Eden Tigers Brand Sun

Tommy's Tigers Turn it On
Eden 58 Bega 18

May 22nd 2011 by Dave Evelyn

This was the match we were all waiting for...the much anticipated Grand Final replay. After what was one of the tightest Grand Finals in memory there was great anticipation around the well populated George Brown Oval that these two undefeated teams would put on another top notch contest. The football was fast and spectacular, but there was a huge chasm between the sides with Eden's strength , speed and combination putting the Roosters to the chopping block.

Eden received two early penalties and played with precision getting to their kicks and chasing hard. After Bega turned possession over Eden's Ian Smith scored his side's first try which Todd Bolton failed to convert. Big Billy Michelin and Captain Coach Tommy Lynch were stamping their absolute authority in the middle of the ruck while Brian Ella and Mick Wykes were providing great support. After another penalty to Eden and a Bega handling error Eden halfback Laurence Bamblett crossed to score and with the Bolton conversion the Tigers were up 10-0.

A couple of penalties to Bega halted the Eden sides momentum, but only briefly as the legendary Corey Stewart charged down a Rooster clearing kick and strolled across for a try, and then Tom Lynch brought the home crowd to its feet with a typical barnstorming run to increase the Tigers lead to 22-0. Matt Bell's cameo appearance saw him figure in some robust defence and he also kept the Bega defence busy with some astute passing to his supports, while Phil Crosby was causing havoc every time he got the ball.

Credit must go to the Bega side who never stopped trying, and they were finally rewarded when the speedy Dave Burton pounced on a loose ball and sprinted 60 meteres to score. With just minutes until the break Eden's Brian "Spud" Ella was also rewarded for a big first half when he crossed and the score at the break was 28-6.

The second half began with both sides settling play and getting to their kicks. Until a Bega handling error led to Eden's next try, scored by Phil Crosby. Todd Bolton had his radar working and his conversion took the Tigers to a 28-6 lead. Just minutes later Ian Smith was in to score a nice try and when Spud scored his second the contest was as good as over at 40-6.

The big Eden forward pack led by Tom Lynch and Billy Michelin were dominating, but again to Bega's credit they never gave up, and were rewarded with two quick tries to put some respectability to the scoreline.

The Tigers, however, were unfazed by the brief revival, and tries to Ian Smith and then a glorious intercept and 70m run to the line by Corey Stewart, and a final touchdown by Ian McBain saw the scorline finish at Eden 58 Bega 18.

This was a very impressive win by the Eden side and should justifiably elevate them to premiership favourites. We have a week off next weekend due to representative fixtures.