THE Lake Cargelligo Tigers have become the most successful club in the Northern Riverina Football League’s history after securing their 16th premiership by beating West Wyalong/Girral at Ungarie Sportsground on Saturday.
While the Tigers had beaten the Bulldogs in both of their clashes this season the result went down to the wire, with Lake Cargelligo running out 13.12 (90) to 9.13 (67) winners.
NRFL president Peter McFadyen said it was a fitting result given the Tigers’ dominance this season.
“The grand final was very much a level playing field the season before it did not mean anything in the one-off game,” McFadyen said.
“Lake did well to skip away to an early lead but West Wyalong/Girral were very good in the third quarter and did enough to lead going into the last.
“It just was a good clean game with some big hits and both sides were really determined to go after the football.”
The Bulldogs kicked the first goal of the last term to lead by eight, but a stunning scoring spree by the Tigers, which saw them kick the next five, got them over the line by 23 points.
Jaden Kelly solidified his reputation as one of the best allround footballers in the region with a sensational best on ground performance for Lake Cargelligo.
The little master bagged two goals and amassed plenty of touches as he inspired his side at crucial moments.
“Right from the first bounce he dominated and helped Lake get in front and then when things were looking a bit tough in the last quarter he lifted again,” McFadyen said.
West Wyalong/Girral’s Geoff Walker, with five goals, was sensational up front in a losing side and starred alongside Shane Russell, Brett Davies, Luke Vearing, Sam Broomby, Rodney Lemon and Simon Clarke.
“It was a marvellous effort by Geoff (Walker), he’s in his 30s and has had hamstring troubles this year and as late as late last week, he actually came off, but he played very well on Saturday,” McFadyen said.
Mitchell Johnson, Rhys Ward and Kelly all bagged doubles for the premiers while Tony Aubrey, Edward Wilson, Mitchell Hart, Michael Ireland and Dylan Hately were some of the better performers.