Tigers have withstood a desperate comeback by North Hobart to secure a thrilling five point victory at North Hobart Oval.
TSL Digital Reporter Grant Jessup recaps the contest, with the Demons missing an opportunity to level the score a second before the final quarter siren.
The first five minutes were spent in North Hobart’s forward 50 but the Dees were unable to take advantage of their dominance.
Tigers made them pay, booting two majors in a row before young gun Angus Norton finally got the Demons on the scoreboard.
Goals from Devils star Will Peppin and key forward Colin Garland gave the Demons a handy six point lead.
However, ill-discipline from the Demons led to Tigers Tyler Carter and Sam Rice kicking a major each, within seconds, to close out the opening term.
Carter got his third goal early in the second quarter, going back with the flight to take a courageous mark.
At the other end, young Demon Jacques Barwick announced himself as a possible star of the future, booting two majors in the second term and three for the game.
Tiger Brady Rees took a big hit during the second quarter but played on for the rest of the game.
The third quarter was goal for goal with Tigers Kieran Lovell and Lochie Griggs showing plenty of class in the midfield alongside Demons Sam Darley and Nathan McCulloch.
Lachlan Clifford had a dominant quarter, kicking two goals for the Tigers.
However, young star Elijah Reardon stole the show in the third term, taking a strong mark of the year contender.
The Tiger soared above a giant pack of players, taking a brilliant defensive mark.
After receiving their final messages from coach Richard ‘Bear’ Robinson, the Dees made a stunning start to the final quarter.
Quick majors through Garland and McCulloch cut the margin to three points.
Tigers were unable to kick a goal during the final quarter, hitting the post several times and keeping the Dees in the contest.
The final 15 minutes were an arm wrestle with both sides desperately trying to win.
Defenders from both teams fought bravely with Demons Josh Cleaver and Callum Kilpatrick working overtime at one end of the ground while Tigers Will Poland and Lachie Gadomski were busy at the other.
In the end, the contest came down to one final kick, from a stoppage inside 50, with seconds remaining.
The Demons could not win, but one goal would level the scores, and give the club their first premiership points of the season.
Sadly for the Demons faithful, Nathan McCulloch’s snap from the forward pocket narrowly missed.
One second later, the siren went.
North Hobart coach Richard Robinson said the result was heartbreaking for his young side.
“It’s gut-wrenching for the players, they worked so hard.”
“You’d love some reward for effort but unfortunately we just didn’t get that today,” he said.
The efforts of Josh Cleaver, Jacques Barwick and Devils star Patrick Walker caught the attention of Robinson.
“He [Cleaver] did a really good job down back.”
“I think Jacques Barwick showed some good signs offensively,” he said.
“You can see the improvement Paddy Walker has made in the last 12 months.”
A major talking point from the game is the fitness of Demons forward Colin Garland.
Garland played out the game with a new hamstring injury on his good leg, causing him visible discomfort throughout the second half.
“His hammy wasn’t great but it’s pretty selfless to continue to provide a big target,” Robinson said.
“We probably didn’t look after him enough one-on-one, didn’t kick it to his right side, so he’s pulled up quite sore and we’ll see how he is during the week.”
Robinson concedes that there were some players on Saturday who let the club down.
“We’ve had pretty ruthless education sessions in the last two weeks [about] letting your teammates down.”
“We won’t play those guys that don’t live up to the standards we’re trying to teach them,” Robinson said.
Tigers coach Trent Baumeler was glad his side got away with the four points.
“It was a grind, it was a scrap and we knew that coming into it,” he said.
“I think after North Hobart kicked those first two goals in the last quarter we were able to probably win that [stoppage] battle a bit better.”
Baumeler was full of praise for the club’s Lochies, including Griggs (32 disposals), Watts, Clifford (two goals) and Gadomski.
“Lochie Griggs, getting back as a bit more of a defensive winger was fantastic,” Baumler said.
“We sent [Watt] to Sam Darley, who was having a pretty good influence on the game and I thought he grinded away and did a fantastic role for us,” Baumler said.
“We’ve got a lot of Lochies in the team and they all played pretty well today.”
Captain Sam Rice also made a promising return to the team after battling injury.
“He had a specific role behind the footy today and he played it perfectly,” Baumeler said.
This result gives the Tigers a two-game buffer in fifth spot.
“We give ourselves a chance to compete in the back end of the year and start to try and aim towards playing some finals footy,” Baumeler said.
North Hobart 3.0, 5.3, 8.5, 10.6 (66)
Tigers 5.3, 7.6, 10.8, 10.11 (71)
North Hobart : C. Garland 3, J. Barwick 2, J. Menzie, A. Norton, S. Darley, N. McCulloch, W. Peppin
Tigers : T. Carter 3, L. Clifford 2, S. Duigan, E. Reardon, M. Gardner, K. Lovell, H. Johnston
North Hobart : A. Norton, J. Cleaver, S. Darley, B. Midson, N. McCulloch, C. Kilpatrick
Tigers : W. Poland, L. Gadomski, K. Lovell, R. Matthews, L. Clifford, L. Griggs