Although Senior Premiership flags eluded us again in 2009, it was another successful year for the Tigers.
1st Grade managed to beat every other team at least once in the season, and some great new rookies (many of them ex Tiger Juniors) were prominent.
Predictably, we fell foul of injuries in the finals – as we did in 2004 we went out in straight sets to Kiama (major semi) and Bomaderry (Prelim Final).
Jason de Bruin was outstanding all season and was a runaway winner of the 1st Grade Best & Fairest Award, his second such honour.
Jason Lucas was runner-up ahead of Josh McLarnen, youngster Nick Davidson, Funky, Purcy and Jason Kocmar who was having a great 1st year with Norths until injured.
Ex-Juniors who stepped up to 1st Grade and did well in 2009 included Chris Taylor, Tim Bignell, Billy Parsons and Jack O’Donoghue.
Travis Lothian (55) was the Leading goal-kicker in 1st Grade, other prolific goal scores were Lucas (35), Funky (32) and Matt Lang (25).
Reserve Grade was competing in a very strong comp against some Clubs who should have been fielding 1st Grade, but elected to be ultra-strong in Ressies. Still, our lads had some good performances including a memorable win v Bomaderry in the mud at Hollymount.
It was a year when many players were yo-yoing between 1sts and Reserves with Tylor Harris topping the leaderboard in the B&F count. When they did play in Reserves, Matt Warth, Anthony O’Donoghue, Steve Grierson, Andrew Shepherd, Dean Henderson and Paul Appleton were all solid contributors.
John (Starsky) Connors kicked 31 goals to street the field in the goal-kicking stakes.
Our Juniors continued to be very competitive, in one Grade (Under 15) it was an all-Tigers Grand Final between our Tigers Black (Premiers) and Tigers Yellow teams.
Other highlights of the Tigers 2009 season included:-
- Magnificent new lights installed at end of year, ready for 2010.
- Water tank installed which allowed a much better playing surface from 2010.
- New bitumen car-park installed.
- Hosting of SCAFL Grand Final at Dalton Park by Norths, which apart from being a financial boost was applauded widely by the whole SCAFL administration.
- Another great Night game at North Dalton Park during 2009 when both Grades took on Albatross
- Fancy Dress night at Palm Court
- Brothers in Arms game featuring 3 Hynds and 3 Burtons.
2010 started brightly in more ways than one. After winning the pre-season Comp, our first ever night games at Hollymount Park were held in Round 1 with two thrillers against reigning premiers Kiama. Reserve Grade came from 6 goals behind to fall short by 2pts, then 1st Grade gained the ascendancy late in a close encounter winning by 17 pts.
A decent crowd was treated to balmy Autumn weather, alas other night games in June were subject to Antarctic like conditions.
Still, Tigers 1st Grade won all their games under lights in 2010.
1st Grade’s year was largely successful with the Tigers beating all other finalists Bomaderry (2 out of 2), Uni (2 out of 3) and Kiama (1 out of 2) during the home and away season. However a couple of shock losses to lower teams meant that we wound up in 3rd place on the ladder, still considered equal favourites to take the flag.
Unfortunately, we ran into a hot Uni team in the minor semi, and after we led all day, we were pipped in the last quarter and made a quick exit.
Reserve Grade met the same fate – led all day against eventual premiers Bomaderry at their home ground, but fell foul of a strong breeze in the final stanza, losing by 9 pts.
Thus, another couple of premiership opportunities slipped by.
The Annual Presentation Night was a bottler as usual, Mick Faulkner won the 1st Grade Best & Fairest, he also won that Award for the whole SCAFL, the first time a Tiger had done that since 1993. Young gun Jack O’Donoghue was runner-up.
Other players to win 1st Grade awards were Glen Haase, Dan Forsyth, Lewis Wilson, Bill Parsons and Jade Purcell. Mark O’Rourke (45 goals) was leading goal-kicker.
Reserve Grade Best & Fairest winner Anthony O’Donoghue became the oldest Tiger ever to win such an award, he finished just ahead of joint runner-ups Wade Chapman and Alex Parro. John Connors (25 goals and leading goal-kicker), Ben Livermore, Steve Grierson and Andrew Shepherd also won awards in Ressies.
The coveted Club Awards were keenly contested.
The Pat Burton Memorial Most Courageous Award went to Jade Purcell, whilst the Best Clubperson was shared between Kevin O’Conner and Grant Plecas.