Tigers dig deep to claim fi­nal berth

Manjimup-Bridgetown Times - - Times Sport -

TIGERS Colts had to call on all their re­serves to claim a hard-fought 34-point vic­tory against Im­pe­ri­als at Pem­ber­ton Oval on Sun­day.

Cru­cial per­for­mances by key Tigers’ play­ers en­sured they would find the nec­es­sary struc­ture in a telling fi­nal quar­ter surge that yielded five goals to seal a Grand Fi­nal berth.

The Mag­pies put up a brave fight all day to gain con­test con­trol, how­ever they were thwarted by the Tigers’ ex­pe­ri­enced play­ers in Jethro Nam­nik, Reece Ed­wards and Zane Russo, who all played piv­otal roles in the 13.10 (88) to 8.6 (5.4) win.

From the out­set it ap­peared Tigers would hold the up­per hand sim­ply be­cause their for­ward struc­ture looked more pow­er­ful, with Ed­wards get­ting into it early with two goals.

The Mag­pies re­sponded in grand style and in gen­eral play held the Tigers’ run.

Through some solid de­fence they were able to mount a chal­lenge, al­low­ing for Camp­bell Jones and Liam Cullen to kick goals.

With the con­test de­vel­op­ing into a dour strug­gle, the ground play­ers from each side were prom­i­nent pos­ses­sion win­ners, es­pe­cially Tigers Zane and Taj Russo, who were re­lent­less in their push for­ward.

For Im­pe­ri­als, Da­mon Scaini, Con­nor Ipsen and Sam Roberts held the chal­lenge up and when Cullen rammed home two more goals, the Tigers’ lead was just two points at the fi­nal break.

Play­ing for a Grand Fi­nal berth, both sides poured ev­ery ounce of ef­fort into gain­ing con­trol, how­ever, as fa­tigue set in both sides turned the ball over at a con­stant rate.

Ed­wards, Kurt Dono­hoe and Zane Russo con­tin­ued the Tigers’ goal count.

Nam­nik was sen­sa­tional in de­fence while Heath Bernardin and Todd Gib­son re­sponded in style for the Mag­pies to leave the game in the bal­ance.

Boast­ing mid­field con­trol from the Russo brothers and with Nam­nik dom­i­nat­ing, the Tigers fi­nalised the con­test with a surg­ing fi­nal term to record a stir­ring vic­tory over a gal­lant Mag­pies out­fit.

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