Thursday 24 March 2011

The celebrations raged long into the night at North Cairns after the Tigers claimed their first AFL Cairns Women’s League premiership in three seasons against the Manunda Hawks at Cazalys on Saturday, reports Andrew Piva of The Cairns Post.

The Tigers won 7.9 (51) to 2.3 (15) after unleashing a six-goal blitz in the final term to pull away from their opponents.

The victory was especially satisfying for Tigers player-coach Jo Butland, who was left shattered by her team’s loss to South Cairns in last season’s decider.

While ecstatic with Saturday’s result, Butland conceded the Tigers were below their best for most of the contest.

“I thought we kept Hawks in the game in those first three quarters with inaccurate kicking and some easy goals,” she said. “But in the last quarter we came out and did the job.

“Hawks were unfortunate in that it was probably the worst quarter of football they’ve played all season.”

Even though the Tigers only led by eight points at three-quarter time, Butland remained confident her team would prevail.

“I always thought we had control of the game, but I would’ve liked to have had more goals on the board,” she said. “The girls still had a lot of run, though, and that was the main thing.”

Hawks president Fiona Sharp said the Tigers were the better side and deserved their premiership.

“They were just too good in the end,” she said.  “The final score made it look worse than it really was because they kicked a couple of late goals, but our girls never stopped trying.

“It’s all experience for us and they tell me you have to lose a grand final before you win one.”

Tigers player Tasia Seden was named best on ground.

Photo courtesy Cairns Post

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