Joined Essendon Dowling Shield team from Kerang at the same time as his great mate Jamie Siddons. A member of the Bombers' runners-up team in 1983/84, Tate's handy middle-order runs, useful wickets with his leg-spinners and brilliant fielding made him a fixture in the Bombers' line-up. He took over the Essendon captaincy in 1996/97 and, along with coach Steve Sandri, guided the Bombers into four Finals' series in six seasons. He scored two centuries, with a highest score of 145 against Prahran in 1997/98. Tate's best bowling figures were 5/81 against Dandenong in 2000/01.