Young Tigers beaten

By LEITH BASSET

twhite@dailyexaminer.com.au

THE Grafton Tigers Under-18 AFL side went to Coffs Harbour International Stadium to play in the major semi-final on Saturday with the hopes of securing a grand final spot.

Unfortunately it wasn't to be, with the Nambucca Lions winning 10-10-70 to Grafton's 5-13-43.

Nambucca now have a week off before the grand final on August 27.

The Tigers started off well, running with a strong breeze in the first quarter and took the early lead. They kicked four goals to none in the first quarter and were in control in the middle of the field. The Lions kicked two behinds, which showed the pressure that was being applied by the Tigers all over the field.

The Tigers knew that the second quarter was going to be very important in the context of the game, and coach Rick Hayman asked for a big effort from all of his players. The quarter started with a quick take out of the middle by the Lions and the resulting goal showed the Tigers that they were in a real contest.

Another four goals for the quarter saw the Lions lead into half time. The Tigers knew it was going to be important to put the winning score on the board after the long break and were pumped up when they took the field for the third quarter.

The quarter started as it did in the first and the Tigers took the initiative, only to squander most of their goal scoring chances, kicking a large number of behinds. The lead they needed to take into the last quarter didn't eventuate and with injuries to a few of the players, especially their captain and major ball winner Bryce Kirtsman, it was going to be a very difficult task for the Tigers.

In the final quarter the Lions started to take control and took it away from the Tigers. The Tigers started to tire and it looked as if the affects of North Coffs forfeiting the week before was having an effect.

Next week the Tigers tackle Port Maquarie Magpies in a cut throat final.



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