While it was euphoric scenes last week at the Den, it was the exact opposite this week as the Tigers succumbed to a final quarter blitz by the Beenleigh Buffaloes at Dauth Park yesterday.
The Tigers held the Buffaloes to a very close game holding a slim lead until the last few minutes of the third quarter when they received a couple of critical penalties which arrested all the momentum they had achieved to that stage of the game. The Buffaloes went into the final break with a two goal lead and their tails well and truly in the air.
The Tigers had no answers in the final term as Brodie Murdoch led his Buffaloes all over the park even to the point that he kicked the final long range goal off his booming left foot to slam the gate shut. The Buffaloes kicked five unanswered goals to run home strong winners.
While the Buffs didn’t name him in their best six, make no mistake, Murdoch could arguably be the most valuable player in the competition as he runs extremely hard all day, marshals his team to perfection, kicks to precision and has his team running off him to receive pin point handballs no matter how closely checked he might be. He is impressive.
The Tigers worked hard for their three quarter time position with team leaders Jack Collings and Zac McLean doing their best to get the Tigers up and going. Collings has slotted back into his midfield role to be the in and under man but it was his last quarter when the chips were down which was most telling of the man as he ran himself ragged trying to restart the Tiger engine.
Zac McLean was strong all day pushing back to help in defence while also finishing at the front end with two critical goals.
The backline held firm in Dean Hartley’s 150th game in their effort to once again be the rock to build the Tigers game. Hartley was once again firmly in the Tigers best with his composure under fire a feature. He was well supported by James Stolz who is really starting to build his own reputation after a two year lay off from the game. Stolz has composure and skill and will be important for the Tigers for years to come.
The Tigers once again relied heavily on young gun Tom Fry who continues to play with the maturity of a veteran. Fry was impressive whether it be beating a man one on one or kicking goals in broken play.
Sam Threlfall was a workhorse for the Tigers all day in the midfield using his voice to direct the group while leading the way physically in heavy traffic.
The loss pushes the Tigers into fourth place and with just two games to go it is critical they both be wins.
Coorparoo enjoyed a nine goal win over second placed Caloundra to rebound from their loss to the Tigers last week to put them in an unassailable position at the top of the table. Wynnum recorded their first win of the season to upset Moreton Bay who are now in danger of losing fifth spot to Springwood. Springwood however play the two top teams to round out their home and away season.
There is plenty of drama to play out still before the finals so get along to the two final rounds to see some great footy.
Scores: Beenleigh 13.14.92 d Mayne 7.7.49 Goals: Z McLean, R Doolan, T Fry 2, J Collings 1. Best: J Collings, J Stolz, T Fry, Z McLean, S Threlfall, D Hartley.