Wolumla Tigresses on the mend

• Tigress Kirsty Whitby-Mcbeath shapes to kick with a Tathra opponent on her heels.

• Tigress Kirsty Whitby-Mcbeath shapes to kick with a Tathra opponent on her heels.

THE dramatic number of injuries plaguing the Wolumla Tigresses is diminishing, with the club mustering a 1-1 draw with Tathra on Sunday. 

However, slow play hindered both sides as conditions were still muddy after last week’s washout. 

“The field was muddy, one end was worse than the other,” Tigress midfielder- turned-striker Caitlin Johnson said. 

“It affected the ball a lot and really slowed play down.”

Johnson said in spite of a few missed opportunities the team was happy with a draw. 

“Tathra have definitely improved from previous years playing them, and full credit to them.

“We did miss a few opportunities, but we had a restructure, so some of our girls were out of their comfort zone,” she said. 

Tathra opened the account, but the Tigresses were quick to reply through returning Ayla Smith. 

“It was her first game of the season after a knee injury.

“We didn’t think she would be returning at all this year.”

Smith subbed in for striker Sam Johnson and within two minutes found herself one-on-one with the Tathra keeper.

Some tricky footwork saw Smith best the goalie and level the odds. 

Historically, the Tigresses are a top competitor in the league, playing in the past three grand finals. 

The club is now chasing a return to form as injuries heal. 

“Our team is starting to look healthier and all the injuries are improving, they definitely took a toll on our players,” Johnson said. 

“Player numbers are picking up so this will help the injured rest more during games by subbing,” she said. 

This Sunday the Tigresses will have a grand final rematch with last year’s premiers, the Eden Killer Whales. 

Johnson said she is looking at the task at hand and not dwelling on the past. 

“I like to keep an open mind about games and not think about the past.

“We had a few members join the team this year and we lost a few so this has affected our game play.  

“But I feel like the girls are starting to click with each other now.”

The Tigresses’ new coach Lee Kettle can almost put the headache of a largely injured team behind him. 

“He’s been great this year,” Johnson said. 

Wolumla is placed fourth on the ladder and is keen to make a strong run for the finals.

Sunday’s game will be held at the Eden soccer ground and kick-off is at 2.10pm.

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