The Queanbeyan Tigers were significant underdogs going into last weekend’s preliminary final clash against the Riverina Lions, and despite a tough performance, were unable to prevent the favourites from emerging victorious.
Following the Tigers’ First Grade Women’s and Second Grade Men’s defeats in their Grand Finals earlier this month, the Second Grade side was Queanbeyan’s last remaining hope for a senior Premiership.
However, a rampant Riverina side was a significant hurdle to come up against, and Tigers coach Tim Hull knew that it was going to be tough from the outset.
“Leading into the game, we were definitely underdogs,” Hull said.
“Riverina had only lost one game for the year, so we knew we had our work cut out.
“Not making any excuses, we had a few of our better players unavailable for the game, so we really needed everything to go our way to be a chance.”
Fortune did not favour the Tigers on the day, and they succumbed to a 6.5.41 to 0.0.0 defeat.
Despite the unfortunate result, Hull said that he was still very pleased with what the girls had managed to achieve in 2018 as a whole.
“To win as many games as we did and then win the first final and make the prelim final was way above expectations,” Hull said.
“We’re very pleased with the results, and more so around how the girls approached their footy this year was the pleasing aspect of the season.”
While the senior women’s and men’s sides were unable to claim any of their Grand Finals, the Tigers took out the Rising Stars Youth Premiership over the Magpies Juniors, 5.9.39 to 5.3.33.
“It’s a little bit scary to be honest, just how much women’s footy’s grown in general across the country,” Hull said.
“The fact that we’ve got the youth girls coming through from a very successful season … we haven’t had a lot of girls playing senior footy from the junior ranks.
“What we’ve found is that a lot of that learning has had to come from mature age players, or girls who haven’t come through the junior ranks.
“So to have that influx of girls coming through next year and in the following years, that will just take the footy to another level.”
Hull estimated that there will be roughly a dozen players graduating from the Tigers’ youth ranks to their senior ranks next year, which will serve to strengthen the senior sides with young players who already have a majority of the skills required.
“With our club to have a strong core of these girls coming through is going to make us even stronger than we have been in the last couple of years,” he said.