Eden Tigers Brand Sun

Tigers' Reserves Bare Their Claws
Eden 16 Bega 14

August 6th 2011 by Dave Evelyn

The enigmatic Eden Reserve Grade side showed their devoted fans that they are a real chance of winning the premiership this season with a courageous victory over the highly placed Bega side at George Brown Sportsground on Saturday. With Corey Walker, Matt Evelyn and Andrew Grant leading from the front the Tigers put their stamp on the game early on when Dylan Wheeler swooped onto a charged down kick to post the first points. Unfortunately, the Tigers didn't appear to have a kicker and the conversion missed. The home crowd was in raptures shortly after when Eden received a penalty and Matt Evelyn scored with a trademark burst from dummy half. No conversion again saw Eden lead 8-0.

In a controversial period of play the referee went down injured and was replaced by Eden's Neil Baker, who promptly penalised Eden and saw Bega score their first try to move the score to 8-4 to the Tigers. Bega were last to score in the first half when Leigh Fuller scored to take the score to 8-8 at the break.

Coach Kevin Campbell praised his side's effort and urged them to maintain their intensity and the strong defence they had shown in the first half.

The second half began in a see-sawing fashion with play going from end to end and the referee liberally distributing penalties to both teams before Andrew Grant was well rewarded for some very good play with the next try, which unfortunately was also not converted, but it had put the Tigers back in the lead 12-8. The Bega side would not give up, and as the Roosters enjoyed consecutive sets they finally broke through to score and take the lead 14-12.

The Tigers seemed to lift their efforts on the back of some strong support from the crowd, and looked likely to split the Bega defence several times before Corey Walker stormed across to put the Tigers back in the lead with about 10 minutes to go. In an exciting finish the Tigers withstood some strong attacking raids to hold on and record a great victory. For the Tigers Corey Walker and Matt Evelyn were outstanding. Andrew Grant, Dylan Wheeler , Andrew Evelyn and Wade Irvin were standouts in a very encouraging team effort, while the return of favourite son Laurence “Bambi” Bamblett was an inspiration to the side. With a couple more players expected to rejoin the side in the coming weeks this side will improve even more and will take some beating come finals time.