Milestone. Tigers Hockey Club remains 40 years young.
Established in 1978, past and present players, coaches and Life Members reunited to mark the four decade milestone at Tall Timbers earlier this month.
Among the founding members were Patsy Grey, Jocelyn Flint, Jenny Davison, Kaye Hugo, Janette Grey and Jackie Hanson who joined to create a Circular Head Hockey Association club all for the fun of it.
The inaugural team featured Marlene McLaren, Anne Osborne, Carol Jackson, Linda Brooks, Gaye Williams, Sue Brooks, Teresa Kay, Lucille Lambert, Patsy, Jenny, Janette, Kaye, Jocelyn Flint (nee Perry) and Jackie Hanson (nee Chatwin).
“Some were playing for other clubs at the time,” says Vicki Smith, a club member since ’79.
“They wanted a ‘non-competitive’ team to play for fun.”
Two draws and one victory were recorded that first season however a Semi Final win followed by a victory in the Preliminary Final in overtime provided Tigers with their first Grand Final appearance.
Tigers met with Edith Creek Old Scholars to contest the title, defeated 5-0 in a game played in high spirits.
As Patsy, Janette, Lucille, Vivienne Mitchener, Wendy White and Carol Grainger welcome newborns in the year of 1981, the club decided to take a year away from the game.
The first club premiership came in 1989. Tigers had finished the season fourth on the ladder after several years of earning the wooden spoon and met with City in a thrilling match, won by one goal in overtime.
An A Reserve team was entered into the competition in ’91 as founding members welcomed daughters to the club.
In ’94, the association combined the A Grade and A Reserve competitions until when finals came and Tigers made their way to an A Grade Grand Final, defeating Robins 4-1. The following year the side won a back to back flag, defeating Irishtown 4-1.
In ’96, Tigers had a shot at a third premiership running however Irishtown turned the tables to win 4-1. The A Reserve side claimed its first premiership in 1997, against Robins 5-4 in a hard fought match, playing overtime followed by strokes.
Hockey moved into a new dimension in ’98 when the first turf was rolled out. In ’99 and 2000 both the Tigers’ A Reserve and A Grade sides made the Grand Final however were unsuccessful in gaining premiership glory.
In 2004, Amanda Armstrong and Irene Grey were the first to receive a Life Membership to the club.
Fiona Williams, Helen Abblitt and Michelle Haywood followed in 2007.
A member of the inaugural team, Lucille Lambert marked a 500 game milestone, Vicki Smith followed in 2008 and Wendy White in 2009. Allison Saward received her Life Membership in 2010 before retiring in 2012, the same year Vicki notched 600 games and Irene 500.
In 2013 Melissa Dodd received a Life Membership followed by Karlette Perry in 2015 and last year by Camilla Woolley and Gina Jackson.
Tigers achieved a long-awaited feat in 2016 when both Division Two and Division Three met with Irishtown to contest and claim the premiership title.
The club currently has 10 premiership titles to its name, three awarded to Division Three and seven to Division Two.
“We’re still family orientated,” says Vicki.
“Other than moving from grass to turf the club hasn’t changed, it’s still a great club to be a part of.”
Filled with family connections and up to three generations of players, this is what makes Tigers: “We’ve had several mother daughter duos play over the years, we even have had a grandmother-daughter-granddaughter trio,” says Vicki.
“Now that is certainly what Tigers is about.”