The Tigers are Premiers for 2015 !!

What an amazing Finals Day we were treated to with some terrific finals footy from the kids.  It was a great atmosphere at the AIS oval, with tough contests and extra fun for the all those who showed up to watch the great footy action.
We kicked off with the Preliminary Final between the Makos and Tigers for the last remaining spot in the Grand Final.  It was a nervous start with both sides struggling to find the big sticks and the fast ball movement we had become used to, deserting the teams in this important contest.  A great snap from the Makos Jacob Naismith got the crowd roaring only to see it called “touched” off the boot, but it was soon after we saw our first goal with Felix Katsaros getting the Tigers underway.  In this low scoring contest, it was anyone’s game for the taking until Coby Edmonstone slotted the second for the Tigers sending them through to the Grand Final.
This left the Makos to take on the Hammerheads in a warm-up for the Grand Final.  Whilst disappointed, the never-say-die spirit of the Makos got them up and about, while the Hammerheads might have been saving themselves for the big one.  Goals to the Makos through Harvey Brown and Brayden Hope saw them gain the early break, whilst for the Hammers, Lachlan Pollock was the lone goal scorer and the Makos finished off the season with a win.

The Grand Final build up began with the sprint races for our U9 and U7 Sharks.  As the kids stood on the starting line, the parents and kids from all teams started creeping further and further onto the field to get a look at the future talent of this great club.  The U7’s were led off by the crowd favourite “Sheep”, but a rampaging finish from Toby the "Tobester" was enough to get him home.  The U9’s was a classic with backmarker Thomas threatening to run down the younger kids.  It was a neck and neck battle between Matthew, Austin and Sam all the way down the field with the crowd cheering them on, but it was Matthew who held on taking home the footy cards and lollies !!
Then the one we’d all been waiting for – the 2015 Grand Final.  By now there was a huge crowd, double previous weeks and it was standing room only amongst the picnic rugs and the excited team interchanges that wanted to be so close to the action that they were literally sitting on the field.  Coaches Talbot and Davies showed signs of stress trying to manage their interchanges at the same time as giving directions for the players on the field.  This was a terrific game!!  Despite the tough low scoring contests in the earlier 2 games, the Grand Final opened up to be a more free-flowing affair and it was Felix Katsaros who got the Tigers underway, with Coby “Zinger’ Edmonstone getting the Tigers second.  Goals to the Keogh brothers saw the Tigers kick 4 for the half, whilst the Hammers had goals to Jamie Hope and Cody Head, but the goal that got everyone cheering came from Jimmy Twine and we had a close one in the GF, with the Tigers taking a 29 – 21 half time lead.
Half time saw even more excitement with sprints from the Dad’s and 15+ boys, easily won by “Evo” and bookies lost plenty with the favourite getting up.  The parents then left their rugs and we had about 40 parents and kids taking part in the all-ages sprint.  There was no clear winner, other than a wonderful time being had by all.
The second half saw Jamie Hope and Caleb Woodward leave their stamp on the game.  Caleb Woodward’s constant attack on the footy and run through the midfield, delivered the ball cleanly to the forwards and as the game progressed, Lachie Talbot and James Hosking kicked truly to get the Tigers fans dreaming of that desired Premiership.  However the Hammers were not finished, and late goals to Ethan Rogers and Jared Brown brought the house down and left everyone thinking this was going down to the wire.  Coaches were ringing the changes and the stress on their furrowed brows was starting to show, but when the siren rang out it was the Tigers who were crowned the 2015 Premiers with a 9pt win, 46-37.

Click here to check out the great action shots on the Sharks photo gallery!

The presentations were a great opportunity to reflect on the enjoyment players, parents and organisers had all got from this tournament, and the development the kids had shown from playing competitive footy.  Ashleigh Snow was awarded as the competitions Most Courageous, acknowledged by everyone present as a very popular and worthy winner with her uncompromising attack on the play.  A difficult decision for the judges to decide on the Presidents’ Awards, which is awarded to the Best on Field for the Grand Final, with the Tigers Caleb Woodward taking the award after his great game.  The Robert Schaefer Award is given in recognition of one of the Club’s former Presidents, largely responsible for turning the club into what it is today, and is awarded to the Best & Fairest throughout the tournament.  This was a very close contest with 6 players in close competition and it was the Makos Luke Berridge who took out the award.  Showing great leadership, Luke then made a speech on behalf of the players, thanking everyone involved in putting on the tournament.
Which brings to an end our 2015 Lightning Rounds.  The club wishes to thank the many people involved in making this a great success.  Umpire David Snow and the many volunteer parents who stood in goals.  Coaches Matthew Jackson, Damian Davies, Matthew Talbot, Mark Berridge, Shane Woodward and Travis Mills.  Photographer and Chief Football Writer, Mark Berridge (and his assistant, daughter Imi) who brought the excitement and action to us each week through the newsletter.  A huge thank you to the many Parents who made it to the games each week and provided their amazing support.

The Coaches and Umpire got together at the conclusion of the season to go through the many games and the votes awarded throughout, to come up with their take on the All-Australian Team.  So with many late nights and lengthy discussions between the coaches we have settled on our very first Sharks ALL-STAR team.  Congratulations to all players on their selection !!

AFL Grand Final Day
Following on from a great family day in 2014, the Sharks will once again hold the AFL Grand Final day for 2015 at AIS on Saturday October 3.  So set the date in your diary and stay tuned for further details on the most social, relaxed and communal way to enjoy the biggest day on the AFL calendar.

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