Tigers' core group can take the next step
THEIR grand final defeat might have been convincing, but the Tweed Tigers women have left little doubt in the minds of their club and supporters that the team has a bright future in Northern Rivers football.
The Tigers fell short of a maiden grand final win on Sunday, overrun by a relentless Lismore side, the final score 8.11.59 to 2.2.14.
After kicking the first goal of the match - an Eleanor Crawley snap from 30 metres out after Amy Ella won a tough 50/50 ball in the forward pocket - the Tigers had to wait until the final quarter to kick their second and last goal for the match.
In between, Lismore controlled the territory battle, using an advantage in the ruck to dominate clearances, while also stinging the Tigers on the counter-attack, taking the ball end-to-end to kick goals that would belong on any teams' highlight reel.
One player that deserves mention is Blossom Grimshaw, who was a beacon for the Tigers all match.
Grimshaw worked tirelessly, her four-quarter effort punctuated by big collisions, one-on-one wins and a dribble-kick from deep in the forward pocket, which was expertly crossed to Elizabeth Besgrove for the final goal of the game.
Reflecting upon season 2018, coach Shane Art said the team took some huge strides, and is already excited about what 2019 has in store.
"It was disappointing but we are already looking forward to a great preseason,” Art said.
"We understand that Lismore is a great side, and we know the standard we have to get to.
"We'll learn and we'll move on and hopefully go one better.”
Art is forecasting much of the improvement to come from a more settled playing group, with the team's nucleus set to return to Tigerland for another tilt at the flag.
"We won't have the loss of players that we had last year,” Art said.
"I'm hoping we'll keep a core group of girls and add to it. And with the Under 16 girls coming through, we'll hopefully have some real depth there.”