2012 NEAFL MINOR PREMIERS!
TIGERS TAKE MINOR PREMIERSHIP by Michael Niesen
The Tigers continued their fairytale season to take the minor premiership by defeating the Tuggeranong Hawks by 72 points at Greenway Oval.
After securing the Club Championship last week, the Tigers not only claimed the Minor Premiership but also the NEAFL Eastern Conference Leading Goal kicker in James Kavanagh during the Tuggeranong clash.
After a stuttering start to the game in which a ferocious Hawk outfit served it up to the Tigers to take a 6 point lead into the first change. The cream rose to the top during a 10 goal blitz in the 2nd term to end the game as a contest with the Tigers running out eventual 19-14-128 to 8-8-56 winners.
The Tigers had everything to play for after the Sydney Swans defeated the Brisbane Lions on Saturday to reclaim top spot on the NEAFL ladder but it was the Hawks who were kicking with the breeze that came out the hungrier of the two sides. Their tackling was relentless and you could have been forgiven for thinking that they were the side playing for top spot.
The Tigers appeared to forget about the things that had worked for them throughout the season and Tuggeranong took full advantage kicking 4 of the first 5 goals to open up and handy break midway through the 1st term. A couple of late goals to the Tigers brought the margin back to 6 points at quarter time but in truth the Hawks deserved to be further in front on balance of play.
Qbn 3-2-20 Tugg 4-2-26
There is no doubt the Tiger players were given a stern talking to by Coach Kade Klemke during the break and his charges responded like a top side. They dominated the 2nd term slamming on 10 goals to nil in an awesome display of football to which the Hawks simply had no answer.
The Tigers worked harder, their skills were better and they ran for each other which were in stark contrast to the previous quarter. During the goal rush Tiger “Legend” team member, James Kavanagh, notched up the single goal required to claim the League’s Leading Goal kicker Award as he moved to 76 goals for the season, 1 ahead of nearest rival Mitch Morton from the Sydney Swans.
Qbn 13-5-83 Tugg 4-3-27
Full credit to the Hawks who could have been forgiven for raising the white flag, as they came out with renewed vigor after half time. They increased their work rate and were rewarded with 3 goals for the term. Unfortunately during the term a few injury concerns confronted the Tigers who took precautionary measures and wrapped a few of their players in “cotton wool” with the mind set now shifting to a 2nd Semi Final in a fortnights time. The Tigers who were down a few rotations kicked 4 against the breeze to extend their half time advantage to 65 points.
Qbn 17-9-111 Tugg 7-4-46
With the Tigers down on rotations and the Hawks down on confidence you felt both sides were keen to hear the final siren as soon as possible. The Tigers won the quarter 2 goals to 1 but the term never really reached any great heights as one team had their thoughts on a well earned week off while the other was thinking about Mad Monday.
Qbn 19-14-128 Tugg 8-8-56
Goals Qbn – Campbell 6, Fruend 4, Stevens 2, K.Klemke, Quade, Kavanagh, Franchi, Griggs, Atkinson, Heaslip 1.Goals Tuggeranong – Johnson, Lovett 2, Litchfield, B.Cleaver, Ghiradello, D.Cleaver 1. Best Tuggeranong – Pocock, Dragicevic, Channon, Litchfield, Lawder
Best for the Tigers were Kaine Stevens who continued his breakout season amassing 34 possessions with his ability to find space when there appeared to be none a feature, Ryan Quade continued his recent run of great form with another Captains display.
He is marking everything that comes at him at the moment and he would have been relieved that he received some decent football after having most passes around his ankles during a frustrating first term. Toby Conroy shook the shackles of late with a powerful 38 possession game. He worked extremely hard, found space and delivered well to players down field.
Ben King just continues to work selflessly for the cause. His in and under work has been a feature throughout 2012 and his run and carry was also on display.
Daniel Campbell put his hand up for a 2nd Semi Final berth with 6 goals as he marked strongly and kicked accurately in tricky conditions. Brett Fruend also continued his fine season with 4 goals to take his tally to 43 for the year. A terrific effort from the skillful small forward.
So the end of the home and away season finds the Queanbeyan Tigers Minor Premiers of the NEAFL. An amazing achievement considering where the club was at come the end of 2011. The next phase will be more difficult and will require a greater sacrifice if they are to achieve the ultimate prize.
While the Minor Premiership is a tremendous achievement and deserves to be enjoyed in the short term, it will not be remembered by many in football circles in years to come. The opportunity is there for this group to etch themselves into Tiger history and place themselves alongside some of the great teams of the past.
But for now they should be congratulated on the way they have conducted themselves on and off the field and enjoy what the next 4 weeks could bring them.
AFL Canberra Division 1
With 5 minutes remaining, a commanding 22 point advantage and kicking with a strong breeze the Tigers had the game all wrapped up – so they thought!!
The Hawks thought differently and kicked three goals to bring the margin down to just two points and were attacking relentlessly. In the final minute there were two outstanding marks in the backline under enormous pressure by Hayden Kelly and Michael Elliott that held the Hawks at bay in a nail biting finish.
Once again the Tigers had many changes to their previous line up just two weeks ago. It has been an incredible season for triple premiership coach Adrian Pavese who has had to endure consistent player losses for any number of reasons each and every week throughout the season. To actually appear in the finals is an outstanding result.
With one game remaining of the home and away series this week against Ainslie a win will obviously give them an enormous boost against the very team they will meet in the elimination final the following week.
Last Sunday the Tigers fought desperately against a strong Hawks combination that contained a number of regular senior grade players. It was a close encounter throughout with a strong breeze playing an important factor for scoring opportunity to the southern of the ground.
With injury concerns to a number of NEAFL players at the moment, there were a number of pleasing performances in the Division 1 ranks which will obviously be taken into account come selection time.
100 1st grade game player Matt Liddle has struck some form after an injury riddled season. He posted three goals and could have had more but for inaccuracy when kicking against the wind. Dave Corcoran was a busy man up forward also posting three well earned goals while down back Hayden Kelly and Kaeden Watts were consistent performers.
Big man Ben Walsh has done little harm for NEAFL selection with a strong game throughout. Sam Daniel in his 50th Club match could also put his hand up for a possible recall after returning recently from overseas.
Two players who stood tall during the match were Michael Redmond and Dylan Bevan whose left foot goal from outside fifty was a beauty in the final term.
TUGGERANONG Hawks 3 4 5 6 9 9 13 11 (89) QUEANBEYAN 1 2 6 5 9 9 13 13 (91)TUGGERANONG Hawks Goal Kickers: S. WILKINSON 3, J. McCabe 3, W. PROWSE 3, N. Wright 2, C. PHILLIPS , S. Hartmann Best Players: C. PHILLIPS, T. FENYVESI, J. McCabe, S. KELLY, S. Hartmann, V. TULLEY QUEANBEYAN Goal Kickers: M. Liddle 3, D. CORCORAN 3, C. GRIGGS 2, C. Grintell , S. Daniel , J. Oram , M. Wescombe , D. BEVAN Best Players: B. Walsh, M. Liddle, S. Daniel, J. DANIEL, M. REDMOND, K. WATTS
Queanbeyan 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 (6)
Ainslie 1 0 3 2 6 5 10 9 (69) Goals: Lani WatsonBest: Mikaela Eldridge, Jane Vucago, Melissa Hurley, Hannah Dunn, Rachael Finley, Jacinta Froud
The Tigerettes finished their season battered and bruised but with their heads held high after going down to Ainslie at Town Park.
The team showed in the first half that at their best they are not too far away from the big clubs. The highlight was a great centre clearance from Hannah, a fantastic contest from Dougie at Full Forward and a great running goal from Lani. The lowlight was injuries to Kodie and Carly that robbed the team of a lot of run and their entire bench.
While a lack of fit numbers could be used as an excuse the 2nd half showed again that while the Tigerettes are capable of matching the better teams for a quarter or a half we aren’t quite up to matching them for an entire four quarters yet. Mikaela was fantastic on the wing, JV was very good when replacing Kodie in the ruck and Dougie showed a lot of determination in the unfamiliar surrounds of the backline while the usual suspects Hurls, Han (Happy 21st!!!) and Splinta were again amongst our best.
Season over, good luck to all of our men’s teams in the finals.