OFFLOAD: Avondale's Jack Neighbour passes the ball as he is tackled  by a Miriam Vale defender. He scored a hat-trick in the win.
OFFLOAD: Avondale's Jack Neighbour passes the ball as he is tackled by a Miriam Vale defender. He scored a hat-trick in the win. Brian Cassidy

Tigers take top spot, sealing the minor premiership

LEAGUE: Former Avondale great Shane Minter would have been proud of his club on Sunday, according to Tigers coach Matt Beer.

The club paid tribute to Minter on Sunday in the Northern Districts Rugby League after beating the Miriam Vale Magpies 36-24 at Tegege Oval.

Minter died last week, the club holding a minute's silence and wearing black armbands to honour the former player who played for the Tigers for a decade in the 90s.

The side then wrapped up the minor premiership, beating the Magpies to move two games clear of Miriam Vale with one game to play.

"It was a fitting day out to remember Shane,” Beer said.

"The game was played like he used to play, tough and hard between the two.”

Beer said his side delivered the win with six of their starting line-up out.

"The boys dug in yesterday,” he said.

"We had to change our halves, hooker and forwards and they did a good job.”

Beer said despite the win, and the players performing well with key players out, there were still areas of improvement.

"We dropped a lot of ball,” he said.

"We made simple mistakes as well and lacked some direction in the halves.”

Beer expected most of the missing players to be back when the two sides faced each other again in the major semi-final in three weeks' time.

He said the job was to now finish it off by claiming the premiership to add to the minor premiership the club had won for the third time in four years.

"I'm proud of the club winning the minor premiership but it means nothing if we don't win the other,” Beer said.

"It's a step in the right direction, but we need to get the other.”

The side will take on South Kolan in the final round this weekend in the NDRL with the side to rest a couple of players.

Miriam Vale coach Mitch Brennan said a four-minute spell late in the first half cost the team dearly.

The Magpies led 14-12 before two tries before half time gave Avondale the lead and the momentum in the match that Miriam Vale never recovered from.

"There's plenty of positives from the game but that hurt,” he said.

"It's going to be tough on the young fellas, they have to get their mind right and know they can beat the Tigers.

"They aren't unbeatable.”

Brennan said this weekend's clash against Gin Gin would be vital to get the side prepared for the first week of the final against Avondale.

"We need to beat them, and beat them comfortably,” he said.

"We need get the right mindset.”

The Magpies face South Kolan at 1.45pm.

Avondale facie Gin Gin at 12.15pm.