Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - TRENT SLATTER trent. slatter@ news. com. au

THE Her­mit Park Tigers have flexed their AFL Townsville pre­mier­ship mus­cles af­ter over­com­ing Thuringowa 11.16 ( 82) to 4.7 ( 31) in a bruis­ing con­test at Tony Ire­land Sta­dium.

The Bull­dogs could have played from in front against their arch ri­vals, but an in­ac­cu­rate 2.2 to 0.5 open­ing term gave Her­mit Park the ad­van­tage and they never let up.

The Tigers dom­i­nated the mid­dle pe­riod 8.11 to 2.1 to seal an im­por­tant win over the de­fend­ing pre­miers, with Leroy Lar­son boot­ing five goals to take his sea­son tally to 49.

Her­mit Park have had their depth tested in re­cent weeks, with cap­tain Ja­son Di Betta out with a bro­ken hand and other play­ers un­avail­able due to army com­mit­ments.

But coach Jamie Fogg was full of praise of his team’s young charges Bo Snook, Jesse Mclay, and Ryan Gil­more as they led the way against tra­di­tional pow­er­house Thuringowa.

“It was a pretty hard con­test. The score­board didn’t re­flect the phys­i­cal­ity of the game,” Fogg said.

“We had three un­der- 17 play­ers and they were out­stand­ing. Ryan Gil­more was com­ing back from the Queens­land team and he was best on ground, com­ing across half back and driv­ing us for­ward.” The mi­nor pre­mier­ship looks set to be a shootout be­tween the Tigers and the Univer­sity Hawks, who proved too strong for the Curra Swans with a 19.27 ( 141) to 1.2 ( 8) vic­tory on Satur­day.

The Tigers have a bye next week­end be­fore tak­ing on the Hawks in a match which could de­cide top spot and Fogg said he was happy with how his side was com­ing along.

“It prob­a­bly doesn’t hurt hav­ing a phys­i­cal game go­ing into bye,” Fogg said.

“We need to aim up, but hope­fully we’ll have a few guys back be­fore next time we play the Hawks. If we can get away with an­other win or two for the rest of the sea­son then we should guar­an­tee we fin­ish first or sec­ond head­ing into the fi­nals.”

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