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They say all good things must come to an end and so it was on Saturday that the Tweed Coast Tigers unbeaten streak of 24 games was ended by a passionate Lismore Swans. The Tigers hadn’t lost a game since Rd 1 2010, during which they had come from behind on several occasions but this Saturday it wasn’t to be.
Whilst you can throw around many excuses, upon reflection the reality was that the Swans turned up to play, backed their ability and rolled the reigning premiers with a deserved victory, much to the pleasure of a vocal Lismore home crowd.
With a half a dozen of the Tigers regulars out through injury and work commitments it was going to be a tough match on the road, but when the Tigers could only manage 19 players to start the match they were behind the 8 ball from the beginning. Especially when the Swans came out of the blocks with passionate running football and some very tactical coaching that saw them exploit the Tigers weaknesses.
The Swans Jak Johnston nailed the first goal of the game and the Tigers played catch up from then on. At the first break the teams were even at 2.3 – 15 each and the Tigers new they were in for a torrid battle with plenty of physicality from the Swans taking it to the Premiers.
In the second term the battle continued with both teams going to the half time break again even on 5.6 -36.
However it was at the 5 min mark of the second term that was the turning point when tempers boiled over in an ugly incident that eventually saw Tigers Big John sent from the field for accidently striking with an elbow.
On a day when all could go wrong and did for the Tigers even a half time dressing down from Coach Shayne Shags Shallue was not enough and in the premiership quarter it was all Swans. The Tigers failed to match the Swans running and with an extra player it was all red and white. With no bench to provide a rest for the Tigers they ran out of legs and the Swans kicked 7 goals to 1 to break the game wide open and finish the term 12.8 – 80 to 6.8 – 44.
The Tigers rallied for one last effort in the final term but some costly misses at goal took the last wind out of the sails and a couple of quality replies from the Swans saw them take the prized scalp and the points to finish 41 point winners.
It wasn’t all doom and gloom for the Tigers with young Sam Edwards and Jessie Wilmen outstanding in their efforts all day, Nathan Wilson returned from injury to kick 4 goals and giant ruckmen Brennan Strope Lye dominated the ruck.
In the end this will be a good wakeup call for the Tigers who were beaten by a better more determined team with a quality strategy to tame the Tigers.
On a pleasant note, all of the days hostilities were left on the paddock when the Tigers returned to the Swans watering hole at the Richmond Tavern and players and officials from both clubs enjoyed a quiet beverage in good spirits.
Training will be on this week Tuesday and Thursday and it is recommend the players bring their running shoes as Shags will have some not so fun times up his sleeves for the lads.
This Saturday the Tigers will travel to Coolangatta where they will play under lights at 4.30pm following the much hyped game between Cooly and Palm Beach featuring AFL star Jason Akermanis and ex Tigers David Round and Arnold Knight.
Lismore 15.9 – 99 d Tigers 8.11 - 58
Players Player Award – Brennan Lye aka Strope
Tiger’s Goal Kickers:
Nathan Wilson – 4
Ash Gemmill – 2
Big John – 1
Jimmy Walle - 1
Please Note: This is the opinion of the author and may not represent the opinion of the club or its committee.