The Tigers rolled in to Lincoln on Saturday morning bleary eyed after a grueling four hour car journey the night before. They surveyed the pitch, crackling in the relentless English heat and wished they’d brought their Vaseline. With key players out, injured or attending festivals, the Tigers were wishful, rather than confident that they could claw their way back to respectability after a disappointing show at the last DTS tournament. Tails between their legs, they’d gone away and dug deep. Now they were hoping their preparation would be worth the blood, sweat, tears and tantrum jogs instigated by Liam.
Round 1, the Tigers started their campaign with the Orton Ospreys. The Tigers made sure to listen to team communicator, Ash, so as to not face his wrath on Monday, and stick with the structure. And boy, did it work? 6-1 the final score with the Tigers firmly on top.
As the sun continued its remorseless attack on all players, the Tigers prepared for Round 2. Luckily, some of their players are used to heat so strong they refer to English summer as ‘chilly’ and were able to convince the team that the heat was actually just in their head. Game faces on, the Tigers faced off against last tournament’s victors, Cheltenham. With truly awe inspiring defense on the line the Tigers fended off some rather ambitious but well intentioned attack and managed to keep the game tied up at 1 all. A draw to the top dogs a fairly tidy result for the sparse on numbers Tigers.
Round 3 and the Tigers were optimistic that they could rein in the Nottingham Outlaws. In a high scoring game, tries came in thick and fast on both sides. Not having brought their Vaseline, the Tigers were reluctant to dive across grass sharper than my grandma’s tongue at Christmas but they sacrificed their knees for the glory. They may have paid with their top layer of skin but they came out not on top, but adjacent to the Outlaws with a 5-5 draw.
With no losses, the Tigers went in to the knock out round confidence up to the eye balls. In contention for the Cup, a lofty height from the door stop we took home from the last tournament, the Tigers took on Chester Cheetahs. A little rattled by the high level of refereeing the Tigers conceded the first try. There were some words tossed Tiger to Tiger that I won’t bring up now until our fearless leader, Liam dealt a speech that gave actual tingles and reminded us all that ‘we are here to have fun’. Given that optimum fun correlates with winning the Tigers hands were tied and they had no option but to score 3 tries. 3-1 the final result.
The Semi Finals saw St Albans march against the Tigers. The Tigers, their legs weary, but their spirits brave, ran their hardest and defended the line with so much slide that spectators insisted to referees that they must be using a slip n’ slide. The match was tied at the final whistle, culminating in a thrilling 'drop off', sudden death..
However, St Albans, brilliant attack was too much for the tired out Tigers and they fell a very respectable 3-4, hobbling off the field with their heads held high.
Overall, the Tigers finished 3rd, their best result of the year. Next time, greased to their eyebrows, they will literally glide over any surface until the cup is in their grasp ready to be put to use for tea and biscuits.
Thrilling match report by Claire Grant