A BIG final quarter comeback helped Wagga Tigers to a thrilling seven-point victory over Mangoplah-Cookardinia United-Eastlakes on Saturday at Robertson Oval.
Tigers teenager Fergus Inglis stood tall when it counted and kicked the final two goals of the game the home team over the line to an unlikely victory, 12.7 (79) to 11.6 (72).
MCUE entered the final quarter with a 19-point lead but were run down by a hungry Tigers outfit in front of members of the 1975, 85 and 95 premiership reunions.
Inglis got Tigers back into the contest with three consecutive goals in the second quarter and then kicked two under pressure in the final term to put Tigers in front.
Tigers coach Matt Rava was full of praise for the 19-year-old.
“Ferg’s come back to the club after a year off,” he said.
“I was pretty excited by him when I first arrived at the club when he was in under 17s, pencilled him in as a future prospect, he went overseas last year and has come back, keen to have a crack at footy and I’m very glad that he is.
“He does take a little bit to work into it sometimes but once he’s on, once he gets his rhythm he’s hard to stop, he’s got a good reach, a good jump and his ability to take the ball at the highest point is a real X-factor for him.
“He’s a very laidback off the field and takes that on the field, doesn’t let anything stress him and that’s a great quality to have in big moments, to be calm under pressure and he was great.”
MCUE kicked the first three goals in the first four minutes of the game and then led for the majority of the contest.
Rava gave credit to the fight shown by his team, especially after a disappointing showing the week before.
“It was a really gutsy win,” he said.
“Obviously asked a lot of the boys after last week that we needed to respond and show our true character and that we were going to be a show this year.
“The intensity, pressure and belief that we upheld all day was really positive.”
Shaun Flanigan and Angus Durnan were very good for Tigers, while Rava’s last quarter was very influential.
Matt Collins, Dusty Rogers and Andrew Pettigrove were among the Goannas’ best.
WAGGA TIGERS (79)
1.2 5.2 6.4 12.7
4.4 5.5 9.5 11.6
Goals: (Tigers) F Inglis 6, J Buchanan 2, A Durnan 2, C Lovell, B Morton; (MCUE) M Collins 3, D Rogers 3, A Pettgrove 2, C Sanbrook, A Dickins, S Schiller.
Best: (Tigers) S Flanigan, A Durnan, B Graham, D Morton, F Inglis, M Rava; (MCUE) M Collins, A Pettigrove, J Whitley, M Daniher, C Sanbrook, P Griffin.
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