Tigers tamed by Byron Magpies
DESPITE a late Tigers surge that sparked memories of the famous 2015 decider, the Byron Magpies completed a dominant season in Northern Rivers AFL with a bruising 51 point win over Tweed Coast Tigers in Saturday's grand final at Byron.
The Tigers produced their best footy at the start of the final term and kicked a string of goals to inspire hopes of a repeat of the 2015 grand final when they stormed home for a win that lives in local footy folklore, including chaotic scenes with a mix up of the final scores on the scoreboard.
The Magpies showed their class and composure and rallied to run away with the match in the closing stages helped by two goals from former Brisbane Lion AFL player Jordan Bourke who was well held for much of the day by Sam Petherbridge.
The Magpies won 12.18 90 to 6.3 39 in a match coach Brett Porter said may bury some demons from the 2015 decider.
"Clearly two years ago gets rubbed in our face every time we play, so today its good to get that turned around from our last grand final,” he said.
"Tweed, it was good contest, you guys have a reputation for the way you attack the ball and you brought that today.”
There will certainly be some sore bodies this week from a physical but clean contest.
Tigers player coach Jonathon Bevan, who fractured his hand early in the match but bravely played on, said Byron was a deserving winner.
"The Byron boys were much too good for us today, all season you have been one step above everyone, it was and fantastic effort and well deserved,” he said.
"For our guys, it was a fantastic effort to pull our season together and get here today, you can hold your heads up high.”
Byron midfielder Matthew Caris was rewarded for his tireless running by being named best on ground.
Caris joined the Magpies from country Victoria this season, ironically he's the former builder's apprentice of gun Tigers' recruit Glen Phelps who took out the league's best and fairest and leading goal kicker awards.
In may be the last grand final in the Northern Rivers AFL in its current form.
The Tweed Coast Tigers are looking at options of joining a southern Gold Coast competition to provide further opportunities for junior pathways and regular games for the women's team and reserves.
Byron also won this year's reserves premiership by beating Ballina while Lismore won the women's decider, also over Byron.
The Tweed Coast Tigers would like to thank all the club sponsors who contributed so much this season particularly the Pottsville Beach Sports Club, as well as the coaches, volunteers, families and supporters who commit so much time and energy to supporting community footy at a proud and passionate club.