The Tigers reserves will have to take the longer road to the Premier League reserve grade grand final after going down 1-0 to reigning premiers Kempsey Saints in a very tight affair at Wauchope on Saturday, September 9.
The Tigers started the better of the two sides but found themselves behind at the 10 minute mark, courtesy of a penalty awarded for a hand ball in the box.
Curtis Jones almost saved it at full stretch but the ball eluded him.
The Tigers were rarely troubled from then on but despite great chances to score, they were kept at bay either by good goalkeeping, desperate defence or wayward finishing.
When the Tigers were finally awarded a penalty of their own, it was no less than their efforts deserved.
Unfortunately, Saints goalkeeper Jacob Lyttle correctly guessed the direction of Will Moran's spot kick and kept the Tigers scoreless. As the game wore on, it began to seem that it just would not be the Tigers’ day.
The final score read Kempsey Saints reserves 1 TFFC reserves 0.
Jason Ward and Bryce Cramp stood out for the Tigers, with David Rowe and Jack McDonagh also shining.
“We can take a lot from that loss - we played well enough to win it, so we just need to be more clinical in front of goal next time,” Coach Jason Coombes said.
The Tigers now have to travel to Dangar Street in Kempsey next Saturday to play Macleay Valley Rangers in a do-or-die clash to determine the Saints' opponent in the reserve grade grand final.
Junior finals this weekend
The Football Mid North Coast (FMNC) Southern Zone junior grand finals will take place this Friday and Saturday, at the Taree Zone Field.
Tuncurry-Forster Football Club is heavily represented this year, with under 15s Tigers Black taking on Moorland on Saturday at 1.30pm.
On Friday night, under 16s Tigers Gold will take on Wingham at 6.00pm. This will be followed by an all TFFC under 18 decider when reigning premiers Tigers Black play Tigers Gold at 7.30pm.
The Tigers cohort almost included the under 12s Tigers Gold, who missed out on grand final qualification despite drawing with under 12 Premiers Great Lakes.
FMNC under 12s competitions do not go to penalties, with the higher ranked side going through.
In the 12s grand final, the Vikings play Cundletown at 9.00am. The 13s will be contested between Pacific Palms and Cundletown at 10.30am.
In the 14s, Pacific Palms will play Gloucester at 12.00pm.