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Mayne Football Club

Mayne AFC

Tiger Reserves march into the big one again

The Tigers Reserves regrouped yesterday to play a very determined University of Queensland Red Lions at Springwood in the QFA Division 1 Reserves Preliminary Final in another wind affected game.

The Tigers put aside their poor start last week to pounce on the Red Lions right from the first bounce to dominate the opening term. The Tigers had first use of the ball with ruckman Matthew Storey using his considerable size to best advantage while Zac Puncken swooped on every chance for a centre clearance.

The Tigers tall forwards of Jack Gartlan and Chris Fletcher were on the end of some impressive entries while the mosquito fleet of Declan Goodwin and Xavier Craven were running amok.

All of this was made more impressive with the Tigers kicking into the teeth of a strong north easterly breeze.

While the Tigers were dominating field position and possession, they unfortunately could not kick away to a game winning lead with the wind playing havoc with accuracy. The Tigers finished the quarter with two goals and five behinds but impressively held the Red Lions to a solitary point even though they had the wind advantage.

The Tigers midfield rotations were providing them with plenty of options with several of their group having had the opportunity to play in the higher grade over recent weeks. Josh Geurts and Nick Galvin were particularly dangerous and hard working all day.

In typical fashion the Red Lions reverted to their default style with the second quarter dominated by one on one defence and persistent stoppages. The Tigers had the wind but the quarter was played almost exclusively on the dead side of the ground with an extraordinary number of ball ups and throw ins. The size of Lowe Oval also contributed to the crowded play with limited opportunities to open the game up.

While the Tigers were stymied in the second term to continue their earlier dominance the Red Lions were unable to breach the Tigers defence to any degree with Stew Settle, Tim Lyons and Andy Tydink at their intercepting best.

The Tigers came out after the main break determined to get the scoreboard ticking over and while the Red Lions kicked the first goal, the Tigers turned it on for a withering five minute three goal burst once again starting from three impressive centre clearances. The Tigers opened up a handy lead which in the context of the game was always going to be difficult for the Red Lions to overcame. However a late goal from a free kick in front of goal gave the Red Lions a glimmer of hope.

The Tigers were determined to finish strongly with the wind in the last quarter although it was now more of a cross breeze.

It was another mostly dour term but the Tigers dominated field position with Tom Eccleston giving the Tigers plenty of forward entries while Joe McVeigh was very good while backing up in the ruck and around the ground with his aerial work.

It was once again a series of stoppages with plenty of illegal holding going unpunished on both sides which characterised the game.

The Tigers put the game beyond doubt when Stew Settle swooped on a Red Lions loose entry in typical style to then unleash a blistering low ball across the field to Declan Goodwin who in turn speared a quick entry to Josh Geurts who finished off for the Tigers to seal the game.

The Tigers now go into their eighth grand final in ten years having made the finals in every one of those years. The Tigers Reserves have recorded five premierships and been runners up on two occasions during this period in a remarkably consistent effort. They will be eager to get over the Coorparoo Kings who have beaten them in the last two Grand Finals in the last two years. The Tigers nearly pulled off a remarkable win last year and will be extra keen to go one better in 2023.

A big congratulations to Coaches Bill Stephens and Jack Gartlan for another great year getting the Tigers into another big final day. Our two co-coaches have worked seamlessly together for two years now in a very consistent effort to have the Tigers very well prepared while also supporting the senior team through a tumultuous period.

The Grand Final will be played at Kedron next Saturday commencing at 11.30am, a must attend event for all Tiger faithful.

Scores: Mayne 7.9.51 d University of QLD 3.7.25 Goals: X Craven, B Wilkinson, J McVeigh, D Goodwin, J Robeson, J Geurts, C Fletcher 1. Best: Tim Lyons, Stew Settle, Tom Eccleston, Matt Storey, Declan Goodwin, Joe McVeigh.

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