast Tigers eventually won the match 6.4.40 defeating the Lismore Swans 5.6.36. The goal scorers for the Tigers were Will Luff with two great goals, and singles to Connor, Lachlan, Micah and Oscar. Great game, boys; well done to everyone. Next week is another chance to progress.