Tigers learn a sharp lesson

MAN ON: A Grafton Tigers player breaks free of a Port Macquarie defender at Ellem Oval on Saturday.
MAN ON: A Grafton Tigers player breaks free of a Port Macquarie defender at Ellem Oval on Saturday.

THE Grafton Tigers AFL team received a sharp reminder of where they need to be in the North Coast AFL competition from Saturday's match against Port Macquarie.

The Tigers, although gallant in defeat, were never in the game when last season grand finalist, the Port Magpies put four goals on them in an opening blitz.

Port ran out winners 20-18-133 to 6-8-44.

After conceding the early goals the Tigers started to win a bit of the football and posted a two major scores.

Port Macquarie answered back late in the quarter to lead by six goals at the quarter break.

The second and third quarters were much more even with both teams scoring goals and the strong backlines from both sides doing great jobs restricting the play.

The game was fairly even between both sides with the Grafton Tigers for- ward line getting some of the ball they needed to get to create the one on one contests.

Carl Boehme and Shawn Purton were looking dangerous when the ball was coming down towards them, and the midfield and backline of the Tigers held firm against a ver strong Port Macquarie team.

The final quarter was a hard hitting affair with the players from both sides showing some fatigue.

Both teams played hard till the final siren, and it was obvious that both teams were feeling the heat.

The ball went up and down the ground with Port eventually running out big winners.

Tigers coach Leith Basset wasn't overly disappointed with the effort shown his players as was the team's first hit out of the year.

"The back line did extremely well considering the amount of pressure that was being applied by the Magpies," he said.

"With players learning new positions, and new players having their first game in AFL, the Tigers could hold their heads high at the end of the game."

He said there were many good points that came out of the game, such as efforts shown by John Kennedy, Dan Gordon and new recruit Jon Winters.

The Grafton Tigers Under-18s team turned on an awesome display of team football to beat the Port Magpies Under-18s team quite convincingly.

Coach Rick Hayman was very impressed with the whole team, especially the first time players who all showed the benefits of training hard for the last two months.

In a very even team, some players deserve a mention, Josh Sheather ? the smallest player on the paddock ? bagged six goals, Bryce Kirtzman led by example.