Tigers Create History!
It will be a Saturday afternoon remembered for many years as the Queanbeyan Tigers took home the double and created a special piece of AFL Canberra History!
A huge crowd witnessed a footy club in full flight last Saturday as both Tigers 1st Grade Teams took to the field in this years AFL Canberra Grand Finals at EPC Park in perfect conditions.
It was the men who started the day and wow did they start well! A brilliant combination of skill and execution saw the Tigers out to a big lead at quarter time albeit it should've been bigger kicking 4.8 to 1 goal.
Above: The club sent off two club legends with Toby Conroy & Will Griggs hanging up the boots.
Bryce, Pollock, Highfield and Ross were standouts early as the teams structure stood up to the pressures of a first qtr in a Grand Final while the defense pushed back anything the Pies could throw at them.
Then a massive switch in momentum occurred halfway through the 2nd as Belconnen started to run through the lines and began to peg back the lead over the next two quarters to eventually go into the last holding a 1 point advantage.
Unfortunately the Tigers couldn't hold the Pies charge during this period and the 3qtr time break couldn't come at a better time which allowed the group to regroup and assess how they could get themselves back into the contest.
The biggest shift with this group over the past three years has been their resilience and knowing they had the fitness to finish off close games and thankfully this was the major factor in the Tigers forcing their way to the lead and hold on in the dying seconds.
Talk about nail bitter, stoppage after stoppage in the last 5 minutes with the Pies having a couple of chances to steal the win but not for the dour defense of the tigers. A break from a contest and with Alex Page running into an open goal from 50, the siren sounded and the Tigers claimed Back to Back Premierships.
A wonderful effort and achievement by the group and continues the recent success of the team which can hopefully continue in 2023!
Grand Final - Men’s 1st Grade
Queanbeyan 7.12-54 def Belconnen 7.8-50
Andrew Swan 2, Josh Bryce 2, Kade Klemke 2, Jack Nunn.
Rhys Pollock, Dean Ross, Lachlan Highfield, Dean Simpson, Aidan Bowyer, Toby Conroy.
As the champagne flowed post the men's win, it was our girls who then took centre stage trying to deny Ainslie the perfect season while themselves turning around the 2020 Grand Final loss where they were also undefeated that year.
The Tigerettes were the only side to challenge the Tri Colours in 2022 and with the team in excellent late season form the start was critical if they were to challenge for the title.
And start well they did kicking out to an impressive lead into the wind with Ruby Grounds stunning the crowd with two absolute gems from the boundary line. Ainslie as they have done all year quickly responded but you could tell that this was a different Tigerettes to previous meetings.
The game ebbed and flowed for the next two quarters and like the men's game, the Tigers were down by a 1 point heading into the last. Some stern inspirational words from Coach Clifton who was in his last game for the club set the line in the sand for the girls to follow.
The retiring Tigerette Legend Ella Shea grabbed her teammates, threw them on her shoulders and said follow me girls we aren't losing this one! And follow they did with every player going up a level and it was fitting to see Ella kick the winning goal to seal the victory.
Above: Not a bad way to finish your career Ella Shea - Best on Ground & Premiership.
It was also a fitting end to the man at the helm for the past 4 years Cliffo, what way to go out and leave a lasting legacy!
Grand Final - Women’s 1st Grade
Queanbeyan 6.4-40 def Ainslie 5.5-35
Ruby Grounds 2, Sophia Arcus 2, Kate Woodward, Ella Shea.
Ella Shea, Jayde Hamilton, Elisha Gallagher, Clare Lawton, Jessica Stramandinoli,
There are more photos on our Facebook Page: