North Launceston midfielder Bradley Cox-Goodyer has done ‘the Dusty’, matching the efforts of AFL superstar Dustin Martin to claim the league best and fairest and the Grand Final best on ground medal in the same season.
Cox-Goodyer capped off an incredibly successful 2017 by claiming the Tasmanian State League (TSL)’s highest honour, the Alastair Lynch Medal at AFL Tasmania’s Tasmanian Football Awards at Launceston’s Country Club Casino.
Often referred to as the TSL’s ‘Dustin Martin’, Cox-Goodyer backed that up not just with his playing style but by claiming a premiership, the Baldock medal for best afield in the TSL Grand Final and now the Lynch (TSL Best & Fairest) Medal.
The midfielder was presented the medal by Tasmanian legend Alastair Lynch after polling 27 votes in a dominant season to edge out surprise packet Clarence ruckman Sam Siggins, who finished on 23 votes with thanks to a fast start in polling. The Northern Bombers midfield bull booted 35 goals as a standout performer in the premiership team which saw him receive maximum votes in seven games.
Reigning Lynch medalist Jaye Bowden finished in equal third alongside Hobart City Demons on-baller Ryan Matthews on 17 votes. Glenorchy’s silky left-footer Rhys Mott and Lauderdale Best and Fairest winner Nat Franklin were next best on 15 votes, ahead of many people’s tip for the award in Northern Bombers Premiership Coach Tom Couch who finished on 13.
Lynch Medal Leaderboard
27. Bradley Cox-Goodyer (North Launceston)
23. Sam Siggins (Clarence)
17. Ryan Matthews (Hobart City Demons)
17. Jaye Bowden (Glenorchy)
15. Rhys Mott (Glenorchy)
15. Nat Franklin (Lauderdale)
13. Tom Couch (North Launceston)
12. Jackson O’Brien (Clarence)
12. Brodie Palfreyman (Launceston)
11. Brady Jones (Clarence)
11. Bryce Walsh (Lauderdale)
10. Dylan Fyfe (Lauderdale)
10. Jake Cox (Clarence)
10. Sam Rundle (Launceston)
10. Cameron Duffy (Glenorchy)
9. Thor Boscott (Lauderdale)
Glenorchy’s Thomasa Corrie claimed the Wrest Point TSL Women’s Best & Fairest Medal with 16 votes, beating out Clarence goalkicking superstar Jacinta Limbrick by three votes. Chanette Thuringer of Launceston was next best on 12 votes.
Wrest Point TSLW Best & Fairest Medal Leaderboard
16. THOMASA CORRIE (GLENORCHY)
13. JACINTA LIMBRICK (CLARENCE)
12. CHANETTE THURINGER (LAUNCESTON)
11. NICOLE BRESNEHAN (CLARENCE)
9. SARAH SKINNER (BURNIE)
8. COURTNEY WEBB (LAUNCESTON)
8. HANNAH SQUIRES (TIGERS)
7. DARIA BANNISTER (LAUNCESTON)
6. GEMMA ALLAN (GLENORCHY)
6. ZOIE CRAWFORD (CLARENCE)
6. EMMA HUMPHRIES (BURNIE)
6. MELANIE WISE (CLARENCE)
In what was a low count, Launceston’s Cameron Downie took home the Rodney Eade Medal for Best & Fairest in the Mercury Cup, with 14 votes. Downie overtook Lauderdale’s Campbell Hooker and held on with few players high in the count polling in the home stretch.
EADE MEDAL LEADERBOARD
14. CAMERON DOWNIE (LAUNCESTON)
11. CAMPBELL HOOKER (LAUDERDALE)
11. JACK MCCULLOCH (HOBART CITY DEMONS)
10. JUSTIN O’BRIEN (CLARENCE)
10. KACEY CURTIS (NORTH LAUNCESTON)
10. JOSEPH BANGURA (LAUNCESTON)
10. ETHAN CONWAY (LAUNCESTON)
10. ALEX SILVER (CLARENCE)
10. LOCHIE GRIGGS (TIGERS)
9. ASHLEY HUMPHREY (TIGERS)
The goal-kicking gongs went to Jaye Bowden (Hudson Medal), Jacinta Limbrick (Wrest Point TSLW) and Campbell Hooker (Mercury Cup).
HUDSON MEDAL (TSL LEADING GOALKICKER)
JAYE BOWDEN (GLENORCHY) – 52 GOALS
WREST POINT TSLW LEADING GOALKICKER
JACINTA LIMBRICK (CLARENCE) – 24 GOALS
MERCURY CUP LEADING GOALKICKER
CAMPBELL HOOKER (LAUDERDALE) – 50 GOALS
Matt Clarke claimed TSL Umpire of the Year and the Tasmanian Mariners Academy Awards went to Jared Dakin (Don Rule Medal – Under 16) and Hugh Dixon (Garry Davidson Medal – Under 18). TSL Umpire of the Year – Matt Clarke
Don Rule Medal – Jared Dakin
Garry Davidson Medal – Hugh Dixon
The following other awards were also presented at the Tasmanian Football Awards function, celebrating achievements far and wide across the state in 2017:
NAB AFL AUSKICK VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR – SALLY DONNELLY (Tigers FC)
AFL SCHOOL AMBASSADORS OF THE YEAR (PRIMARY SCHOOL) – NARELLE GENGE
AFL SCHOOL AMBASSADORS OF THE YEAR (SECONDARY SCHOOL) – TOM ROBINSON
AFL MULTICULTURAL AWARD – JIMMY AGANAS (Launceston FC) ELASTOPLAST SPORTS TRAINER OF THE YEAR – PETE MCGILLVRAY (Georgetown) 2017 VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR – NATASHA CORMIE (Tigers FC)
2017 COACH OF THE YEAR – JAMIE HAYWARD (Ulverstone)
The Tasmanian State League equivalent of the Brownlow Medal is named after champion Tasmanian footballer Alastair Lynch. The Burnie-born, three-time Premiership star played 306 games in the VFL/AFL, kicking 633 goals, and was named in the Tasmanian Team of the Century.
How The Alastair Lynch Medal is Awarded
After each match, the three field umpires award a 3, 2 and 1 point vote to the players they regarded the best, second best and third best on ground respectively. A player becomes ineligible for the Medal if he is suspended for a reportable offence during the season.
The votes are tallied at the end of the home and away rounds to determine the season’s Alastair Lynch Medallist, with the medal count taking place on Friday the 6th of October at the Tasmanian Football Awards in Launceston.
Here are the predictions for each side’s top vote-getters and outside chances:
With the departure of a large number of senior players from last year’s side, the Dockers battled this season, and as a result are unlikely to have any medal chances come Friday night. Nick Walters and Harry Walters were consistent performers, with the versatile big-bodied midfielders leading the young coastal side from the front, booting 13 and 19 goals respectively. Best and fairest winner Rudy Barrett also had an outstanding season in the middle of West Park, with the trio likely to lead the count when they’re able to sneak votes.
Blair Rubock missed a handful of games due to Tassie Mariners duties, but was nothing short of electric at times, and should poll a few votes. Captain Nick McKenna’s big frame stands out, with his efforts at both ends of the ground likely to see him noticed by the umpires.
Hard-working midfielder Jackson O’Brien put together a big season for the ‘Roos, polling 12 votes to finish equal seventh in the RACT Player of the Year award and being selected in the Tasmanian side that faced the NEAFL squad mid-season. While he wasn’t able to be squeezed into the TSL Team of the Year, O’Brien was nominated as a likely vote-getter by his peers in a recent poll, and should figure in the top 10 on Friday night. Veteran small forward Trent Standen capped off a strong year in front of the big sticks with Team of the Year selection. His 43 goals included eight bags of three or more, with a season-high output of seven majors, which will see him among the votes in a number of games.
Captain Brady Jones had another big year in the middle and could poll more votes than expected. Ruckman Sam Siggins started the season with a bang before his form tapered off, and could be among the leaders early on in the count.
While Devonport had a tough season in which they committed to the blooding of youth, Dylan Riley toiled away in the midfield all season with aplomb for the ‘Pies, also playing more of a forward role late in the season. A tough competitor, Riley booted 16 goals and was named in the forward pocket in the TSL Team of the Year, and is sure to poll well. Co-captain Beau Sharman got better as the season wore on, with his ball-winning ability in the middle matched by his elite kicking.
Brad Symmons had a career-best year, working hard through the middle of the ground to be named in his side’s best 13 times from 16 matches. Mitch Thorp had some big games up forward and should poll in at least four games where he dominated as a leading target to kick multiple majors in low-scoring affairs.
It’s hard to overlook Jaye Bowden here, with the TSL standout player every chance to make it three Lynch Medals in a row. Bowden spent more time playing on the ball than in previous seasons, but still dominated when positioned forward to lead the competition goal kicking with 52 goals. Bowden booted an incredible 11 goals against a luckless Devonport in Round 2, featuring in the Magpies’ best players 15 times from his 18 matches. Regarded as one of the state’s best players to never have been drafted, Bowden won this season’s RACT Player of the Year award and is undoubtedly the player to beat.
State captain Brayden Webb and fellow Team of the Year midfielder Rhys Mott also had huge seasons, cutting oppositions sides apart with their work rate and slick disposal, with the duo likely to poll well.
Former Hawthorn speedster Zac Webster fell victim to repeated hamstring issues this season, but impressed in the 13 matches he did manage, being named among the ‘Pies best five times. He’s likely to take some votes off the three stars named above, with his impact across half forward undeniable.
Hobart City Demons
Bearded midfielder Ryan Matthews had a solid year yet again, shaking off tags to be named in his side’s best eight times from his 18 games. The developing Hobart City Demons side had a number of young players step up in a season where they missed the top five by percentage only, with consistency the key to going one step further and seizing a place in the finals in 2018.
Will Campbell was one player who lifted his game in a big way this season, going from fringe player to midfield lock with his hard running and hunger for the contested football. ‘Soup’ stood up in a number of crucial games to be clearly best on ground, and should be rewarded with a number of votes on Friday night.
Where to start? The Southern Bombers have a large number of players who are likely to figure at the business end of the count, with goal kicking midfield trio Nat Franklin, Bryce Walsh and Dylan Fyfe all strong chances to poll double figures. Franklin and Fyfe were named in the TSL Team of the Year, finishing equal seventh and equal ninth respectively in the RACT Player of the Year award. Walsh narrowly missed Team of the Year honours, but finished equal fifth on the RACT leaderboard as he fearlessly led from the front in each and every game.
Versatile 41-goal TSL Team of the Year forward Thor Boscott will poll well, having put together his most consistent season of TSL football to date, breaking games open in attack and through the midfield. He’s a lock to poll three votes against the Tigers in Round 15 after booting nine goals. Josh McGuinness showed why he was drafted by Brisbane, with the tall defender playing a number of roles all over the ground to influence a large number of games and may be rewarded with votes.
Elite swingman Ryan Wiggins is a strong chance to exceed expectations and poll well, having slotted 30 goals for the home and away season despite spending time down back as an intercept marking defender.
There is no doubt that teenage midfielder Brodie Palfreyman will lead the count for the Blues after a breakout season in which he led the underrated Northern side deep into September. Palfreyman’s willingness to play both inside and outside roles should see him poll well, having spent most of his time right under the umpires’ noses. Slick performer Jay Blackberry had a huge start to the year before being cut down by injury, and his elite kicking will ensure that he’ll be among the leaders at the halfway mark of the season
Rulla Kelly-Mansell started the year with a bang and should poll well early, with the talented forward’s 2017 highlight reel close to unparalleled as he slotted impossible goals and pulled down some ridiculous marks. A real sleeping giant could be veteran Sonny Whiting, with the veteran forward’s ability to out-mark his opponent and kick straight each and every week seeing him finish the home and away season with 45 majors.
Like Lauderdale, North Launceston have a long list of players who will poll votes, having lost only two matches all season. Brad Cox-Goodyer dominated the Grand Final to claim best on ground honours, but his home and away season was just as impressive, with the Bomber every chance to do a Dustin Martin and take home the league best and fairest medal as well. The big-bodied midfielder’s strength and confidence saw him boot 37 goals across 18 home and away matches and finish third in the RACT Player of the Year award on 16 votes.
Teammate and first year playing coach Tom Couch is the only Bomber likely to top Cox-Goodyer, with the classy midfielder boasting a similar 2017 resume. Couch slotted straight into the North Launceston line up, booting 41 goals from 16 games, including a seven-goal haul on his birthday, to finish runner-up in the RACT Player of the Year award. Zach Burt cannot be ruled out either, with the strong-bodied three-time premiership player booting 34 majors and finishing equal ninth in the RACT leaderboard.
Josh Ponting stepped up in the absence of injured key playmakers to stamp his authority on games as an outside midfielder, running hard to receive the ball and kicking some incredible goals. His second half of the season, in particular, should see him poll in a string of consecutive games. Classy duo Jay Lockhart and Taylor Whitford were both in damaging form until leg injuries sidelined them mid-year, and both will feature heavily in the first ten round of voting.
It was another disappointing season for the boys from Twin Ovals, as they started matches well before falling away time and again. One shining light was recruit Mitch Carter, who quickly established himself as one of the competition’s best defenders and earned selection in both the TSL Team of the Year and State side. Carter’s long pinpoint kicking and contested intercept marking set up many a foray forward, and despite his side managing just the four wins, Carter could poll close to double figures.
While he didn’t receive many plaudits outside of the club in 2017, the Tigers rate former Carlton midfielder Marcus Davies highly, and after his 2016 season was cut short by injuries, he was a constant physical presence across his 18 matches this year. Davies could poll in a few games where he curtailed opposition playmakers and won some contested ball himself.
Darren Winter (Lauderdale Coach) was reported for behaving in an abusive, insulting, threatening or obscene manner towards or in relation to an umpire in the first quarter.
The matter was referred directly to the TSL Tribunal for hearing on Thursday (28th September) night at 6:00 pm.
Darren Winter pleaded guilty to the charge.
It was alleged Winter approached the emergency umpire in the first quarter and said: “tell them to stop it.” The emergency umpire then told Winter to “cool down” and leave. It was then alleged Winter again approached umpires later in the quarter and said “you cheating f**king c**ts” whilst angrily gesturing at the field of play.
The emergency umpire said he was intimated and scared by the exchange and following the incident placed Winter on report at quarter time. The umpire’s evidence was reinforced by a TSL matchday official who witnessed the altercation between Winter and the umpire.
All parties agreed that the remarks were said.
Lauderdale Football Club’s defence was that the remarks were not directed at the emergency umpire or other officials, and were instead directed at the North Launceston interchange bench. They also unsuccessfully argued Winter was not looking or gesturing at the emergency or on-field umpires when making the remarks.
Lauderdale argued that it was a volatile situation with regular exchanges taking place between both interchange benches in the lead-up to the incident. The club also argued that emotional crowd behaviour contributed to the situation.
The Independent Tribunal found Winter GUILTY and handed down a sanction of FOUR MATCHES with a 50% loading, taking his overall suspension to SIX MATCHES.
As well as the evidence presented, the tribunal in handing down a verdict took into strong consideration that Winter engaged with the umpire on multiple occasions in the same game and the sport’s zero-tolerance stance on umpire abuse.
The Tribunal used its discretion to hand down a 50% loading with regard to rule 5.5 in the tribunal guidelines referring to: The tribunal has the right to apply (at its absolute discretion) a loading of up to 100% for any reportable offence committed during a Grand Final.
The six-match suspension is to be served from Round 1 of the 2018 Home and Away season and Winter will not be allowed to have any official match day role.
SANCTION: SIX MATCHES
2017 TSL GOAL OF THE YEAR VOTING – SNAPS, CHECKSIDES + BANANAS!
A determined Launceston outfit have won the Wrest Point TSLW Premiership in front of a strong home crowd at UTAS Stadium, pushing aside Glenorchy despite the valiant efforts of captain Sandy Eaton to claim a 8.6 (54) to 5.2 (33) victory.
A consistent four quarter team effort was the recipe for the Lady Blues’ success, with midfielder Courtney Webb outstanding as she led from the front to be awarded best afield honours in the action-packed curtain raiser to the TSL decider.
The opening term was a tense one, with both sides attacking the contest hard but neither able to register a major in the early stages of the game. Jasmine Tate-Turvey was prominent early for the Magpies, who struck first through a remarkable Sandy Eaton snap from the pocket. Launceston continued to press, and were rewarded for effort when AFLW prospect Georgia Hill slammed through a goal on the quarter time siren, giving the hosts a slim 1.2 (8) to 1.1 (7) lead at the first change.
The second quarter would prove to be a see-sawing affair, as both sides hit the lead a number of times through the exchanging of goals. Eaton kicked her second major on the run early in the term, before Molly Clark responded for Launceston following a high tackle to seize the lead back just minutes later. Eaton would again prove to be the catalyst for Glenorchy when she converted a 40 metre set shot following a pinpoint Zabreena Manjerovic pass, with the Magpies seemingly on top. However the Lady Blues struck back through a handy Emma Manix-Geeves banana, and with midfielders Webb, Daria Bannister and Kate Child beginning to exert their influence through the middle, Launceston began to take control. When Georgia Hill snapped truly for her second in the dying embers of the half, Launceston had an eight point lead heading into the main break.
Launceston started the third stanza the same way they finished the second, with Webb propelling much of the attack. She pushed forward to snap a goal, and when small forward Naomi Celebre nonchalantly strolled in to convert a close range set shot at the four minute mark, the hosts had kicked out to a 20 point lead. Enter Sandy Eaton, with the Glenorchy captain seizing a loose ball 30 metres from goal to calmly slot her fourth major, sparking a Magpie challenge. An Eaton kick inside attacking 50 soon after found Nietta Lynch, who palmed off her opponent to snap a crowd-pleasing goal, and the visitors were back in the game. Celebre struck back to kick her second for the term however, and the Lady Blues held a handy 16 point buffer at three quarter time.
The final term was the most physical of the match, highlighted by a fierce Abbey Green tackle on Tate-Turvey, which resulted in the Launceston ruck kicking the only major of the final term. Both sides threw themselves into the contest, with Elise Barwick, Daria Bannister and Kate Child all laying crunching tackles on the grandstand wing. The visitors defended brilliantly and pushed hard late in the match, but it was all too late as Launceston held on for a 21 point win.
The Lady Blues were jubilant at the final siren, but the respect among both sides was demonstrated when they formed a circle together post-match to celebrate the season’s end. The multi-talented Webb, who alongside teammate Emma Manix-Geeves is part of the Tasmanian Under 18 women’s cricket squad, was humble in accepting her best on ground medal, thanking the entire TSLW community for their contributions across the 2017 season. Webb’s influence in the midfield was huge, with key position forward Georgia Hill and ruck Abbey Green also starring. Chanette Thuringer was unpassable at centre half back, racking up intercept marks, while a host of other players provided highlights for the victors.
Glenorchy were well-served by four goal hero Eaton, with Gemma Allan, Sarah Davis, Jasmine Tate-Turvey and Zabreena Manjerovic all working hard to propel the ball forward. Gennaveve Sullivan battled hard against Green in the ruck all day, while competition stand out Thomas Corrie provided her usual drive out of defence. The Magpies can hold their heads high, having surpassed expectations in eliminating minor premiers Clarence on the way to the Grand Final.
For Launceston, it was a fitting end to a season in which they lost only two matches, with a core group of players likely to be strongly considered in the upcoming AFLW Draft. The final Saturday in September gave the players a chance to showcase their skills on a big stage, proving that women’s football is well and truly booming in the island state.
WREST POINT TSLW GRAND FINAL
LAUNCESTON v. GLENORCHY
Launceston 1.2, 4.3, 7.5, 8.6 (54)
Glenorchy 1.1, 3.1, 5.1, 5.3 (33)
GOALS, Launceston :
G. Hill 2, N. Celebre 2, A. Green 1, E. Manix-Geeves 1, M. Clark 1, C. Webb 1
S. Eaton 4, N. Lynch 1
BEST, Launceston :
C. Webb, G. Hill, C. Thuringer, A. Green, N. Celebre, M. Binns
S. Eaton, S. Davis, G. Sullivan, T. Corrie, G. Allan, Z. Manjerovic
Southern Cross Tasmanian State League & Mercury Cup
Tasmanian State League
1. Robbie McManus (Lauderdale) referred for instigating a melee.
The Match Review Panel (MRP) determined that the action was unnecessary in the circumstances and is sanctioned as a low-level offence.
Given that Player McManus has had a previous low-level offence this season the offer is increased to a ONE match penalty.
LAUDERDALE FOOTBALL CLUB HAVE ACCEPTED THE OFFER.
*The MRP concluded that the melee that ensued did not require further action.
2. Max Kleverkamp (Lauderdale) reported for striking Jake Pearce (North Launceston)
The match day umpire assessed the incident as intentional, low impact with high contact.
The Match Review Panel determined that the action was unnecessary in the circumstances and determined the action as careless, low impact and high contact which attracts a base sanction of ONE match.
The MRP used its discretion under Rule 5.5 (in relation to incidents in Grand Finals) and applied a 100% loading to the base sanction which is increased to TWO matches. This can be reduced to ONE match with an early guilty plea.
LAUDERDALE FOOTBALL CLUB HAVE ACCEPTED THE OFFER.
3. Thor Boscott (Lauderdale) was referred for striking Tarryn Thomas (North Launceston)
The Match Review Panel determined that the action was unnecessary in the circumstances and determined the action as intentional with low impact to the body which attracts a base sanction of ONE match but is increased to TWO matches due to a previous sanction this season. This sanction can be reduced to ONE match with an early guilty plea.
LAUDERDALE FOOTBALL CLUB HAVE ACCEPTED THE OFFER.
4. Josh McGuinness (Lauderdale) was reported for striking Bart McCulloch (North Launceston)
The MRP determined that the action was unnecessary in the circumstances and determined the contact was intentional with low impact and high contact.
This attracts a base sanction of TWO matches which can be reduced to ONE match with an early guilty plea.
LAUDERDALE FOOTBALL CLUB HAVE ACCEPTED THE OFFER.
5. Josh McGuinness (Lauderdale) was referred for making late contact to Mark Walsh (North Launceston)
The MRP determined that the action did not constitute a reportable offence and concluded that the 50 metre penalty paid on the day was the appropriate action.
NO FURTHER ACTION
6. Darren Winter (Lauderdale Coach) was reported for behaving in an abusive, insulting, threatening or obscene manner towards or in relation to an umpire in the first quarter.
This matter has been referred directly to the TSL Tribunal for hearing on Thursday (28th September) night at 6:00 pm.
TRIBUNAL HEARING THURSDAY NIGHT (28/09/2017)
7. An incident involving contact by Mark Walsh (North Launceston) on Ben McGuinness (Lauderdale) was referred to be reviewed.
MRP determined that the collision was in the course of play and that no action was required.
NO FURTHER ACTION
8. Braden Dart (Clarence) was referred for rough conduct towards Tyson Miller (Launceston)
The MRP determined that the action did not constitute a reportable offence and concluded that the 50 metre penalty paid on the day was the appropriate action.
NO FURTHER ACTION
9. Trent Hope (Clarence) referred for striking Miller Hodge (Launceston)
The MRP downgraded the action to ‘attempting to strike’ which, as a low-level offence it attracts a reprimand.
The Clarence Roos produced a stunning upset coming from behind to down minor premier Launceston claiming their third Mercury Cup (Development League) premiership in as many years.
Launceston entered the Grand Final with a strong record over Clarence, winning three out of their four encounters (including the finals match by 23 points). In the three home and away rostered matches, both sides could only be separated by 11 points in each clash, so it was all set up for another classic contest and that is what it produced.
The Blues dominated early on, settling into the grand final better than their southern opponents, their ball movement was exquisite and resulted in the first goal of the game through Ethan Conway. Clarence weathered the storm well to prevent Launceston from seeing their early advantage stack up on the scoreboard. It was tackles galore in the wet and slippery conditions with both sides desperate to get their hands on the ball, a trend that continued across four quarters.
Clarence booted their first major through Trent Hope before Launceston’s Matt Spohn laid a great tackle to win a free kick in his forward 50 and go back to slot Launceston’s second. Jared Dakin kicked a great snap moments later for the Blues and they finally got some reward for their dominance. Noticeably in the first Clarence played a very high forward line as they looked to hurt Launceston on their quick counter attacks. This worked perfectly with Luke Murfitt-Cowen kicking his first, running into an open goal before minutes later kicking a second to reduce the margin to a one point deficit at quarter time.
In the second stanza, the Blues stretched out their lead and looked likely to run away with it, three goals to one saw the Blues maintain their superiority. Zac Griffiths kicked a great pack snap which only just snuck over the line with a bounce directly on the line but luckily it went through for the Blues. Conway and Spohn both kicked their second, with Spohn drilling an incredible goal from the boundary line. Howlett then struck back for the Roos as he kicked Clarence’s only goal for the quarter to see Launceston go into the main break with a promising 14-point lead.
In what was literally the premiership quarter, a determined Clarence got right back into the game, setting up a grandstand finish in the last. Bradford kicked the first of the second half for Clarence before veteran Launceston midfielder Jordan Harris booted a major for the Blues. Another Pagans Paddock goal for Murfitt-Cowen saw him boot his third and then when Brenner goaled, Clarence were right back in it. Oldenholf finished off one for the Blues which saw them hold on to a slender five point lead.
In the last, it was all Clarence with the Roos booting four goals through McGuinness, Murfitt-Cowen, Young and Hope whilst the Blues were helpless and could only manage three behinds. They were the best team all year, only losing two matches and dominating the majority of the last day in September but the Blues couldn’t hang on against a fast-finishing Clarence who ran out 18-point winners.
Luke Murfitt-Cowen was awarded the best player on the ground for his four-goal effort, guiding the Roos to a third straight premiership as the club continue to dominate the second tier competition.
North Launceston capped off the most impressive of TSL seasons on Saturday afternoon by claiming a dominant 87-point victory over Lauderdale in the 2017 Grand Final in front of over 6000 fans at UTAS Stadium.
The Northern Bombers blew away their southern counterpart in an equally disciplined and dynamic display that was built off the back of a stunning ten goal second term – earning North Launceston a third TSL flag in four seasons.
An eight-goal haul from Baldock medallist Brad Cox-Goodyer was just one of a number of stunning individual performances from the hosts as they put on a clinic to run out 21.22 (148) to 9.7 (61) over an ill-disciplined and stunned Lauderdale outfit.
The atmosphere at UTAS Stadium was electric following the Mercury Cup and Wrest Point TSLW deciders and after a morning of showers, the ground was bathed in sunshine as fans of both sides found their voice and players tussled on the eve of the season’s biggest match.
The opening term had all of the hallmarks of a typically fiery grand final encounter, with both sides applying plenty of physical pressure both around the contest and off the ball. North Launceston dominated the midfield battle early, however, and put the Lauderdale defence under enormous pressure, with the opening goal of the match going the way of Cox-Goodyer from long range.
Lauderdale’s frustration as not being able to get their hand on the ball showed early, with defenders Max Kleverkamp and Josh McGuinness both uncharacteristically reported for ill-disciplined acts within minutes of each other.
North Launceston were dominant right across the ground in the opening term and should have been further in front at the main break, with clinical finishes from Mark Walsh and Jack Pearce capping off slick ball movement and handing the Northern Bombers a 3.6 (24) to 1.2 (8) lead at the first change.
North Launceston’s charge towards the cup continued in the second term, with Pearce, Walsh and Cox-Goodyer all adding second majors in the early minutes.
Lauderdale’s opening shot on goal was reversed following an off the ball Jordon Roberts hit on Louie Hollmer, an act which summed up the quarter for the southern outfit as they were blown away by a disciplined North Launceston master class.
The hosts went on to kick ten goals for the term, including three in a matter of minutes after Tarryn Thomas was put down behind play after curling through his first major. Thomas went on to kick a second as a result of the free kick before the following centre clearance resulted in Tom Couch’s first as his side edged closer to the ultimate prize.
The dominance continued as the term progressed, with the midfield brigade of Couch, Taylor Whitford, Mark Walsh and Josh Ponting guiding North Launceston to a commanding 13.10 (88) to 3.4 (22) lead at the main break.
Lauderdale came out in the third term with intent, kicking three of the first four goals, but the quarter belonged to bullish midfielder Cox-Goodyer, who was playing as a permanent forward.
The competition’s answer to Dustin Martin slotted three majors for the quarter to subdue any outside chance of a comeback as North Launceston extended their lead, taking a 17.13 (115) to 6.7 (43) advantage into the final quarter of the season.
The Northern Bombers enjoyed the fourth quarter, playing with passionas the prospect of another premiership became closer and closer to reality.
Cox-Goodyer added another two majors from half a dozen shots on goal to take his tally to eight. Ryan Wiggins slotted three late goals of his own to finish with four for the afternoon, but it was a jubilant home side who celebrated at the final siren, with the ground stormed by celebrating fans as North Launceston’s 2016 defeat was all but forgotten in the afterglow of an 87 point win.
When the game was there to be won Brad Cox-Goodyer continued his brilliant season, using his brute strength and classy skills by foot to take the game by the scruff of the neck and ensure the Northern Bombers stifled any hope of a southern Bomber resurgence.
While Cox-Goodyer rightfully won the Baldock Medal for his outstanding display he had plenty of support around the ground with Jake Pearce and Josh Ponting finding plenty of the ball, and the duo of Tom Bennett and 2018 draft prospect Tarryn Thomas providing plenty of assistance up forward.
The North Launceston defence also proved to be irresistible for much of the afternoon, with Arion Richter-Salter and Jay Lockhart leading a cohesive effort from the back six in a truly impressive team performance.
North Launceston coach Tom Couch reflected post-match on achieving the team’s sole focus on winning the premiership. “It’s a bit surreal; we’ve worked pretty hard for this moment. You think about it every day, especially for the last ten weeks.
“It’s great and just (full) credit to the boys; they’ve worked so hard,”
Couch spoke about being welcomed into the club with open arms in his first year as coach, with the playing group all focused on avenging their 2016 loss to Glenorchy.
“To lose the Grand Final last year, you need to take that next step. The boys were pretty fit and we changed a few things about the game plan; they all bought in and they deserve it.”
Couch himself played a sensational game in the midfield, alongside the underrated Mark Walsh and captain Taylor Whitford, with the trio ensuring they were first to the ball and delivering it with class to North Launceston’s forwards while hitting the scoreboard themselves.
Lauderdale didn’t win many one on one match ups, but young defender Mitchel Anderton and inside midfielder Nat Franklin worked tirelessly all afternoon, with forward targets Alex Hevey, Alex Hill and Ryan Wiggins also having moments of promise on a disappointing finish to the club’s most successful season in the TSL.
The Southern Bombers are likely to come under MRP scrutiny for a number of clashes, but should take plenty out of a ground-breaking season to push for a berth deep in September again in 2018.
With North Launceston now having established themselves as the most successful club in the Tasmanian State League, the question is not whether they have the ability to go back to back next year, but whether the players have the drive and motivation after claiming the ultimate prize.
If Couch’s emotional address to club supporters and the player’s post-match comments in the rooms are anything to go by, however, the bulk of the young playing group remain hungry to add more trophies to the UTAS Stadium cabinet and continue to build upon the dynasty they’ve created.
NORTH LAUNCESTON 3.6 13.10 17.13 21.22 (148)
LAUDERDALE 1.2 3.4 6.7 9.7 (61)
GOALS; North Launceston: Cox-Goodyer 8, Walsh 3, Pearce 2, Whitford 2, Couch 2, Thomas 2, Bennett, Simpson
Lauderdale: Wiggins 4, A Hill 2, Hevey, Kleverkamp, McManus
BEST; North Launceston: Cox_Goodyer, Walsh, Pearce, Whitford, Richter-Salter, Ponting
Lauderdale: A Hill, Hevey, Anderton, Roberts, Bellchambers, Franklin