PFNL finals: Tiger cubs break 22-year drought to show the future is bright for Pinjarra

Pinjarra’s young talent showed the club’s future is bright when they took down Rockingham to end a 22-year drought and bring home the club’s first Peel Football and Netball League colts premiership since 1996 on Saturday.

The Rams went into the game undefeated but were dealt their first loss of the year at the hands of a rampant Tigers outfit, as the black and gold put in a stellar second half to secure the flag 8.8 (56) to 13.18 (96).

A four-goal haul from Craig Milward and a best-on-ground performance from Nixon Purser were the catalysts for Pinjarra’s stirring win, but stellar games could be found across the board as they stormed to the victory.

But it didn’t come easy, with the Rams’ refusing to lie down in the first half.

Best-on-ground medalist Purser got the ball rolling for Pinjarra when he made the most of Jaidon Kearing’s hard work to slot the first goal of the day, but Rockingham’s Isaiah Gidgup – who put in a brilliant performance in the forward line – slotted the first of his five goals to even the ledger.

Nixon Purser after winning the best afield medal. Photo: Gareth McKnight.

Nixon Purser after winning the best afield medal. Photo: Gareth McKnight.

Gidgup was an unstoppable force for the Rams in the opening term, booting three goals in the quarter as Rockingham continued to answer Pinjarra’s challenge.

The crafty goalsneak found his fourth shortly after Purser put through his second, and he continued to light it up despite missing his next few shots.

His hard work had the Rams leading by a point at the end of the first half, but the Tigers assumed total control from there.

Pinjarra’s second-half dominance could be largely attributed to ruckman Michael Hansen’s outstanding game.

The tall prospect – who booted seven goals in his league debut in round one – showed he is one of the club’s brightest young stars as he dominated in the air and on ground level all over the field across the four quarters.

His efforts helped Pinjarra’s forwards to a feast of opportunities, which saw the likes of Milward, Harley Guadagnin and Riley Vidovich benefit.

Milward took a handful of marks that saw him booting for goal from beyond the 50m arch, and the key forward had no problem sending them home from distance.

He ended the day with four while Purser and Guadagnin both registered a pair.

Riley Vidovich’s one goal somewhat understated how good he was in Pinjarra’s forward 50, with wayward kicking the only thing stopping the young gun from having a bag of goals in the second half.

Hansen, Chad Philpott, David Yaccob and Dylan Rozman all finished with a goal, while Jacob Hewitt and Tyler Glands both put in outstanding performances on a dour day for the Rams.

The Tigers ended up with seven goals to Rockingham’s two in the second half, buoying them to their second colts premiership in club history and first in 22 years.