K rock Football

So close for Tigers

Colac players wonder what might have been following Saturday’s GFL Grand Final loss. (Sports Media Image/Marcel Berens)

A MATCH of such epic proportions didn’t deserve a loser.

In the end, in one arguably the most memorable GFL Grand Final of them all, Colac found itself two points in arrears of St Mary’s at the final siren.

But Colac co-coach Rowan McSparron has been around football long enough to know that no matter how equal the effort of both teams, premierships aren’t shared.

“There’s got to be a winner, and there’s got to be a loser, and, unfortunately, it’s us today,” he said.

“We gave them a start, but the boys just ground it out.

“We just got it back on our terms for little periods and just didn’t quite capitalise.

“But St Mary’s were fantastic today, and we just couldn’t quite get there.”

GFL: THE WASH-UP – SEPTEMBER 21

The Tigers trailed by 27 points at the three-minute mark of the third quarter when Jesse Travaglini goaled.

However, the minor premier was able to claw its way back into the contest, reducing the margin to 12 points at three-quarter time.

Colac then took the lead first the first time in time-on of the final quarter when Aaron Walters hurried kick from deep in the Premiership Stand forward pocket tumbled through for a goal.

When a sweet snap followed that from key defender Adam Garner, the Tigers held a seven-point lead and all the momentum.

“We worked hard to get ourselves in this position, and the football club’s done such a great job over three years to give themselves an opportunity to be represented today,” McSparron said.

“To have it snatched from you like that, it’s devastating.”

Having finished on top of the ladder for the first time since joining the GFL in 2001, Colac only played one game in three weeks after seeing off St Joseph’s in the second semi-final.

However, McSparron says the lack of footy wasn’t an excuse for a scoreless first quarter where the Tigers found themselves trailing by 25 points.

We were fresh; we trained them hard, the boys were ready to go,” he said.

“We were just second to the ball early.”

McSparron is confident the loss will act as a spur for the Tigers heading into next year.

“They (grand finals) are hard enough to make, and they’re even harder to win,” he said.

“So, to get so close, it should be a driving force for next year, for sure.”

Colac owns one of the youngest lists in the GFL, but they also have a couple of veterans closer to the end than the start, including ruckman Lochie Veale and key forward Jake McGuane.

“We’ll assess over the next couple of weeks and see where the boys are at,” McSparron, who will go it alone as senior coach in 2020, said.

“From there, we’ll make the decisions going forward.”

Twitter: @tom_king79
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