Tigers hunting a grand final berth
THE Tweed Coast Tigers only have to get past the Lismore Swans to making an historic grand final appearance in the Summerland League Australian Rules competition.
After winning their elimination final against Ballina last weekend in Lismore, the Tigers play the preliminary final against Lismore this afternoon at Ballina, with the winner going on to play premiers Byron Bay in the grand final next Saturday at Bangalow.
Tigers coach Paul Kelly said the game presented his players with a unique opportunity which they would never forget.
“After playing well against Ballina last weekend, we have had a low-key approach to training this week,” Kelly said.
“The game last week was tough and played in the heat which took a bit out of our players, but there's an air of excitement about the place and the players realise that this is an opportunity which will only come once for many of them.
“I'm 46 and I never thought I would be playing finals footy at this stage of my life.
“Considering the club is only in its infancy, there is a special bond among the players, and it's that factor which I hope we can build on against Lismore.”
The Tigers have played Lismore three times this season for one win and two losses, but Kelly believes the drive and confidence his players have gained towards the end of the season will stand them in good stead.
“We are fortunate that we don't have any major injuries and that our fitness levels are pretty good because we will need to be on our game against Lismore,” Kelly said.
“After watching them play Byron, they are a mobile outfit with a good mid-field which can move the ball about.
“Our back six in defence have been outstanding all season and will again be tested, but if we can hold them, I think we can shift the ball quickly and put pressure back on the Swans.
“It's important that we again get off to a good start, and if we can do that and have them chasing, we can make it hard for them“This is the season on the line for both clubs and it will come down to who wants it more - hopefully it will be the Tigers!” Kelly said.
The game kicks off in Ballina at 2pm today and Kelly is urging all Tweed Aussie Rules fans to make the effort to go down and cheer the boys on to what might be a memorable win.