Three and easy Tigers
IT TURNED out to be one of the best weeks in club history with all three Grafton Tigers teams - seniors, reserves and under-11s - registering wins.
After a disappointing season opener against the Kangaroos last week the Grafton Tigers came out firing against the Coffs Harbour Swans at Ellem Oval and won 99-84.
The Tigers kicked four goals to one in the opening term, Sean Duroux roved the packs with ease registering two of his three majors.
The Swans hit back in the second booting four goals to three, however it could have been a lot worse for the Tigers as the Swans also kicked five behinds in an erratic display.
Grafton also lost on-baller Jarrod Meade through injury. He had dominated centre clearances and was the catalyst for many of the Tigers’ early goals.
At half-time the score was Tigers 45, Swans 41.
In a dramatic third-quarter the lead changed hands many times but the Tigers held their nerve and went into the last term holding a small lead.
So it all came down to the last quarter. Could the Swans come from behind and take a victory that everyone thought they would get, or would the developing Tigers hold on for a famous win?
The Swans kicked the first goal to take the lead and most wrote the Tigers off from then on but senior players Grahame Blackwell, Daniel Zacek and Pat O’Malley lifted another gear and the Tigers kicked the next two.
The Swans pegged one back but that’s all they could muster as the Tigers kicked three more goals to take the win 99 to 84.
It was the first time in many years that the Tigers had beaten the Swans and the players and supporters sang the team song with gusto.
Goal kickers were Pascoe, Zacek and Duroux (three), Beaver, O’Malley and Blackwell (one).
Best players were Beaver, Blackwell, J Darby, P O’Malley, Whalan and Zacek.
The Reserve Grade also registered their second win in as many games.
The Tigers sit at the top of the AFL Northcoast ladder for the first time in many years and it is a remarkable turn of events considering the talk the Tigers may not even field a side this season due to a lack of numbers.
For the second week in a row players had to be turned away which is something never before seen at the club.
The Reserve Grade were again convincing winners thumping the hapless Swans 81-21.
Shawn Purton was again dominant up forward kicking another five goals to bring his season tally to 12 after just two games.
Young Sam Morrison dominated the centre of the ground and also kicked three goals. Down back new recruits Adam Spies and Lukas Goonenuogh repelled many of the Swans’ forward attacks.
Next week the Tigers have the mammoth task travelling down the highway to Port Macquaire.
It’s more than three hours on a bus to get to the game and over the years an even longer trip back because the Tigers had had several large beatings at the hands of the Magpies.
This year looks to be a different prospect however with Grafton up and going and Port last week receiving the shock of the century going down to the Nambucca Lions.
Nambucca have been the whipping boys of the competition over the past three seasons but after their under-18s won last year’s grand final it looks as if the tide may finally be changing for the Lions.
In other results the Sawtell Saints continue their dominance of the league accounting for the North Coffs Kangaroos.
Both sides played off for the premiership last season with the Saints convincing winners.
The result did not change over the weekend with the Saints winners by five goals.
And in the most promising news of all the Grafton Cubs recorded their first ever win against the Coffs Swans.
It’s the first time Grafton has fielded a junior team, but with the game becoming more popular than ever and a very good local inter-school competition, it was only a matter of time. The Cubs now embark on a month-long away journey. They are looking for more players and train Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5pm.
First Division: Tigers 99 def. Swans 85
Reserve Grade: Tigers 81 def. Swans 21
Under-11: Tigers def. Swans