Grafton Tigers defender Bryce Kurtzman clears the defensive 50m line during Saturday?s game against the South Coffs Swans. Phot
Grafton Tigers defender Bryce Kurtzman clears the defensive 50m line during Saturday?s game against the South Coffs Swans. Phot

Tigers? first-quarter disaster

North Coast AFL by Steve Kreemers

THE Crown Hotel Grafton Tigers AFL Club took on the South Coffs Swans in the fourth round of the 2006 NCAFL competition in front of a parochial home crowd at Ellem Oval on Saturday eager to post a win with the clubs sponsors in attendance.

Adam Sydenham, from Ray White Real Estate, could have erected acreage for sale signs in the first quarter as too many Tigers players attacked the ball on the ground allowing the Swans to hang back and enjoy the wide open spaces.

Quality ball control and a rampaging Swans full forward saw the Tigers down by 36 points at quarter time.

Rick Leeson and Ryan Sheather swapped opponents in the second term giving allowing the Tigers backline to repel some of the Swans attack and provide Neil Gorring, Bryce Kurtzman and Scott Onus opportunities to drive the ball into the forward line.

This set the scene for the remainder of the game with Shawn Purton converting from limited chances only to see the Swans outthink the Tigers around the packs, create space and score easy goals.

To the team's credit they did match the Swans goal for goal for two and a half quarters, however the first quarter disaster and a late fade out resulted in the Swans running out easy victors 21.12.138 to Grafton 12.7.79.

Goal scorers for the Tigers were Shawn Purton 5, Mark Blundell 2, Wes Seewald 2 and one apiece to Troy Carter, Aaron Vassallo and Allen Henson.

Bryce Kurtzman will savour the flavours of the fine cuisine at the Riverside Brassiere after receiving the Crown Hotel Dinner, Ryan Sheather picked up the club award, the Corkers Liquor award went to Shawn Purton and Troy Carter picked up the Splinters Hair award.

nTHE Text Express seconds battled hard all game with outstanding performances by backline players Steve Penfold, Mick Tanner and Brad Knight giving Blair Littlechild, Col MacRae and Eddy 'Oppy' Opyrchal plenty of possession through the middle however the forwards were unable to convert until late in the game when Mark 'Picturemag' Austin kicked the home teams only goal for the afternoon.

The side performed better than the final score of 1.3.9 to 6.12.18 suggested and should be able to post their maiden victory against a struggling North Coffs next week.

The Troy Carter Plumbing award went to Steve Penfold, young Tim Wahlan picked up the Trevor Ross award and Chris 'Stimpy' Schaeffer won the ACE Glass & Glaze award.

nTHE Eyecare Plus Under-18s began strongly, however a dislocated finger ended Seamus Jabour's afternoon early in the first term upsetting the balance of the side.

The lads lost concentration and failed to follow the coaching panel's instructions to go long through the middle and constantly turned over possession wide on the flanks allowing the Swans to rebound and score easily despite the efforts of Best on Ground Paul Raithby.

The team got back on track in the last term outscoring their opponents and proved they have the class to win with a four quarter effort.

The final siren saw South Coffs Swans run out winners 13.11.89 to 4.4.28. Goal scorers for the Tigers were Andy Mahoney 2, Kelly Thomson and Seamus Jabour one each.

Paul Raithby picked up the Naeco Blue award, Andrew Mahoney won the Southside Guardian Chemist award, John Gilmore the Video Ezy award and Dominic Duggan's wild locks will keep the girls at Splinters Hair Studio busy when he receives his award.

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