Tigers mauled by Kangaroos
North Coast AFL
By Steve Kreemers
THE Crown Hotel Grafton Tigers took on North Coffs Kangaroos at Ellem Oval on Saturday.
The late withdrawal of Mark Blundell and Dan Gordon, who were unable to overcome niggling injuries, was not the best start to the day.
Grafton was on the back foot from the opening term, going down 27.9.171 to 7.6.48.
The Tigers began slowly, conceding six goals in the first quarter.
On-ball trio Neil Gorring, Justin Darby and Scott Onus lifted in the second and third terms and solid defence provided by Ryan Sheather and Troy Carter allowed the Tigers to match the Kangaroos goal for goal and prove that the side has the ability to win if they can concentrate for the full 100 minutes.
The third term ended with a North Coffs player allegedly elbowing 17-year-old Luke Hayman behind the play.
As is so often the case the umpires noticed the retaliation and not the incident, resulting in a goal to the Kangaroos.
This incident completely unsettled the Tigers who began to make undisciplined errors.
The send-off of Jamie Seewald, again for retaliation, and an ankle injury to Paul Raithby, allowed the Kangaroos forwards to run riot in the last term and run out easy winners.
The Tigers had seven individual goal scorers in Shawn Purton, Ryan Baker, Luke Chard, Dion McGreggor, Scott Onus, Allen Carnley and Justin Darby.
Neil Gorring picked up the Crown Hotel dinner, Scott Onus the club award and the Corkers liquor award went to Justin Darby.
nTHE Ray White Real Estate seconds were never in doubt when North Coffs could only field 12 players, however, the game allowed the side to further develop as a team.
The backline, led by Eddie Gordon and Yowie Youman, formed a wall which allowed the midfield, led by Bags Bagnal and Blair Littlechild, pick up plenty of possessions.
The midfield gave the forwards, led by bustling Barry Chard and Mark Austin, many scoring opportunities.
Mick Tanner and Troy Carter spent most of the afternoon without an opponent and roamed the ground getting kicks at will, resulting in more Tigers scoring opportunities.
However, inaccurate kicking probably cost the side some percentage.
In a great team effort the veterans posted their second win in a row to the tune of 66 points, 13.17.85 to 3.1.19.
Goal kickers were Luke Chard 4, Blair Littlechild 3, Warren Bagnal 2 and one each to Allan Carnley, Leith Bassett, Mark Austin and Mick Tanner.
The Troy Carter Plumbing award went to Warren Bagnal, Mark Austin picked up the Trevor Ross award and Steve Kreemers won the Southside Guardian Chemist award.
Two ACE Glaze & Glass awards were given out, one for Chris Schaffer carried over from last week, and one to Leith Bassett.
THE Eyecare Plus Under-18s were never in trouble against a rebuilding North Coffs outfit and ran out convincing 149-point winners 27.21.183 to 5.4.34.
The lads season is now back on track with the confidence boosting win and they should take it right up to more fancied opponents in the coming weeks.
In a terrific team effort there were 11 individual goal scorers led by Kelly Thompson and Cameron Ross with 5 each, Aaron Hamilton 4, Luke Hayman 3, Josh Carnley, Dom Duggan and Josh Sheather 2 each and one apiece to Tim Whalan, Andrew Mahoney, Josh Hamilton and Flynn McAllister. Best players were hard to pick in what was a great team effort however Kelly Thompson received the prize from Neaco Blue, Cameron Ross won the Video Ezy award and Flynn McAllister the Splinters Hair Studio award.