Westlawn Tigers' Ethan Howe battles Ash Blemmings from Yuraygir United in the 13s grand final at Yamba on Saturday.
Westlawn Tigers' Ethan Howe battles Ash Blemmings from Yuraygir United in the 13s grand final at Yamba on Saturday. Mitchell Keenan

Young Tigers eye Coffs Harbour playoff after grand final win

UNDER-13 GRAND FINAL: Westlawn Tigers' under-13 side have gone all of the 2019 season undefeated after winning the North Coast Football Clarence grand final over Yuraygir United at Yamba Sports Complex on Saturday.

The final proved to be a strong battle between the sides but the Tigers were too strong, running away to take a 5-1 victory over their closest rivals.

Westlawn coach Luke Gough was excited to have achieved the feat with the talented crop of youngsters.

"They're an amazing team, these kids have combined from two Westlawn teams into one team this year and they've done it really well,” Gough said.

"At start of year they needed to gel a bit but they've come together well. No one has been hogging the ball, they've shown really good teamwork out on the field.”

Gough was pleased to meet the Bears in the final and he was full of praise for the side.

"They're a lot younger than us but they're an outstanding side. On the scoreboard we had about 83 goals and Yuraygir had about 25. They were the next best team so it was really good to meet them in the final,” he said.

"I'm proud of my team this year though, they showed some really good sportsmanship and got along really well. There was never a moment where any of our own team or opposition teams were put down or made fun of. They're a great bunch of kids.”

Yuraygir looked dangerous from the start of the game with some solid chances at an opener but Gough said his sides first goal changed everything.

"After we got that one the boys kept their heads up, Bears still kept fighting but by the second half they changed their game and dropped their heads a little. It was really a great game,” he said.

Gough has high hopes for the side as they look forward to next season on the competition.

"There are a couple of state sprinters in the team which always helps. I've been coaching a lot of them since they were six but with these two teams coming together they're almost unbeatable,” he said.

"I'll be hoping to keep team together. As they get older we'll work more on formations but we'll see how we go moving forward.”

While the regular season is over, Gough's side will play a Champion of Champions game against the winners of the Coffs Harbour competition on Tuesday night on Barnier Park at 7pm.

"The boys are really excited, it'll be their first game under lights. They'll be a good side, there's a lot of rep players in the Coffs team but hopefully we'll be ready,” he said.



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