Fairytale ending for Grafton Tigers in Seniors
The resurrection of the Grafton Tigers was complete when the club claimed its third Senior flag with a Grand Final victory over the Sawtell Toormina Saints.
The rise of the Tigers is 2020 has been nothing short of phenomenal. If an American sporting team achieved such a turn around in fortunes after years in the doldrums the Hollywood studios would be clamouring to turn the story into a blockbuster movie!
The Saints kicked the first goal of the match through Mitch Napier but the Tigers quickly responded with three of their own.
The Tigers were dominant in the second quarter and the Saints could only thank their lucky stars that Grafton’s kicking for goal wasn’t straighter. The Tigers managed just two goals from eight scoring shots in this period to leave the door ajar for Sawtell as they went to the long break with 29 point lead.
The Saints tried to take advantage of Grafton’s inaccuracy and controlled much of the play in the third. However they were haunted by their own kicking demons and recorded an equally wasteful one goal, five behinds. One of the telling moments for both the quarter and match was when Sawtell had a player free in the goal square but a team mate elected to take a shot from a tight angle rather than give the hand ball for a certain goal. From the resulting behind Grafton went straight down field and kicked their only goal of the quarter to effect a two goal swing.
Grafton took back control in the final term with Aaron Ashby kicking two further goals to bring his match tally to four. This sealed a best on ground performance where he clean swept the votes and was awarded the Woodlock Medal.
Grafton Tigers 8.10 (58) defeated Sawtell Toormina Saints 2.8 (20)
Luke Stanford (Grafton Tigers) was a popular winner of the Brian Saville Medal for Best and Fairest in the League, capping a big year after being named captain of the Team of the Decade in March. Angus Anderson (Sawtell Toormina Saints) added a Senior Runner-up medal to his Under 17 Best and Fairest award in what has been a break out season in the top grade. Braden Saggers (Port Macquarie Magpies) claimed the Goal Kicking award.
Click here to see the top six in the Senior Best and Fairest vote count.
Click here to watch a replay of the match.