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The Tweed Coast Tigers have started the 2011 Summerland AFL season the way they finished their successful 2010 Premiership by belting the Lismore Swans by 8 goals at Pottsville on Saturday.
Wearing their new traditional Richmond style jerseys the Tigers put on a solid display from the first bounce and were never threatened by a Lismore side who promised much by winning the Lightning Pre-season.
On what was a beautiful sunny day for football in Pottsville the day was started in style by the presentation by Summerland League AFL President Tony Burton of the Tigers 2010 Premiership Flag to Coach Shane Shallue, Captain Jai Purcell and ex President Col Richards.
In his address to the crowd and players Tony Burton gave the Swans side a big wrap for being runners up in the last 2 Grand Finals and winning the Lightning Cup at Nimbin, a couple of important facts he forgot to mention was that the Tigers had just completed an amazing season for a Club in only their second year, claiming a 19 game winning streak, the Minor Premiership, League’s Best and Fairest and Leading Goal Kicker, wining the Major Semi with only 17 players for most of the game, then coming from behind in the Grand Final to run home over the top of Lismore to claim the Club’s first Premiership!
This success has to be attributed to the hard work of the committee, club volunteers and a very tight playing group who are determined to defend their flag in 2011.
RD 1 saw the GF rematch with all the pre game talk centering around Lismore’s great form in the pre-season cup. The Tigers once again snuck under the radar with an excellent preseason and a boost to the playing roster of some talented young blood.
With a new structured forward line the Tigers suffered a huge blow in the first 5 minutes when star full forward Jason Bolt had his nose badly broken in an ugly accidental head clash and had to leave the field for treatment. This did not stop the Tiger momentum and when Popey slotted the Tigers opening goal of the season with a left footer of the ground the Tigers took the Lead and were never headed for the remainder of the game. Goals from Ben Kelly and Shane Nugget Peddie saw the Tigers jump to 4 Goal lead into the wind at the first break. The Swans had several good attacking raids but solid backline defence from the Tigers led by Arty, Timmy and new star Josh Edwards plus some inaccurate kicking had Lismore well behind at the first break.
In a lion hearted effort Bolty returned to the paddock in the second term and had some important touches for the Tigers and a goal for his efforts. The Tigers success in 2010 was driven by the intensity and strength of the engine room and this continued into Rd 1 of the 2011 season with their quality onballer’s, led by Captain Jai Purcell, Johnno Bevan, Jimmy Walle, Ben Kelly and the 2 tower ruckman combination of Nathan Wilson and Big John combining to shut the Swans out of the ruck competition for the majority of the game.
With the Potty Southerly Doctor blowing their way in the second term the Tigers continued to drill goals with Jimmy and Johnno contributing with majors to see the Tigers lead by 40 at the main break.
The Tiger’s recruited well in the offseason with some good young players including Jessie Wilmen and Sam Edwards who both had great first games off the halfback line, keep an eye on these two as their confidence grows they will be hard to stop as the season rolls on. Kicking into the wind in the third quarter the Tigers rolled on with Benny kicking another 2 quality goals as did Tristan. Jacob contributed well up front despite battling the flu and banged a 50m set shot to see the Tigers extend their lead to 54 at the third break.
The final term had the Swans put in 1 final effort to string together a couple of running goals in what was at times a very verbal and spiteful match, with passions boiling over when Swans new Captain Simon Howard was reported for striking with an elbow.
The Tigers are a well drilled side and maintained their composure under a verbal onslaught from the Swans to control the last parts of the final term and finish the game of with an impressive 8 goal victory.
Any rumors of the Tigers not having the metal to match their 2010 performance due to the defection north of star players Roundy and Arnie were well and truly put to bed with a great all round team performance in front of a good home crowd.
Team Awards will be done at training on Thursday but there was excellent performances from Westy, Josh & Sam Edwards and Jessie of the half back line. Jai, Johnno, Jimmy and Benny performed well with Wilson dominating the ruck. Nugget, Jacob, Popey and especially Bolty were good up front.
The Tigers now look to Coolanagatta this weekend who struggled for numbers against Byron in Rd 1 and were hammered. With the return of star forward and 2010 Grand Final best on ground Ash Gemmill, this weekend the Tigers are looking for a continued strong effort at training and into RD 2.
RD 1 Tigers V Lismore Scores
1st Quarter 4.2 - 26 v 0.4 - 4
2nd Quarter 10.8 - 68 v 4.4 – 28
3rd Quarter 15.13 – 103 v 7.7 – 49
Final 17.16 – 121 v 10.9 – 69
Tigers Goal Kickers:
Ben Kelly - 3
Shane Peddie -3
Johnno Bevan -2
Jimmy Walle -2
Anthony Pope -2
Tristan Boal -2
Jaosn Bolt -1
Jacob Eldridge -1
Tigers would like to thank the committee and volunteers for their help on the day and the Tigers Supporters.
Tigers are Proudly Supported by
Pottsville Sports Club, Pottsville Cellars, Chozen Riders, Healthy Life Kingscliff, Concrete Lines Skate Shop, Coastal Building & Construction, Tu Kups Thirst Quenching Media, NR Signs, Pottsville Physiotherapy, Beaches Brick Laying, Civil Estimating Services, White Jade Restaurant, Murdoch's Pharmacy
Go the Tigers, Back to Back in 2011!
Please note: This is the opinion of the Author and may not represent the opinion of the club or it’s committee.