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The Tweed Coast Tigers have clutched victory from the jaws of defeat and broken the hearts of Ballina and their supporters after trailing a much improved Bombers outfit until the final 2 minutes of the game.
The Bombers totally dominated the Tigers for 3 and half
quarters, but in the last 10 minutes of the game, the Tigers flicked the on switch
and showed why they have beaten all comers this season.
The Tigers have still not put their full strength team on the paddock this season and Saturday was a true test of the depth of the club, with key tall position players missing from the forwards and backs, all out with minor injuries.
From the first bounce the usual Tiger intensity was obviously missing and the Bombers took advantage kicking the first and last goal of the quarter to lead at the first change by 3 points.
The second quarter was all Bombers kicking 6 goals into the wind and restricting the Tigers to just 2 goals. At the half time the Bombers were leading 9.3 – 57 to the Tigers 5.1 - 31. This was very unfamiliar territory for the Tigers and the Bombers were letting them know about it with some quality sledging coming from the Bombers onballers.
The Tigers needed a big 3rd quarter with the wind but only managed to reduce the deficit to 3 goals at 3 quarter time. To make matters worse key ruckman Wilson was sent off for an indiscretion that appeared to be started by his Ballina opponent. The Tigers were down to 15 men and looking down the barrel of an upset at home.
The 3 quarter time Tiger’s huddle was a staunch affair but the lads hadn’t given up yet, an inspirational address by Coach Shags with a quiet reminder that “we were at Tigerland and the Tigers never give up, especially at home” saw the Tigers find some lost intensity.
The Ballina camp could almost taste a very sweet upset and the Headlines had been pencilled in down south. The onball sledging ramped up, well as they say you shouldn’t count your chickens and maybe the Bomber onballers should off put more energy into playing than mouthing off because at about the 15 minute mark of the final quarter the Tigers changed gear and the Bombers failed to go with them.
In front of the crowd of the season the Tigers onballers led by a Best on Ground performance from Jimmy Walle and aptly supported by Arnie, Johno, Jai and giant ruckman Strope clicked. They won 3 rucks straight and delivered quality opportunities to star forward Jacob, who took 2 great marks 40 m out and banged them both home, for a stellar 5 goal match winning performance under pressure. Add another goal from Nugget (who finished the game with 4 goals) and with 2 minutes left the Tigers took the lead by 3 points for the first time. Another centre break and an opportunistic goal from Woody right on the siren and that was all she wrote.
Tigers home by 9 points!
Credit must go to the Bombers who took it to the Tigers with some quality hard football and probably deserved the points. The loss has seen them drop to 5th on the ladder and they will need to win all the remaining games to be any chance in the finals.
Things are hotting up in the Summerland League with finals just around the corner. The Tigers played their worst game for the season but still had the goods to bring home the points in front of an appreciative home crowd.
Thanks to the Tiger volunteers, coaching and support staff and the very vocal home crowd.
Next week is Tigers v Coolangatta and should be a cracker.
Tigers 15.9 – 99 d Bombers 14.6 – 90
Tigers Goal Kickers
Jacob – 5
Nugget – 4
Wilson – 2
Josh – 2
Jimmy – 1
Benny - 1
Players Player – Jimmy
Note – This is the opinion of the author and may not be the opinion of the club and it’s committee.