TIGERS POUNCE ON ARCH RIV ALS
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.”