FOUR unanswered final term goals helped Turvey Park to a thrilling draw with arch-rivals Wagga Tigers in a fiery clash at Robertson Oval on Saturday.
A big third quarter had Tigers 26 points up at three-quarter-time before the Bulldogs pulled off a brilliant comeback to share the points, as both teams finished on 12.6 (78).
Turvey Park full-forward Clint Shields kicked the final three goals of the game to be the hero and finished off the platform laid by Andrew Emery earlier.
Emery kicked six goals in a powerful display as the Bulldogs showed how far they have come in the space of 12 months.
This time last year, Turvey Park experienced one of their lowest days when going down by 214 points to Tigers.
That was a distant memory, or perhaps the inspiration, as Turvey Park kept the reigning premiers scoreless in the last quarter to share the points.
Sidelined Turvey Park coach Mitch Sykes loved the way his team fought back to share the points.
“Proud would probably be one word,” Sykes said.
“Obviously a draw is a weird feeling but we were four goals down, had an ordinary third quarter, and just the way we responded and the character the boys showed, it was just a fantastic effort.
“And a good reward for the boys, too, we’ve fought hard all year and it was a great effort.”
Turvey Park turned up to play and were ferocious in the first half, to the point of being undisciplined a few times, but it worked as they went to half-time seven points up, and with a sniff.
The sniff grew stronger when Emery kicked his fifth in the third minute of the third term to put Turvey Park 13 points clear.
Enter Shaun Campbell.
The Tigers coach led from the front and inspired a fightback. He kicked three goals in the third term as Tigers kicked six straight to wrestle back the lead and go into the final change 26 points clear.
From there, slowly, but surely, it was all Turvey. Emery kicked his sixth 10 minutes in, followed by Shields’ three to finish.
Sykes was thrilled to see Emery and Shields fire in a new look forward line.
“We sat down and had a bit of a chat during the week, we hadn’t been kicking many goals so we tried to restructure the forward line to have a target,” he said.
“It depends on matchs up as well but ideally I’d like to keep (Emery) up forward. I knew he could play forward I just like the way he sets up down back.
“Shieldsy has had a great year without the rewards, his pressure, his tackles, he never gives up. I said to the boys last week, we’ve just got to get it out in front of him and he’ll mark it and today he did.”
Emery and Campbell were standouts for both teams.