The 1993 season began brightly with Gary Hynd as the 1 st Grade Coach. Both Grades were competitive and in fact the Club scored it’s biggest ever victory when 1 st Grade amassed in excess of 220 to 0 over a disheveled Dapto. Forward Steve Brooks posted 16 goals.
Gary relinquished the position and Snake took over as Captain-Coach, The Tigers 1 st Grade made the finals for the first time since ’88 by finishing 3 rd on the ladder.
Ken (Spike) Milligan had an outstanding season winning the League Best & Fairest, thereby atoning for a lot of near misses that the Club had endured. It was this award that caused the Tigers’ early exit from the Finals – the vote count was held on the Friday night before the 1 st Semi and some of our lads partied far too hard to be fit for the semi-final on Sunday.
Milligan won the Club B&F in ’93 for 1 st Grade while the old marvel Frank Haggarty captured the award in Reserves.
In 1994 the Tigers were really firing. Steve Brooks brought his friend Grant Searle from Shepparton and these two captain-coached the 1sts. Grant’s brother, Neil also played; Paul Phyland came back after missing 1993 and brought with him an outstanding talent, Greg McPherson. Noel and Peter Burton were still at their peak and there was a good mix of quality players who had debuted in the late 80’s/early 90’s; now with the necessary experience.
Norths was the Champion Club overall, representing in both 1 st & Reserve Grade Grand Finals. Alas, we had an unbelievable spate of injuries to our top players right on finals time and lost to Bomaderry (1 st Grade) and Port Kembla (Reserves). In all fairness, we should have claimed at least 1 flag that year.
Greg McPherson took the honours at Presentation Night for 1 st Grade whilst Doug Tilley got the Reserve Grade Best & Fairest Award.
Once more we followed a very good year with a moderate one. A host of top-shelf players departed and left new Captain-Coach Ken Milligan with reduced resources in 1995. Though Ken’s effort was admirable and there were some close results, we couldn’t quite make the finals in 1 st Grade and the Club was struggling to attract sponsorship monies in an environment of ever-increasing League affiliation fees.
By Presentation Night of that year the outlook for the Club was not entirely optimistic. Andrew Osadczuk had a top season winning his third 1 st Grade B&F Award, the Reserve Grade Award went to Keith (Wombat) North.
The demise of the local Junior League in the late 80’s was now really starting to bite. With the exception of players such as Trent Avery, the Juniors who had graduated were now in their mid to late 20’s; several of them with impressive work careers which would later limit their footy futures. Thus, in 1996, the Tigers were back down to 1 st Grade only; once again there were spirited showings but we fell short of finals glory.
Jeff Burton had taken over as unquestionably the best player in the Club and he duly won the B&F Award.
Off the field, the Club was at the cross-roads; crucially it was the old family names : Parsons, Avery, Osadczuk, Burton, Byrnes, Sullivan that had rallied to save it and form the platform for better times ahead.