Roos bound home over Eastern Shore rivals
Written by Alex FitzGerald
Clarence have won their second game in a row after a strong second half saw them pull away from a competitive Lauderdale to run out 32 point winners at Blundstone Arena.
In sunny clear conditions that were perfect for football, only a goal separated the Tasmanian State League’s Eastern Shore sides at half time, before the Roos booted the first five goals of the final term to stamp out hopes of a Bombers comeback, defeating Lauderdale 19.7 (121) to 13.11 (89).
The first quarter lived up to the rivalry hype, with the physicality of both sides apparent as they battled to pull ahead. It was the Bombers who started the strongest, and when Thor Boscott converted from a hanger in the goal square Lauderdale led by 13 points with Clarence struggling to adjust to the pace of the game. They hit back with two goals from Jake Cox, before Alex Hevey’s torpedo set shot after the siren from beyond 60 metres sent the Bombers in ahead by 7 points; 4.4 (28) to 3.3 (21) at quarter time.
It was all Clarence early in the second term, with the Roos kicking four unanswered goals through Cox and Aiden Grace, before Ryan Wiggins steadied the ship for the Bombers with two majors of his own. A quick running goal to Mitchell Anderton saw the Bombers head into the main break only one straight kick down, 7.6 (48) to 8.6 (54).
Clarence coach Jeromey Webberley lamented his side’s inconsistency in the first half, but was proud of how they worked on turning the game around.
“In the first quarter we were all hunting the ball and not covering (players) off the ball. Once sorted, we were able to create pressure and turnovers.”
The fast-paced third quarter saw both sides take the game on and almost match each other goal for goal, with quick ball movement resulting in 10 majors being kicked during the quarter. Clarence’s Ian Callinan slotted a great check side goal from the boundary to ignite the crowd, who roared even louder when Bomber Robbie McManus replied with an incredible soccer volley goal at the other end moments later.
At the final break Clarence, who kicked six for the quarter, led Lauderdale 14.7 (91) to 11.8 (74).
The final term saw the Roos’ experienced players put the foot to the pedal, kicking the first five goals in a flurry that all but quashed any chances of a Lauderdale victory. The Bombers managed to snag a couple of late goals under the shadows of the grandstand, but it was all too late as they went down 13.11 (89) to Clarence’s 19.7 (121).
The Clarence forward line were more potent all match. Jake Cox was a target in the pocket all day for the victors, slotting six clever goals, and he was well supported by Aidan Grace and 150 gamer Trent Standen, who kicked three goals apiece.
Webberley was impressed with the efforts of his whole side against a fired up Bombers outfit, especially after Jackson O’Brien hobbled from the field with a quad injury midway through the first term.
“Lauderdale is a quality team, and they came out fighting. We had a really even contribution from all 21 guys today. Our middle-tier players are starting to go well; they have some games under their belts and we’re starting to see the fruits (of that experience).”
He was particularly happy with the efforts of second-gamer James Holmes, who took a number of crucial intercept marks in defence against much larger opponents, describing his game as sensational, and of Gabby Chambers, who blanketed Lauderdale captain Bryce Walsh for most of the match. He also singled out the performance of former Bomber Sam Siggins, who was highly influential in the ruck.
“He has really matured as a player and is putting a consistent effort in. The ruck suits him, he’s a great athlete and kicks the ball really well. We’ll need him to be brilliant (all season) for us to make the finals and go deep, hopefully.”
Lauderdale coach Darren Winter was left rueing lapses in concentration and skill in the second half by his charges after they matched the Roos early.
“We played some good football in stages throughout the game, but we weren’t able to sustain it. They scored a lot of easy goals over the back, which was a bit disappointing. There was a lot of pressure in the game, and they capitalised through turnovers.”
Winter was optimistic when looking ahead to next week, and believes his side can improve.
“We have a lot of new guys and young players in our group. We’ll get stronger as the season goes on, and our goal is to sustain the pressure and skill level (across) whole games.”
The Bombers were well served by young midfielders Dylan Fyfe and Nat Franklin, who had 38 and 39 disposals respectively, and by returning player Ryan Wiggins, who kicked three goals from full forward after moving home from Victoria earlier in the week.
Robbie McManus fought hard all day, laying some big tackles and kicking two goals, while Alex Hevey also provided some highlights.
Clarence will head to the north of the state next week full of confidence in taking on a winless Devonport, while Lauderdale will be looking for their maiden win in a tough home game against Launceston, a team looking to rebound after a tough round three defeat.
CLARENCE v. LAUDERDALE
Round 3 – 15/04/2017
Clarence 3.3, 8.6, 14.7, 19.7 (121)
Lauderdale 4.4, 7.6, 11.8, 13.11 (89)
GOALS, Clarence :
J. Cox 6, A. Grace 3, T. Standen 3, I. Callinan 2, J. Harper 2, M. Blackburn 2,
M. Ling 1
R. Wiggins 3, T. Boscott 2, R. McManus 2, R. Hill 2, M. Anderton 1, D. Fyfe 1,
E. Whish-Wilson 1, A. Hevey 1
BEST, Clarence :
J. Cox, G. Chambers, J. Holmes, J. Bailey, S. Siggins, T. Standen
N. Franklin, D. Fyfe, P. Bellchambers, R. McManus, A. Hevey, H. Smith