Behold – The New Tigers!
A big crowd was present for the Tigers First Game in the New NEAFL!
Highest winning margin since 1992 over the Magpies.
The Tigers recorded their biggest win over the Belconnen Magpies since 1992 with a resounding 26.13 (169) to 7.4 (46) last Sunday at Dairy Farmers Park.
A seven goal first quarter established a four goal lead by the break and from there the Tigers played a further three periods of pressured football to post a 123 point winning margin. The Magpies will certainly have to turn themselves around in coming weeks as they march up against the Tigers on a further two occasions in round 6 and round 10 – such in the composition of the draw.
It was difficult to select the best players for the Tigers.
There were few (if any) who didn’t contribute to the teams overall performance on the day. There is no doubt the crowd favourite is Tim Cook, his uncanny ability to wrong foot his opponents and then weave and dodge at will creates a lot of entertainment for those in attendance – especially the Growlers deck.
Casey Walsh, Alex Overs and Steven Jolliffe all made their 1st Grade Debut on Sunday against Belconnen. The players were presented with their jumpers by club stalwarts Wally Thompson, Bob Griffin and Noel Miller.
James Kavanagh up forward (taking over the full forward role) provides yet another quality spearhead after the retirement of Mark Armstrong. His experience and fitness will provide plenty of headaches for his opponents throughout the year. Captain Ryan Quade was outstanding in a variety of roles. He provided strong leadership to his young chargers.
Coach Rod O’Riley has emphasised the need for players to “step” up since taking over the role this season – and step up they did. Paul Slater and Todd Dickinson are now in their fourth year of senior footy and they certainly took their games to a new level. Will Griggs didn’t have a great 2010 but if last Sundays performance is any indication he is back to a level of fitness and creativeness that seem him receive many accolades a couple of years ago.
The “shed” was outstanding – particularly in the opening two terms. Mitch Heaslip has to be one of the shortest ruck-man in the league. With the clubs lack of “talls” in this area, he has taken up the challenge and displayed a best on ground performance which included three goals in the first half. Youngsters Kaine Stevens, Alex Overs, Andrew Swan and Steve Jolliffe showed plenty of talent and provide the club with plenty of enthusiasm in a developing team.
The Tigers now prepare for their first interstate clash against Mt Gravatt of the Northern Conference on Saturday at Dairy Farmers Park. This is an early match which commences at 11.45am.
The Reserve Grade match featured a replay of last years grand finalists with the Magpies reversing the result scoring a 16 point win in wet conditions – 14.10 (94) to 11.12 (78). There was little between the two teams throughout the contest. The Tigers inability to convert opportunities in their forward fifty proved costly. There were some very positives signs coming from the match with the performance of some of the younger brigade particularly inspiring.
Up forward – last years leading league goal kicker in the Under 18 grade – Daniel Campbell, displayed his undoubted ability posting 6 goals with limited opportunities. “Piggy” joined the Tigers during the off season from Marist College and will be a great acquisition to the Tigers as the season unfolds. Returning to the Club this year after serious ankle surgery that kept him from the playing arena last years is another youngster in Jeremy Kirkwood. No doubt he will be pushing for senior grade selection in the very near future after his determined display last Sunday.
The older brigade of Michael Wescombe, Paul Briedis and Beau Watts provided plenty of experience for their younger team mates who were also well represented by Simon Kelland, Sean Kelly and newcomer Ben Walsh.
The Tigers have a very young Under 18 Grade squad this season and were outclassed on the day by last years grand finalists. Two serious injuries during match to Jake Robinson and Aiden Kenworthy didn’t help the situation but they battled the game out eventually losing by 20 points in very wet conditions. Three players stood tall for the Tigers and they were all backline players. Michael Elliott is certainly an unassuming youngster with plenty of talent.
He along with Captain Steve Camp and Alec McCormick provided plenty of opposition down back. The Shea brothers Tim and Kieren were also noticeable and will be players to watch as they develop during the year. The final score of the match being Belconnen 6.10 (46) to Tigers 3.8 (26).
Tiger Growler Members enjoying a good Round 1 win v Belconnen.