HAVING run neck-and-neck all year it was no surprise the FOGS Colts Challenge was a closely-fought game with the Tigers coming out 26-16 victors over the Redcliffe Dolphins.
Often going end to end, it was an entertaining game but in the end, it was the Tigers strong defence which proved the difference.
The Tigers got the first real opportunity in the opening half to attack in good position and they took it, with prop forward Tom Dempsey opening the scoring in the third minute to crash over.
Colts leading point-scorer Brandon Downey added the extras to go out to an early 6-0 lead.
Hooker Mitchell Moore who had a busy game was in again for the Tigers, after receiving a ball following a break by man of the match Brayden Torpy.
Downey again added the extras from right in front to give the season's minor premiers a comfortable 12-0 lead with 25 minutes left to go in the half.
The Dolphins were always in the game and always searching in attack but were held up twice in the first half before they found success with Christian Morris putting the ball down for Redcliffes first try of the afternoon.
The try was converted by Oliver Regan to see the Tigers lead 12-6 at halftime.
Some early Easts errors gave Redcliffe a chance and they got over again, but it came from a forward pass which cruelled the Dolphins chances of drawing level.
They took their next opportunity however, and despite receiving plenty of attention, prop Caleb Hoffman managed to free his arm to finally give Redcliffe their second and Regans conversion levelled the score at 12-12.
The deadlock was broken soon after when Easts kicked a penalty but there was still plenty of time for more tries to be scored.
Tigers centre Michael Kai showed considerable skill to step his way out of the tackles of numerous defenders to score the Tigers first try of the second half. The conversion pushed their lead out further to 20-12 with 13 to go.
Again, the Dolphins had their chances in the half, but had difficulty grabbing them until there was just over five minutes to go in the match with big forward Tom OKeefe crashing over.
With the conversion dropping short the Dolphins trailed 20-16 with time enough on the clock to cause an upset.
However, it was Easts who had the final say with prop Kurt Hatfield crashing over in the final play of the day to seal the victory.
EASTS TIGERS 26 (Michael Kai, Kurt Hatfield, Mitchell Moore, Tom Dempsey tries; Brandon Downey 5 goals) def REDCLIFFE DOLPHINS 16 (Caleb Hoffman, Christian Morris, Tom OKeefe tries; Oliver Regan 2 goals) at North Ipswich Reserve.
Man of the Match: Brayden Torpy (Easts Tigers)
Halftime score: Easts Tigers 12 - Redcliffe Dolphins 6