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The Tweed Coast Tigers have proven themselves under pressure with a lion hearted performance to beat Ballina by 4 goals in the Major Semi at Oakes oval on Saturday and progress to their first Summerland League Grand Final.
In what was always going to be a tough, bruising encounter the Bombers came out firing to kick the first 2 goals of the match and stun the Tigers with their intensity at the ball. However the Tigers have stood tall all season and Saturday was no different, they responded with 3 quick goals to take the lead back and from there were not headed for the rest of the game.
What made the win all the more impressive was the fact that the Tigers played more than half the game with 17 players and without their star onballer Arnie who was sent off for an indiscretion early in the 2nd quarter. While most teams would buckle under the pressure Ballina applied with their extra player, the send off seemed to spurn on the Tigers who lifted under the quality leadership of skipper Jai and maintained a solid lead for the rest of the game.
Outstanding performances from Jimmy, Boalie and Jai helped drive the Tigers and with Bolty and Ash flying high and often to take sensational marks time and again, the scoreboard continued to tick over. The backmen did a great job to contain the bombers multiple raids into the forward line with the extra man, with Arty and Timmy again producing excellent games.
The Bombers made a charge in the third quarter and came within 2 goals of the Tigers, but each time the Tigers managed to find another gear and kick away from the their opposition. Quality performances from Roundy, Wilson and Strope helped to dominate the ruck and allow the Tigers to control the ball and play their own brand of football.
In a tough game of at times scrappy football all the Tigers stood tall and produced the goods with a man down in a performance that would off left Ballina wondering what they have to do to beat the Tigers.
The Tigers have now earned a week off and will host the Preliminary Final between Lismore and Ballina this Saturday at Round Mountain, the winner to take on the Tigers in the 2010 Grand Final at Fripp Oval Ballina on Saturday the 11th September.
Thanks to all the Tigers supporters that made the journey south to cheer home the team. We encourage everyone to get down to Round Mountain this Saturday to watch the Preliminary Final.
Big thanks to the Tigers support staff. Especially Les, strapper, masseuse, runner, public relations manager, rescuer of damsels in distress, bus driver and all round good guy!
Tigers 13.14 – 92 d Ballina 9.10 – 64
Tigers Goal Kickers
Roundy – 3
Ash – 3
Jimmy – 2
Arnold – 2
Jai – 1
Josh – 1
Nugget – 1
Note: This is the opinion of the author and may not be the opinion of the club and its committee.