The Tigers Suffer A Valiant Loss
In an intense and high quality AFL Scotland Preliminary Final played at the Lenzie Rugby Club up in Glasgow yesterday the Tyne Tees Tigers were valiant all day, but the Glasgow Sharks eventually prevailed by 16 points, winning 17.12.114 to 14.14.98.
From the opening bounce it was evident that the game was going to be a hard fought contest. In the first seconds of the game Captain Roy Brannigan showed why he is held in such high esteem amongst his peers, laying a huge tackle on one of the opposition’s best players to set up a very quick opening goal, and thus setting the standard for the rest of the team to emulate.
And by and large they did. David Hodgson (with four goals) was strong and courageous up forward, bouncing back from a variety of physical contests that required the attention of the trainers on a number of occasions to remain a competitive spearhead all day.
Jake Tucker was dynamic and fierce through the midfield, helping the Tigers to match it in an area of the game where the Sharks had often overrun us in games gone by.
Ben Hawtin was huge, and again excelled at whatever role Coach Chris Roger threw at him as the game ebb and flowed.
Cam Armstrong was calm and controlled in the back line, repelling many dangerous Shark attacks with his strong marking and intelligent spoiling. He remains way too young to retire!!
And Yoda Kawase was the epitome of bounce, run and energy all day.
But – in mentioning those particular players by name – the really important truth is that every Tiger can hold their head up proudly today because as a team they maintained their focus and application for the whole four quarters of yesterday’s game, and but for the luck of the green on a few occasions the outcome of this game could have been very different.
Indeed, looking back on our season, everyone associated with the yellow and black – players, coaches, supporters - should feel proud today. There is absolutely no doubt that we are a better team than we were this time last year, and we will take the disappointment of yesterdays outcome and bundle it up with the other sources of motivation that exist within our club to continue our journey towards the ultimate success we are working so hard to achieve.
As the opposing Sharks captain Jim Hancock graciously acknowledged after yesterdays game we are already a much tougher opponent than we have ever been at any stage in our history.
And, as we stood huddled together as a team in the minutes immediately following yesterdays game, hurt but not broken by the disappointment of the loss, it was relative newcomer Jake Tucker who reminded us:
‘Even the best teams lose games…it’s how we bounce back that matters!’
We wish the Glasgow Sharks and the Edinburgh Bloods the best of luck for the Grand Final next weekend, we will take a bit of time to rest up after the labours of Season 2023, but then we will get back to the task of continuing to build our club in every possible way to give ourselves every chance of further success when we roar into Season 2024 when that kicks off next April.
Because we’re from Tigerland!