TIGERS IN CONTROL
HERMIT Park has reclaimed top spot on the AFL Townsville ladder with a gutsy final quarter to overcome University 12.12 ( 84) to 7.6 ( 48) at Tony Ireland Stadium.
The Tigers shot out of the blocks to lead 3.2 to 1.2 at quarter- time before University responded with a huge 5.2 to 2.0 second term to grab the halftime lead.
Hermit Park fought their way back in the third quarter, kicking 2.7 to 1.0, before they blew the Hawks off the park in the final term.
Matthew McGrath led the way for the Tigers with three goals while Jarryd Graham kicked two for University.
Hermit Park finished the game with just two players on their bench after a couple of injuries in the third quarter, including Joel Sim who was stretchered off after a heavy collision.
Tigers coach Jamie Fogg said he challenged his players to use those injuries as motivation as they looked to close out the game against the inform Hawks.
“He showed great commitment to put his body on the line and I challenged the guys to do the same,” Fogg said.
“If you can’t get up after seeing your team mate stretchered off then you have to question why you’re playing.
“It was a pretty scrappy, physical game and turnovers were costing us early, but we probably just got away with it the last quarter.”
The minor premiership race is now all but certain to come down to the final round clash between the Hawks and Tigers, with their headto- head honours split at two wins each this season.
Fogg felt there was still nothing between the two sides despite Hermit Park’s big win at the weekend and he said the intensity of the contest was good preparation for their run to the finals.
“We got away with a big win early in the year and they got us in a couple of close ones,” Fogg said.
“The scoreboard probably didn’t reflect how close the game was ( on Saturday), but it was a finals- type game which is good preparation for the next few weeks.”
Meanwhile, the Curra Swans have finally broken their duck in 2017 with a hard- fought 9.6 ( 60) to 6.9 ( 45) victory over the Northern Beaches Suns at Muldoon Oval.
The Swans were winless in 13 matches this season after failing to win a game at all last year, but they rose to the challenge against the Suns.
Northern Beaches were in front at the first change after a tight 3.2 to 3.1 opening quarter before Curra took control in the second term, kicking 4.1 to 1.1 to lead by 17 at halftime.
The Swans could only manage one minor score in the third term as Northern Beaches booted 2.6 to draw back level, but it was all Curra in the final term as they sealed a long- awaited victory.
Jamie O’Donnell kicked three goals for Curra while Michael Wren was best for the Suns with two.