Young Tigers ready to rumble against Rumba

By Dylan Arvela

Cobram’s hopes of a flag in 2019 have been kept alive with the under-17 footballers qualifying for the grand final with a 28-point win over Echuca United at Katandra on Saturday.

The Tigers started slowly and trailed by 14 points at the first break, however, the side lifted its game to close the gap to a single point at the main break.

Cobram stormed ahead in the third term kicking four goals to United’s one and the side held on the book a place in this weekend’s grand final.

The magnitude of the win should not be underplayed with United finishing the regular season as minor premiers, some 20 points ahead of second-placed Cobram.

James Curtin put in a big performance kicking five goals for the Tigers while Will Slatterie picked up four of his own.

Lewis Kennedy, Matteo Allen, Luca Allen, Liam Hayes, Tarrynt Neville and Lachlan Adams were named Cobram’s best on ground.

Rumbalara will be Cobram’s grand final opponents after the side knocked off Numurkah 70-28.

Cobram has faced Rumba on two occasion this season for two defeats including 20-point loss in week one of the finals.

Cobram under-17s coach Jason Kerr said his side worked hard to reach the grand final, he felt with the right approach and the club behind the young guns, it would be third time lucky against Rumbalara.

"The boys have done a fantastic job," Kerr said.

"There was a plan in place (against Echuca) and the boys worked hard and executed it really well.

"We improved out of sight the last time we played them and even though we were without a bench, if they game went a bit longer I think we would have got them.

"We will look to play a pressure game like we have been the last couple of weeks, and I am confident we can get the result.

"It is good for the club to have someone in (a grand final) and I am sure they will all be right behind us."

The side has a number of players from the 2018 flag winning under-14s team, Kerr believes this is indicative of a strong development pathway within the club.

"I think all up there are about 10 from that side who have come through and eight played on Saturday," he said.

"It is phenomenal to see so many players come through, it is great for the footy club to have such strong juniors to step up and play so well in their first year in Thirds."

The under-17s grand final gets under way at Finley Recreation Reserve at 10.30 am.

Cobram was hoping to have two sides in a grand final with the C-grade netballers taking on Mulwala to Barooga on Sunday.

The preliminary final proved a step too far for the Tigers with the Lions getting up 45-27.