By Matthew Woodruff
The Bungendore Tigers have been crowned George Tooke Shield premiers following their upset 23-14 win against the Southwest Brahmans at Seiffert Oval today.
The Brahmans went into the final odds on favourites having defeated the Tigers on all three occasions the teams have met this year, including last months preliminary major semi final 18-8 win.
However the Tigers produced a fantastic team effort, Dan Lucas sealing the victory on fulltime to record an improbable win. Bungendore’s front row of Jason Reid and Todd Buckley were instrumental in the win, providing plenty of go forward for the Tigers.
Replacements Tim Hawke and Steven Death were equally impressive, their timely introductions turning the battle, a forty metre Hawke field goal proving the difference.
Dejected Brahmans Captain/Coach, Shane Pollard was shattered his team couldn’t get the win, “the boys tried their guts out but it just wasn’t good enough on the day” he said.
Tiger’s captain and man of the match, Ben Amey was diplomatic in victory “I want to thank the Southwest Brahmans for a great grand final. They were the form team coming into the finals and bad luck cost them today.”
Bungendore took a slender 12-10 lead into halftime following a blockbusting first half. Both teams showed premiership credentials on the back of some solid defence and clinical attacking football. The Brahmans opened the scoring; the Tigers unable to hold out back to back sixes, Pollard assisting a James Blair four pointer. Abed Atallah comfortably converted, 6-0 Brahmans 4th minute.
Jeremy Taylor replied swiftly for the Tigers, making it 6-4 in the 9th minute. A Nathan Schofield try just five minutes later wrestled the lead back in the Brahmans favour.
Such was the contest Bungendore countered with two late tries, Brent Backhouse and Bryce Darmody giving the Tigers a 12-10 lead at the break.
Bungendore registered first points in the second half to give them a handy convereted try lead. Barry Blewitt’s off radar boot keeping Southwest in the contest. Tim Hawke almost doubled the lead when he flew off the defensive line in search of an intercept, his outstretched arm unable to reel in the loose ball.
He didn’t take long to redeem himself however slotting a Hail Mary field goal from over forty yards out with 14 minutes to play, 17-10 Bungendore Tigers in front. Hawke was at it again when he knocked down a certain try, Brahmans creating an overlap down the left flank.
Brahmans prop Joe Dyball scored with just five minutes to play for the Brahmans however the Tigers managed to weather a late flurry, scoring in the last minute to extinguish any hopes of a fairy tale comeback.