After the near misses in 2002, big things were expected of 1 st Grade in 2003 and we gave our supporters plenty to cheer about. After 12 games we were on top of the ladder, a clear game ahead of the field. Alas, we were cut down by unavailability to 7 of our star players and, due to an anomaly in the draw, had to play the last six normal games away from home.
Then we had to travel to Ulladulla for the semi-final where we managed to win 3 quarters out of 4 but still lost narrowly to Albatross.
2003 saw the introduction of some more excellent players including Mark McPhee (1 st Grade B& F), Mark (Fish) Salmon, Gary Parker (Reserve Grade B& F) and Andy Hicks. Rocket, Josh and Jeff Burton also had good seasons, the latter kicking a 50m goal with 2 minutes to go to nail Bomaderry at their ground. Trent Avery was again a runaway winner of the 1 st Grade goal-kicking list.
Greg Burke (who had Coached in 2000) reprised his role and Bill Parsons again Coached Ressies who finished 2 games out of the four. Bill’s wife Lisa won the Woonona-Bulli RSL Club’s major award for Junior AFL administration.
The Grand Final was held at our ground and that, together with continued excellent sponsorships from various sponsors, saw our finances continue to improve.
President Matthew Simpson who did an admirable job in 2003, kept pressing forward with our Clubhouse Development plans.
The Tigers jumped out of the blocks in 2004 and were in the top 2 in both Grades all year. 1st Grade beat every team in the comp and posted some huge victories including one by 207 pts, our 3rd largest winning margin ever. Most impressively, both Grades were undefeated at Hollymount in 2004, never been done before or since.
Some top new players were unearthed including Shane Russell (1st Grade B&F), Chris Haliburton, Leigh Harry and Cameron Seagrave. Mark O’Rourke touched out Fish for leading goal kicker in 1sts, Simmo won it in Reserves. Snake, playing his 21st and supposedly last season for Norths, ran round in Ressies and won their B&F.
Coaches Bill Parsons (1sts) and Sully (Reserves) were both bitterly disappointed when both Grades bowed out in straight sets in the finals after the injury curse had struck again. However, on and off the field the Tigers were still on the way up again.