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The Tweed Coast Tigers Football Club came of age on Saturday 11th of September by claiming a historic first Summerland League Premiership. The Club is two years old.
Since going down to Byron Bay by 2 points in round one of the season there has been a burning desire in the Tigers and that desire has transformed into a 19 game winning streak and dream season for such a young club. Whilst the players have done their job on the field it is the expertise and tireless support of the club volunteers and committee that has provided the platform for success.
THANK YOU to all the Tigers Committee Members, Sponsors, Coaching Staff, Support Staff, Volunteers and Supporters who have helped secure the 2010 Premiership Flag.
Grand Final Build Up
From inside the Tigers the feeling leading into the Grand Final was good.
A tough grinding win over a strong Ballina side and the benefit of the week of before the Grand Final was only marred by the suspension of the Summerland Leagues Best and Fairest Arnold Knight. This was a big loss.
However training was on and under the watchful eye of boxing /fitness trainer Paul Charlesworth and Coach Shags the Tigers machine rolled on. Thursday night provided it’s usual team bonding therapy and the club was ready for history.
Come 2pm on Saturday however the Lismore Swans had other ideas and after Nugget slotted the first goal of the GF for the Tigers from a set shot it was nearly all Lismore for 2 quarters.
The Tigers were lacking their usual gusto and Lismore’s running game was proving a challenge as expected and the Tigers went into the first break down to Lismore 3.2 to Tigers 1.2.
In the second term the pattern continued with the Swans winning the ball from the centre bounce and sending numerous attacking raids into their forward line. The Tigers were under pressure and potential cracks were showing, but the Tigers hung on to kick 2 goals for the term and with too many inaccurate shots hurting them, at the main break the Swans lead had increased to 15 points.
There’s something special about Grand Finals and experience counts for everything. The half time address from Coach Shags provided a hot reminder of the importance of the occasion and not to let the moment slip. This was followed by the veteran Arty who’s call for emotion from the team was heartfelt by all in the room. This wasn’t over yet.
From the siren the tussle continued in the middle and both teams rebounded attacks, it was a powerful run down the right wing from star onballer Johnno followed by his 50m goal on the run that had the Tigers and the crowd pumped.
It was then that Shags tweaked the Tigers strong backline which provided extra defense and running through the middle. The Swans failed to counter. The Tigers lifted the intensity and with Roundy in the ruck the big man started to set up the onballers with Jimmy , Bones, Johnno, Boalie and Jai breaking the packs with swift linking handballs and hard running, with Bolty consistently out marking his opponents and delivering quality service into Ash who had been moved up to full forward. Ash has demonstrated all season his ability to lead and out mark much bigger opponents and Saturday afternoon was his time in the sun. With 5 goals in the last 2 quarters Ash earned his Bob Hill Medal for best player in the Grand Final and helped lead the Tigers to the Flag.
To the Swans credit they fought hard all afternoon and a couple of critical injuries to their star onballers in the third quarter could have been the difference for them, at the 3 quarter break the Tigers led by 6 points.
The Final term was all Tigers with a 4 goal to 1 final term. The Tigers backline was overpowering the Swans young forwards with Timmy taking solid marks and Jacobs tackling reeking havoc to any chance the Swans had of the snatching the Flag.
Whilst in the middle Jimmy stepped up the running and linked with Ash and Nugget up front to put the game away. The final goal of the year went to Jimmy who snuck one away from the bottom of a pack and ran into an open goal, fittingly he was rewarded for his efforts with the Players Player Mug.
At the final siren the Tigers lead was 28 points and the Swans were left to ponder what might have been.
Quarter by quarter: Tweed Coast 1.2 3.7 7.12 11.16 (82) Lismore 3.2 6.4 7.6 8.6 (54)
Tigers Goal Kickers
Ash Gemmill - 5
Shane Peddie - 3
Jimmy Walle - 1
Ben Kelly - 1
John Bevan - 1
The Tigers would especially like to thank
Shags – Coach, Mark – Team Manager, Lucy – Team Physiotherapist, Deano – Runner,
And a very special mention to the boys who missed the GF but are part of the playing group
Arnold, T-Bone, Matty, Big John, Muzza, Thommo, Nathan, Louie, Mark and of course Colin.
This was truly a dream come true for the Tigers playing squad and their supporters; a number of the Tigers were playing in their first ever Grand Final and all involved will never forget
Saturday 11th September, 2010.
The day the Tigers won the Flag!
Stay Posted for follow up stories and images of celebrations and details on the upcoming Club Presentation Night.
Go the Tigers!
Note: This is the opinion of the author and may not be the opinion of the club and its committee.