Tiger time as Foster win flag

The Tigers lift the cup and show off their premiership medals after defeating a resilient Stony Creek by seven points.

REDEMPTION was on the minds of the Foster players in their Alberton grand final on Saturday.

In what was a tight contest, the Tigers held on to top Stony Creek by seven points, winning the premiership and making amends for their 2018 loss.

Playing-coach Brad Rooney was ecstatic, and emotional, about his team’s achievement.

“I’m not sure what’s going through my mind, I’m just shocked. It’s bliss,” he said.

“We got to the grand final last year and we weren’t quite ready but here we are now. Who would’ve thought? You can only dream.”

The Tigers were the fastest out of the gate, booting the opening goal early, but Stony Creek managed to even up the contest and stay in touch.

At quarter-time both sides sat on three goals one behind apiece.

With Stony Creek’s Aiden Patton producing a great defensive display on Tom McGowan, Foster needed to nullify some of the Maroons’ threats in return.

In a neck-and-neck battle, Levi De Niese-McGregor’s tagging of Darcy Atkins was integral, and, along with the work ruckman James Cook and best on ground Brendan Neville, made sure Foster maintained ascendency in the middle.

“Jim (James Cook) was really good and Nev always goes in hard, which was huge,” coach Rooney said.

“For Levi to come in and play on Atkins for a game as well, he did an unbelievable job.”

It was up to coach Rooney to make sure his team stuck to the game plan and executed in the all-important fourth term as his side held a slim five-point advantage at the final break.

The game remained even though, with Bergles lively for the Maroons up front and both midfields going hard at the contest.

The play of Brendan Neville became the difference, with the Foster star taking control of the play and providing for his teammates.

With the flag favourites up by a kick, Neville propelled play into the forward line, where Matt Wilson kicked a fantastic goal from the boundary to all but put Stony Creek away, the side holding on to win 55-48.

“I was focused on setting up in that final term and the tea really responded to the game plan,” coach Rooney said.

“I was confident we could outrun them and we did; at the end of the day I got 21 outstanding contributors and they got the job done.”

For coach Rooney, the team has come a long way and the win puts the cherry on top of what has been a great career.

“To be retiring and this be my last game, I never thought it would end this way, it’s unreal,” he said.

“I didn’t think it would ever happen two years ago when we came in and were second bottom, but what a year it’s been.”



Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=29978

Posted by on Sep 6 2019. Filed under Sport. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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