Tigers bow out of the finals
THE run of the Tweed Coast Tigers has come to and end after going down to the Lismore Swans in the preliminary final of the Australian Rules Summerland League in Ballina on Saturday.
The Tigers, playing in their inaugural year in the competition, surprised many of the sides with their tenacity but against Lismore on Saturday, Tweed coach Paul Kelly said his side was “not on our game”.
Tweed went down 13.8.86 to 10.10.70 to the more mobile Lismore outfit that has now progressed to take on minor premiers Byron Bay next week in Bangalow.
“It was disappointing to bow out the way we did because it certainly wasn't our best performance,” Kelly admitted.
“We started well, kicking the first goal but then Lismore, running with the breeze, came over the top of us and we had to play catch up for the entire match.
“We tried to close the gap but they were simply the better team on the day.”
Lismore used the wide expanses of Fripp Oval to establish a 19 point break by half time.
“I told the boys that if we could be within a couple of goal of them by the end of the third quarter, I believed we could have gotten them,” Kelly said.
“But they managed to get some goals on us and stretched their lead out to 31 points, which was just too big a margin to haul in.
“Out blokes never stopped trying and on our day, I think we could have gotten them, but Lismore were the better side on Saturday - good luck to them.”
Despite their season coming to an end, Kelly was proud of his side and what they had managed to achieve in their first year.
“We have a great bunch of guys here and already they are talking about next year which is very encouraging,” Kelly said.
“To think we started from scratch and had to forge a side out of guys, some who had never played the game of Aussie Rules before, we can look back on what has been a successful year.
“These guys will be better for their experiences this year and the future for the Tweed Coast Tigers looks very bright.”
To cap off the season, the Tigers' Jonathan Bevan came runner-up in the Mason Medal for the Summerland League's Best and Fairest, just behind Lismore star Danny Bruce.
The Leading Goalkicker Award went to Byron's spearhead Doug Perich, who beat out Tweed Tigers' forward Julian Van den Driest for the honour.