Review: Tigers defeated by Giants on Opening Day

The Tigers fell to a narrow defeat in an entertaining opening game of the 2019 AFL Scotland season. A strong third quarter helping the visiting Glasgow Giants to victory.


The opening of the first quarter saw the teams trade goals. The Giants hit first, scoring within the first minute but James Fraser kicked the Tigers first of the game and of the season three minutes later.


The Giants would respond in the seventh minute after a Tigers behind, but the lead would only last a minute before Jason Liddell kicked through to tie things at 13-13.


The Tigers would take the lead with a behind but the Giants 13th minute goal swung things back in the favour of the visitors.


However, two goals in two minutes for the Tigers courtesy Dan Slater and Liddell gave the hosts a goal advantage.


The Giants would grab a behind but Matty O’Brien, who set up Liddell’s second goal, got one of his own with the last kick of the quarter.


End of Q1: Tyne-Tees Tigers 32 (5.2) Glasgow Giants 21 (3.3)


The Giants would start strong once again, kicking a goal four minutes into the quarter between two behinds.


However, Harry Telfer would score a minute later to take the lead back out to nine in favour of the hosts.


Cameron Armstrong got his first of the afternoon nine minutes into Q2, rolling a kick through the posts to build the advantage past that of first quarter time.


Armstrong would kick his second 15 minutes in to respond to the Giants getting their second of the quarter two minutes earlier.


The Giants would convert a free-kick after a high challenge just outside of the goal square with three minutes of the first half remaining.


Half-Time: Tigers 51 (8.3) Giants 46 (6.10)


The Giants would once again start strongest in a quarter that would swing the game in the visitors’ favour. A goal and a behind in the first minute would see them overhaul the Tigers half-time lead.


A quiet spell followed the first-minute goal, with two behinds for the Tigers and one for the Giants being the only scores.


However, the Giants broke the no-goal spell with goals in the eighth, 10th and 13th minutes to open out a 19 point lead before a frantic final three minutes of the quarter.


Fraser kicked his second and third goals of the afternoon in the 17th and 18th minutes respectively, but the visitors hit back with two goals of their own in the space of the 19th minute.


In the final minute of the quarter, skipper Roy Brannigan would get his first of the afternoon while Armstrong got his third.


That three-minute spell seeing 38 points added to the scoreboard, but the Giants still held onto the advantage they build early in the third.


End of Q3: Tigers 79 (12.7) Giants 86 (12.14)


Telfer put the Tigers right back in the game with his second of the afternoon and the first goal of the fourth quarter seven minutes in, after two early behinds.


It would take another five minutes for goal number two of the fourth quarter, with it going the way of the Giants. A behind a piece either side of the Giants goal took the score to 90-99.


With two minutes to go Captain Brannigan would score his second goal of the afternoon to bring the gap down to two points, but it wasn’t to be for the hosts after the Giants sealed victory with a 19th-minute goal to put the game beyond the Tigers.


Full-Time: Tigers 97 (14.13) Giants 106 (14.22)


“It’s disappointing obviously, but I couldn’t have asked for any more from the boys,” said Head Coach Chris Rodger post-match.


Despite the disappointment of opening day defeat, Rodger looked to take the positives from the day:


“I think the more we play together, the more we train together things will start to come in.


“Things weren’t quite clicking at those important parts of the game.


“We’ll always take a positive and as I said to the boys just then, it’s a good base.

Squad: Roy Brannigan ©, Stevie Allen, Colin Donaghy, Dan Slater, David Rolt, Cameron Armstrong, Travis Sperling, Ian Kerr, Jason Liddell, James Fraser, Matty O’Brien, Joe Robinson, Matty Birch, Michael ‘Zeus’ Velrssarides, Harry Telfer

Goals: James Fraser x3, Cameron Armstrong x3, Harry Telfer x2, Roy Brannigan x2, Jason Liddell x2, Matty O'Brien, Dan Slater

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