SOME outstanding defence has allowed the Orange Tigers to book a place in this Saturday’s Central West AFL under 18s grand final.
The Tigers secured a 58-point victory over Young in last Saturday’s preliminary final at Orange’s Country Club Oval.
It was a great win for the Tigers who finished the regular season in third and have now won their way into the decider.
The Tigers’ defence was brilliant for the entire match and able to hold Young goal-less for the first three quarters.
This was a huge factor in their 11.8 (74) to 2.4 (16) win.
Tigers coach Tim Barry was thrilled to see his players earn a place in the grand final.
“They were very impressive. It was a very good day for them,” Barry said.
“The preliminary final is probably one of the better matches to win, because it means you’ve worked hard and, obviously, it puts you into the grand final. There were certainly some excited boys after the game.”
The Tigers were strong from the first whistle and were able to kick three six-pointers to Young’s three behinds in the opening quarter.
Young could only add one more behind in the second quarter while the Tigers booted another two goals and two behinds to lead 5.2 (32) to 0.4 (4) at the main break.
The third quarter was Tigers’ best as they prevented Young from adding anything to their tally, while at the same time kicking another four majors and three behinds themselves.
Young were able to kick two majors in the final period but the Tigers were already too far ahead.
Tom Rogers and Simon Ewin kicked three majors each for the Tigers, while Pierce Frecklington and Tristan Degn booted two apiece.
Barry made the decision to move the tall Zac Whitehead to fullback to try to stifle some of Young’s bigger forwards and it paid off.
“Our defenders do well but they’re not as big. Zac is bigger and he moves well,” Barry explained.
“He looked like he was playing like a forward. He takes marks and cuts off a lot of ball. He also gave us quite a lot of drive out of the back.”
At the other end of the field, two more tall players in Caleb Campbell and Tom Whitehead performed well.
“They were two big targets and the smaller guys were able to work off them,” Barry explained.
The coach added Chris Rothnie at centre-halfback continued his solid season and captain Andrew Ryan led by example at half-forward.
Now the Tigers will prepare to take on Bathurst in this Saturday’s grand final.
“I think we know we’re a good chance against Bathurst. The boys know how they need to play,” Barry said.
Saturday’s grand final will be played in Bathurst.