The beautiful morning sunshine didn't last long last Saturday morning as the tigers returned to Aulich Park for their Round 12 clash with Ainslie. There was plenty riding on the results across all grades with each outcome having a big bearing on ladder positions for the tigers.
1st Grade Men
It took the full 120 minutes for the tigers to get the win and how important this result will be come finals will be known over the next 3 weeks.
Staring down the barrel of a 23 point deficit at 3qtr time, a loss would see the tigers fall from the top of the ladder and the likely hood of missing that all important home final - however no one told the boys that defeat was an option.
Down to 2 on the bench and kicking into a steady breeze this group again found the resilience to get back into the game and keep the pressure on Ainslie. Just like the 2020 finals campaign where injuries decimated the squad, the tigers rallied for each other and found a way with Tim Cahill aka Andrew Swan soccer kicking the match winner.
Captain Josh Bryce once again led from the front as did Will Griggs with both players leadership coming to the fore in the tight contest. Jordan Iudica & Alec McCormick continue to play well in the back half and the return of young gun Josh Fahey proved critical with his 33 touches driving the team into attack.
We wish Sam Jensen and Anthony LoPilato all the best with their injuries and hope to see both boys back bigger and stronger very soon.
Queanbeyan Tigers 2.1 2.1 5.5 11.8-74 Ainslie 3.1 6.2 9.4 11.4-70 Goal Kickers: A. Swan 4, S. Jensen 2, A. Page, K. Klemke, J. Iudica, R. Pollock, J. Bryce Best Players: J. Bryce, W. Griggs, J. Iudica, J. Fahey, A. McCORMICK, A. Swan
Talk about important wins - this was definitely one of them for the young cubs. Battling Ainslie for the all important 4th spot on the ladder, this was a must win for the lads and didn't they perform!
The pressure was next level as the young cubs took it up to Ainslie all day in heavy conditions. Pambula product Will Kellar continues to grow as a player and played his best game for the club through the midfield. Caden Spinks and Dayne Posthuma's seasons have been outstanding and their efforts on Saturday were huge in the win.
Captain Bailee Gilbert once again led from the front despite being ill all week but you wouldn't have known it while his partner in crime Lachlan Fitzpatrick played out of his skin for his best game of 2021. Finally youngster Jordan Bogie announced his arrival in U18s footy with one of the toughest efforts in the midfield seen all year - well done Jordan.
The win now puts the lads one game clear plus % in front of Ainslie with 3 games to play and hopefully the boys can hang on for that finals spot as no one deserves it more than this group!
Queanbeyan Tigers 1.4 1.6 3.8 4.11-35 Ainslie 0.1 0.1 0.1 1.5-11 Goal Kickers: K. Gibbs, L. Asbock , W. Kellar, M. Armstrong Best Players: W. Kellar, C. Spinks, D. Posthuma, L. Fitzpatrick, J. Bogie, B. Gilbert
Tigerettes Reserve Grade
It was the girls first road trip for 2021 as they headed up to Cooma to play the Valley in an important game to keep their slim finals hopes alive and didn't they respond.
The team didn't suffer any jet lag and hit the ground running with a 2 goal blast in the 1st qtr and from here they managed to hold the advantage to pick up the important win. Brie Anderson continues to shine since her return and with the support of Maddi Martin and Haley Bowyer, the girls remained on the front foot all day.
It was great to see Zalie Betts return from injury while Brooke James return has also given the team a boost. New recruit in 2021 Tarsh Brockwell has had a stellar season and evergreen veteran Lon Flakelar keeps doing here thing week in week out.
Currently on 7 wins with only two games to go, the Tigerettes would normally be in the top 4 easily however this is a tight comp in 2021 and the girls will need to win their final two games and have other results go their way to sneak in. If anyone can do it, it is definitely this group!!
Tigerettes 1st Grade
This clash was an incredibly close game with top spot on the line as teams race for a top 2 finish to the season and the double chance. It was literally one goal standing between victory and defeat. Time was just not on our girls’ side this game with the Tigerettes going down by 4 points.
A terrible day on the injury front and for the finals campaign for player Amy Morschell who, after holding a formidable defensive shoulder in the first quarter left the ground with an injured wrist.
The pressure was high. Both sides started the game with tenacity and physical pressure in tough weather conditions with the Tiger’s back line holding its own. Despite missing the likes of Laura Russel, India Lehman and the exit of Amy Morschell (injured), their absence would be felt throughout the rest of the game.
With goals scored by Ruby Grounds and Mindy Quade it was to no avail with the Tigerettes missing many scoring opportunities in front of the sticks to have commanding leads throughout the game. However, it is not all doom and gloom for the Tigers with improvement shown by completing 4 quarters of footy against an equally good opposition.
Captain Ella Ross identified during training, leading into the clash, that it would take 4 full quarters to beat the Ainslie and that every player would need to step up contested ball winning and physical pressure to match Ainslie.
Losing is never fun but the Tigerettes made the most of the situation they were in, and despite being dealt a bad hand they played well and still fought on to the very last moments of the game stopping only when full time was called. Coming into the finals and with perhaps tougher games like this one ahead the Tigerettes are on the right pathway to something special.
MVP: Mindi Quade, Ruby Grounds and Amy Morschell
Mindy Quade and Ruby Grounds kept hope alive by scoring goals. It was their efforts that led to the game coming down to being a close defeat. However, the rest of the forward line should not lose heart as they all performed well as they could given the circumstances they found themselves in.
I want to give special mention to Amy Morschell. You did good. Not better than good you did absolutely, positively, spiffing and ultimately heroic work in your position in the back line. You played superbly, and despite becoming a casualty early on and exiting the game you didn’t give an inch. Karl Anstey
Reserve Grade Men
When this group finally clicks then look out as once again the lads showed when they are on they are on. Another slow start by the group allowed Ainslie to take a half time lead and some hard questions were asked by coach PJ at the break.
Again, when this team clicks it is some of the best footy you will see and the 3rd quarter showed as much with the tigers completely dominating the 20 mins and taking the lead going into the last quarter.
I am sure PJ, Hully Captain Jed and Vice Captain Wilson talked at length post game about how they can find consistency in their performance while there are some excuses that can be made regarding getting the best possible squad together.
Daniel Hespe, Daniel Potts and Wilson Morshead all continue to play solid consistent footy while it was great to see Campbell Lovell and Tyler Collins back from injury and unavailability over the last 6 weeks.
Aidan Bowyer again pressed for senior selection while it was also great to see his cousin and 1st grade stalwart Jono Bowyer back for his first games since his ACL injury in last years 1st Semi Final.