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Tigers Triumph in Tight Tournament

📁 CAFL, Card Sharks, Mako Sharks, Tiger Sharks 🕔26.January 2014

Saturday January 25th saw the start of the 2014 CAFL (Caledonian Australian Football League) Season at the Leagues home venue of Victoria Park in Glasgow. As has become the tradition the beginning to the footy year would be a 3 team shortened format tournament which would see each team play each other once in games of two 15 minute halves , should teams finish on the same points after all games were complete the winner would be the team with the best percentage.

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Game 1 :  Tiger Sharks Vs Mako Sharks

The draw pitted last season’s Grand Finalists against each other in the first match and while the team names were the same both had added some new personnel and were keen to see how their new players would perform. The Tigers had added Bryan Martin and Graham Wilson to their Premiership side but were missing the speedy Mark Cadman and returning Tiger Nicky Thomson. The Makos welcomed new recruit Nik McGuire to the Squad but were also without key players Mark McFarlane and Martin Bell who was still en route back to Scotland from Australia.

1st Half

Both teams started well however several early turnovers from the Makos lead to scoring opportunities for the Tigers with Danny Collett proving to be a focal point up forward. The Makos came back and had a couple of chances of their own only to squander them and register only 2 behinds before Captain Adam Jack was to register their 1st goal on the 9 minute mark. A steadying goal from Tom McDonald and a behind from Graham Wilson just before halftime meant that the Tigers went into the break with a 13 point lead.

Goals Behinds Total Goals Behinds Total
Tigers 3 3 21 Vs Makos 1 2 8

2nd Half

Alexander Clark had the first chance to cut the lead for the Makos only 30 seconds into the half but unfortunately sprayed his shot wide. Despite the early pressure at the start of the half from the Makos they only managed 1 behind while the Tigers were to score  4 goals through Alex Young , Graham Wilson and Danny Collett picking up his 3rd and Bryan Martin capping off a good first outing for his new team. The Tigers would have been happy with the 34 point win showing they will again be a force in this year’s Premiership while the Makos showed some signs of improvement but need to work on turning the pressure they had and time in forward half into a scoreboard output if they are to go one better this season.

Final Score

Goals Behinds Total Goals Behinds Total
Tigers 7 3 45 Vs Makos 1 3 9

 

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Game 2 :   Card Sharks   vs   Tiger Sharks

After a 15 minute turn around the Tigers were ready for their next match against the Card Sharks. The Cards are the team that has transformed the most since last season. After a great start to the 2013 taking all before them , missing key personnel towards the end of the season had hurt them so they made moves to rectify that at this year’s trade period and draft whist still retaining most of the core that had served them so well in 2013. They recruited the Sharks top Goal Scorer in Michael Douglas from the Tigers , also tough tackling Hazel Stevenson and adding run in Paul Sweeney from the Makos in Trade Week before turning their attentions to the Draft. With an eye on the future Captain McKinlay went for youth at the Draft securing young Guns Andy ‘NB’ McAllister and Blair Elliott at picks 1 & 4 before locking in the potential of Lessa Rushton at pick 7. For the Cup the Cards would be without Rushton and the experienced Ross Thomson for their first outing in 2014.

1st Half

The Cards started well and from the ball up a clearance worked its way to the forward line where last Season’s CAFL  MVP Steve Thompson steadied and fired a goal from a tight angle from the 1 minute mark. A centring kick from the Captain McKinlay found Paul Sweeney who marked and Goaled aided by a 25 metre Penalty for encroachment, a minute later Mckinlay was to add to the Score himself after a clean pick up and he ran to 25 meters out and threaded a nice goal to give the Cards a 19 point lead just after the 5 minute mark of the first half. The game evened out for the rest of the half with the Tigers pressure keeping the Cards pegged down in the Tiger half before a breakaway in the last minute lead to a rushed behind and giving the Cards a 20 point lead going into the halftime break.

Goals Behinds Total Goals Behinds Total
Cards 3 2 20 Vs Tigers 0 0 0

2nd Half

A rushed behind 1 minute into the Half gave the Tigers their first Score. After a 4 minute period of sustained pressure from the Tigers which saw the Cards unable to get the ball passed halfway Kirsty Gray scored another behind while Graham Wilson also added a goal to reduce the Cards lead to only 12 points. Steve Thompson replied quickly for the Cards linking up well with Michael Douglas and Paul Sweeney to score a needed steadying goal. Danny Collett had a chance to hit back for the Tigers but unfortunately sprayed one shot wide and kicked into the player standing the mark due to the difficult conditions before accepting a handball over the top from Andy Dubojski and kicking a much needed goal from close range. With 13 minutes gone and the Tigers staging a mini comeback it was left to the Cards Captain Robert McKinlay to steady their ship , he worked the ball clear from a stoppage in the right forward pocket and snapped a goal on his left foot to again give the Cards some breathing space again. The Tigers had 1 last push in them and at the next clearance worked the ball wide to the forward pocket where Collett scored his second goal from a tight angle. The Cards had done well in their first match and all their new players contributed well. Perhaps tiredness was a factor for the Tigers in trying conditions but they would rue missed opportunities that could have seen them win the game.

Final Score

Goals Behinds Total Goals Behinds Total
Cards 5 2 32 Vs Tigers 3 3 21

 

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Game 3 :   Mako Sharks   vs   Card Sharks

1st Half

Makos were out quick from the blocks with Alexander Clark involved in a clearance from the centre which he followed down the ground to eventually dribble a low goal through to give the Makos an early lead after 30 seconds. The Makos had a period of pressure but failed to capitalise missing 2 opportunities to add to the lead before Clark added his 2nd goal. A well worked passage of play on the far side wing released Paul Sweeney who ran in on goal and scored the Cards first for the game. Sweeney was again involved for the next goal centering a pass for Robert McKinlay to run onto and goal. The Cards were now on the ascendancy and took the lead with a scrambled passage of play where the ball found its way to Steve Thompson who cooly slotted his first of the game. After some hard fought possessions in the forward half for the Makos Steve O’Kelly found himself on the end of a Adam Jack handpass and calmly dribbled a goal from 10 meters out to give the Makos a 1 point halftime lead.

Goals Behinds Total Goals Behinds Total
Makos 3 2 20 Vs Cards 3 1 19

 

2nd Half

With tiredness creeping in on a heavy pitch the 2nd half proved to be a more open affair . Both teams structure began to suffer due to tiredness and heavy conditions this meant chances at both ends and the teams traded goals with Paul Sweeney and Robert McKinlay’s for the Cards punctuated by counterpunch goals from Gus Thomson and Alexander Clark for the Makos. With it still a 1 point game and half the time gone it was anyone’s game, up stepped Adam Jack the Makos Captain to snap home a left foot effort on the turn from 20 out. This momentum continued with a well taken goal from Steve O’Kelly and just before time was up Daniel Connor found himself in the clear and after a run steadied and made the game safe with only 2 minutes left.

Final Score

Goals Behinds Total Goals Behinds Total
Makos 8 3 51 Vs Cards 5 1 31

 

 

Overall all teams were to take 1 win from the day but more importantly found out a lot about themselves and their opposition for the rest of the season. So a win for last year’s Premiers in the pre-season tournament but plenty of signs they’re not going to get it all their own way in 2014.

TABLE

TEAM PLAYED WON LOST FOR AGAINST % POINTS
Tigers 2 1 1 66 41 160.97 4
Cards 2 1 1 63 72 87.5 4
Makos 2 1 1 60 76 78.94 4

 

Next Saturday sees round 1 and the seasons official opener a Grand Final replay sees the Tiger Sharks take on the Mako Sharks in a  scheduled 12 midday ball up at Victoria Park , see you there.

 

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