Eden Tigers Brand Sun

Tigers Grab Thrilling Draw Against Narooma
Eden 24 Narooma 24

May 26th 2013 by Dave Evelyn

The Great Southern Inn Eden Tigers made the trek to Narooma last Sunday looking for two valuable competition points but after a thrilling finish to the match the Tigers had to be content with a hard fought 24 all draw. When Narooma scored a converted try to take a 24-18 lead with three minutes remaining Eden's cause looked lost, but a deft short kickoff by half Tom Henderson was regained by Jacob Young, which led to a last minute try to Eden's Andrew Evelyn. With the taunts of the Narooma faithful ringing in his ears Henderson calmly potted the sideline conversion to secure the draw and a single valuable competition point. The match was a stop start affair and the Eden side never really had the chance to build momentum with 19 penalties during the match (Narooma 13-6), roughly at the rate of one every four minutes- diminishing the spectacle for the small but enthusiastic crowd and proving increasingly frustrating for the players. Eden were also judged as throwing five forward passes, which allied with sporadic handling lapses and poor execution gave the fired up Narooma side a real chance for a monumental upset after the Tigers great win over Moruya last start.

Narooma were first to score with a soft try next to the posts following an offside penalty, and the conversion gave the home side an early 6-0 lead.Eden struck back with Connor Myles scoring after an Eden penalty, and the very next set saw Eden score again after winger Andrew Evelyn was on the spot to receive a beautiful wide ball from Tom Henderson and touch down. Tom's conversion put the Tigers in the lead 10-6. Eden were beginning to assert dominance as they held possession and the forwards appeared to be getting on top of their opponents, and when Andrew Evelyn broke clear down the left wing and crashed over for his second try Eden extended their lead to 14-6 and the Tigers appeared to have the match in their control.However, in a bizzare finish to the half in the final ten minutes Narooma received six consecutive penalties and scored a try to bring the score back to 14-10 in the Tigers' favour. The first half penalty count was 9-3 to Narooma and the Tigers defence had done a very good job to keep the opposition to two tries.

Eden's English Import Half Back Tom Henderson. Matt Creswick and Dan McKean

The second half began as the first half had finished, a stop start affair as the whistle dominated proceedings with penalties and handling errors to both sides before Eden failed to find touch after they received a penalty and then turning over possession near their own line in the next set saw Ayres score for Narooma to level the scores at 14-14. That scoreline was only momentary as Eden mounted another attack and when Tom Henderson found Andrew Evelyn with another great pass the rampaging winger crossed for his third and the Tigers took the lead again 18-14. The game began to flow for a short time and Eden and Evelyn were controversially denied another try when he touched down after a Tigers pass was deflected forward by a Devils defender and called a forward pass by the referee.

Narooma struck back with another unconverted try and with eight minutes remaining the scores were level again.

When Narooma received a scrum penalty (a rare event in the modern game) ten metres out from the Eden line with five minutes remaining and scored a fairly soft try it seemed a monumental upset was on the cards, but with the Henderson- Evelyn combination working again Andrew scored his fourth try, Henderson heroically converted, the draw was secured and the Tigers continue the hard tussle to secure a spot in the top four in a very close competition.

Although the Tigers were expected to win this match credit must go to the plucky Narooma side who gave their all in a gutsy display. Best for Eden were Tom Henderson, who is playing some very good football at half and setting up his outside men with good ball, and four try hero Andrew Evelyn who was the beneficiary of Tom's good play. Joe Stewart , Dave Render, CC Greg Nicholson again led from the front, Matt Evelyn was dangerous with limited chances,and Tyrone Maher showed signs of class, although it should be said that the whole Tigers squad put in a sterling effort under very frustrating conditions, tackling themselves to a standstill and giving their all.

Bega remains undefeated on top of the competition table after defeating Cobargo 34-16 on the weekend, while in other results Cooma crushed Pambula Merimbula Bombala 70-12 and Moruya downed Tathra 38-30. Next weekend sees the Leigh Hennessy coached Group 16 rep side taking on Group 9 in Cooma, and a bye in normal competition.