Crushing win gives Tigers minor title
HERMIT Park has wrapped up the AFL Townsville minor premiership in crushing fashion with a 25.11 ( 161) to 0.1 ( 1) win over the Curra Swans at Muldoon Oval.
The Tigers shot out to an eightgoal lead at the first change and they kept the pressure on the Swans, kicking 9.4 in the final term to underline an emphatic win.
Leroy Larson booted seven goals while Hermit Park captain Jason Di Betta kicked five in his first game back from a broken hand.
The Tigers have bye for the final round next weekend, but their big win over Curra means second- placed University can’t chase them down in the battle for the top spot.
Meanwhile, the Northern Beaches Suns have beaten reigning premiers Thuringowa for the first time in their short history with an impressive 8.9 ( 57) to 4.9 ( 33) win at Tony Ireland Stadium.
The Suns were strong across the park and even kept the Bulldogs scoreless in the second quarter, with Benjamin Holden, Michael Wren, and Josh Hall booting two goals each.
Coach Brad McLaren admitted it had been a tough season for the Suns, who had lost four in a row heading into the Bulldogs clash, but he praised their focus at the weekend.
“We’ve copped some massive beltings during the year and you don’t feel overly confident after them, but we gave ourselves a sniff and went on with it,” he said.
“It was a full team effort which makes a massive difference. We weren’t relying on the usual two or three players to get us going.
“Our tackling was a lot better than it has been and our use of the football was pretty good. Our pressure on the ball was the best it’s been so far.
“We’ve got a pretty young group – the average age is about 20 – but they made up their minds that we needed to have a go here and they all put up their hands up.”
The AFL Townsville ladder is team- first now set in stone ahead of the last regular season round, with the Suns and Bulldogs set to meet again in a fortnight for an elimination final.
McLaren didn’t want to get too carried away with their surprise win over the powerhouse Thuringowa side, but he said it was a nice confidence boost.
“To have a win over a team you know you’re going to come up against in the finals is a real positive for the boys,” he said.
“The Dogs had a few missing and we were probably as close to full strength as we’re going to be so we know next time they’re going to be stronger.
“Hopefully, we’ll go into that game knowing we can beat the opposition.”
SHUT DOWN: Curra Swans player Dan Seymour is tackled by Luke Hilderbrandt from the Hermit Park Tigers at Muldoon Oval.