Prelim and Grand Final schedule locked in


The Grand Final venue is locked in with North Launceston qualifying for their fourth Grand Final in as many years. 

University of Tasmania Stadium will host the Southern Cross Tasmanian State League (TSL)’s biggest day of the year on September 23, 2017, with North Launceston defeated Lauderdale by 95 points in the second Semi-Final yesterday, to not only qualify but win hosting rights.

Their opposition will be decided in the Preliminary Final with underdogs Launceston eliminating Clarence to book a date with Lauderdale. The Preliminary Final will take place at 2:00 pm at Blundstone Arena this coming Saturday (16 September), with the Mercury Cup Preliminary Final between Clarence and Tigers taking place prior, at 11:30 am.

Clarence crashed out of the Finals series with Launceston’s giant killing form continuing. The Roos finished the home and away season in second but failed to win a final, falling in straight sets. The defeat wasn’t just the end of Clarence’s season but the end of a decorated career, with Ian Callinan retiring. The little master was given a guard of honour from both sides as he left the field, drawing curtains on an amazing career across TSL, VFL, SANFL and AFL.

As well as locking in the venue, the TSL has also adjusted start times for Grand Final day, with the TSL big dance to take place at 3:30 pm. The TSL is also exploring options with UTAS Stadium to all spectators to be able to watch the AFL Preliminary Final via the big screen and throughout the venue where possible.

Please find the schedule below for the TSL Preliminary Final and Grand Final.

Preliminary Final

Saturday 16 September 2017 – Blundstone Arena

11:30am Mercury Cup – Clarence v Tigers 

2:00pm Southern Cross TSL – Lauderdale v Launceston

Grand Final

Saturday 23 September 2017 – UTAS Stadium

10:10am Mercury Cup – Launceston v Clarence/Tigers

1:15pm Wrest Point TSL W – Clarence/Launceston v TBA

3:30pm Southern Cross TSL – North Launceston v Lauderdale/Launceston

North to host the big dance

Written by Matt Hill

North Launceston are into their fourth Grand Final in a row after the northern outfit completely dismantled Lauderdale to the tune of 95 points at UTAS Stadium.

Lauderdale were just one of two teams to defeat North Launceston in 2017 but they fell well short in the Semi-Final with a full strength Northern Bombers proving far too good. Skipper Taylor Whitford and coach Tom Couch lead the way with a five goal to none first term setting up a landslide victory.

They did it without Alex Lee who was a late withdrawal but no Lee, no worries as it had minimal effect with Lewis Hollmer toiling away well.  North dominated the first term with a superior set up all over the ground and slicker and smarter ball movement. Tarryn Thomas, Lewis Hollmer, Bart McCulloch, Brad Cox-Goodyer and Taylor Whitford all booted first quarter goals which laid the foundations for a monster win. Bart McCulloch asserted himself early and was a dangerous threat up forward for North but also played a vital part in the ruck. After a frustrating injury affected season, Whitford found his groove, winning plenty of the ball in the first stanza and kicking a great crumbing goal which was his first of four majors on the day.

Lauderdale found some life in the second term and found themselves with numerous scoring opportunities but the southerners did not make them count. Lauderdale had nine scoring shots to North Launceston’s eight but inefficient goal kicking saw North extend their lead to 41 at the main break. Whitford added two more goals to his tally in the second with one of them a fantastic snap from the pocket. Ryan Wiggins and Robbie McManus booted Lauderdale’s goals and Wiggins was leading dangerously which were positive signs for the southern bombers.

In the premiership quarter, North put their foot down to put the game out of Lauderdale’s reach. North’s set up behind the ball and their willingness to work for each other was impressive. Storming away to a 62-point lead at the last change. Jay Lockhart took a screamer in the quarter as he showed no effects of a knee injury that has shattered his season. Whitford and Couch both added incredible goals which started the celebrations early for North Launceston. McCulloch, Jake Pearce and Tom Bennett also added goals for North as they sewed up a home Grand Final and showed just how difficult it will be to beat them in the Grand Final in two weeks’ time.

North smelled blood and kicked away to make it a huge victory, holding Lauderdale scoreless as they has 12 scoring shots in the final term. McCulloch kicked his third, Cox-Goodyer slotted his second, Hollmer kicked his third and coach Tom Couch kicked a long bomb from downtown to rub salt into the wounds of Lauderdale. In a major talking point, Toutai Havea was placed on report for a high hit on Tyran Mansell which could potentially rule the key Lauderdale player out for their Preliminary Final with Launceston next Saturday.

Lauderdale Coach Darren Winter was bitterly disappointed with the loss.

“We certainly didn’t come up here to dish that out.

“North Launceston ran over us pretty much from the start to the end and we were pretty reactive to what they were doing.

“We will go back to the drawing board, we have had a really good season and we will use the double chance which the players have earned so we will pick ourselves up.”

North Launceston coach Tom Couch was delighted to book the club’s fourth consecutive Grand Final berth.

“It was pleasing, we focused on a few things this week and I thought they did really well, they executed that. Now we have a fortnight to get ready but we still have to improve. It is pleasing but we still have to get better.”

“There was a lot of even contributors, Lewi Hollmer was great with his first game in the ruck taking charge with Al (Alex Lee) out.

North dominated from start to finish and rightfully ran out 95-point winners earning them another rest and the right to host the final in two weeks’ time at York Park. Lauderdale will need to lick their wounds quickly and get ready for a Launceston team full of confidence.

Posted by North Launceston Football Club (Official) on Saturday, 9 September 2017

Things I learnt

  1. It will take something special to defeat North Launceston

From what the North boys dished up and from the fire and desire in each of their player’s eyes, it is clearly evident that Tom Couch has got his side in a fantastic physical and mental position where they are not taking anything for granted. They aren’t getting ahead of themselves and with how well they set up around the ground and with players like Cox-Goodyer, Whitford, Couch, Lockhart and Foon, North have stars all over the ground that are all playing outstanding football.

  1. Launceston v Lauderdale will be a tight game

With Launceston killing off the giants in Clarence and Glenorchy in recent weeks, they will be keen to continue their march to the grand final with a win against Lauderdale next week. But Lauderdale will be keen to redeem themselves for their efforts against North and earn another chance to topple the northern bombers in the grand final.

  1. North have great depth

North may have outstanding A-graders but their whole side gels well together and all know how to play their own individual roles. Each player in North’s side are fundamental to their success and how they set up. Players like Richter-Salter, Baker, both Mansells and Pearce may not be in their teams best five players but are sensational at playing their role for the side and are fantastic young players.

Round 2 – 09/09/2017

North Launceston                        5.5,  9.9,  14.13,  18.21  (129)

Lauderdale                              0.3,  2.10,  4.11,  4.11  (35)

GOALS, North Launceston :
T. Whitford 4, B. McCulloch 3, L. Hollmer 3, T. Couch 2, B. Cox-Goodyer 2, T. Mansell 1,
J. Pearce 1, T. Thomas 1, T. Bennett 1

Lauderdale :
R. Wiggins 2, E. Stanley 1, R. McManus 1

BEST, North Launceston :
T. Whitford, L. Hollmer, J. Pearce, A. Richter-Salter, B. McCulloch, K. Wadley

Lauderdale :
T. Havea, N. Franklin, J. McGuinness, M. Anderton, E. Whish-Wilson


Blues through to Prelim as Roos’ run ends

Written by Anthony Osborn, Alex FitzGerald

Clarence have crashed out of the 2017 finals series in straight sets with Launceston again proving a giant killer. A determined Blues outfit overcame a slow start in Saturday’s First Semi Final to win their second September decider on the road, defeating Clarence by 33 points at Blundstone Arena.

Despite trailing by 13 points at the first break, the Blues shifted into gear to boot six of the next seven majors and book themselves a place in next week’s preliminary final, running out convincing 13.8 (86) to 7.11 (53) winners. The Blues are quickly becoming the sleeping giants of this finals series and they are full of belief that anything is possible, this September.

Clarence dominated the first quarter, with dangerous small forward Ian Callinan opening the scoring.  Long goals to Jarrod Harper and Trent Standen followed as the ‘Roos seized control of the contest early.  A late Jake Nunn major from the Blues first foray forward saw the Launceston faithful breathe a sigh of relief, with the damage only 14 points at the first change after a Gabby Chambers goal for Clarence was ruled to have been kicked after the siren; the scoreboard reading 3.2 (20) to 1.0 (6).

The second quarter saw the visitors kicking with a slight breeze, and they made the most of it, with their outside runners providing plenty of opportunities forward of the centre square.  Sam Lonergan capitalised to boot two of the Blues five goals for the term, with Clarence managing just one major despite the immense forward tackling pressure of Callinan.  With the self-belief that Lonergan had spoken about during the week apparent among the vocal Launceston playing group, the Blues went into the main break holding a handy 6.2 (38) to 4.4 (28) lead.

The hosts made their intentions clear in the opening five minutes of the third term, but were unable to capitalise, as the Blues defence held firm.  An Alex Silver goal gave Clarence hope, but Launceston responded through multiple goals from midfielders Jay Blackberry and  Joe Boyce, taking a 21 point advantage into the last change.

With Jake Cox in a tracksuit with thanks to a hip injury and several other players limping, Launceston maintained control of the contest, kicking four goals to two in a frenzied final term to book themselves a match up with Lauderdale at the same time next week.

Launceston playing-coach Sam Lonergan was proud of how his side had responded to the challenge of finals football.

“It’s been a fantastic result; the belief the group has is incredible, it’s what we coach for.  To create what we have done in the last couple of weeks has been fantastic.”

Much of Launceston’s development and growing confidence has come from its often-unheralded defensive group, with the likes of Chris Savage, Simon Vandervelde, Jack Donnellan and Jimmy Aganas playing their roles weekly, to the pleasure of Lonergan.

“(I think) it is the best back seven in the competition; there are no big names in the group but there will be by the end of the year.”

Launceston’s midfield and forward depth also shone through against Clarence, with onballer Brodie Palfreyman, ruckman Hamish Leedham and forward Nathan O’Donoghue all having significant influence.

Jason Bailey, Gabby Chambers, Jack Gleeson and Tim Castle (in game 150), all worked tirelessly on a disappointing afternoon for Clarence, but coach Jeromey Webberley was adamant that the ‘Roos will take plenty of positives out of the season, despite a straight sets exit.

“As a society we tend to look at things we need to improve on, but we also need to look at how far we have come; we’ve come from seventh (last season) to fourth and have a fantastic Mercury Cup team chock-full of talent and have unearthed some guys this year who will be serious TSL players.”

“It’s disappointing but we will have to move on.”

Webberley was full of praise for Launceston and insisted that the Blues have the potential of continuing their September surge.

“They played some fantastic footy and are in extremely good form. They are playing a good style of game that holds up well in finals; I’d give them a real chance for next week.”

Clarence’s final match for 2017 also signalled the finale of Ian Callinan’s career, with the crafty forward indisputably one of the finest Tasmanian footballers of the modern era.

It's not the way the little master would have wanted his career to end, but boy what a career it was. Congratulations on a stellar career, Ian Callinan. A true legend of Tasmanian football 👏🏼🔴⚪️ #SXTSL

Posted by Tasmanian State League on Saturday, 9 September 2017

Callinan, who returned to Clarence at the beginning of the 2016 season after a stint with Adelaide in the AFL and Central District in the SANFL, will be a big loss for the ‘Roos, with Webberley full of praise for the veteran.

“He (Callinan) has had an outstanding career; he has just persisted and dominated wherever he has gone. His relationships with all of the players are fantastic and he will be sorely missed.”

The Blues will play a third consecutive final at Blundstone Arena next weekend against Lauderdale, and Lonergan is confident his side can take another major finals scalp.

“We have our best team out there at the moment. No one is carrying injuries and no one is in doubt, so we are training guys to play and perform on game day and it has put us in a good position to run out games,” the Blues supremo explained.

Round 2 – 09/09/2017

Launceston                              1.0,  6.2,  9.4,  13.8  (86)

Clarence                                3.2,  4.4,  5.7,  7.11  (53)

GOALS, Launceston :
N. O’Donoghue 3, J. Boyce 2, S. Lonergan 2, J. Blackberry 1, J. Nunn 1, S. Whiting 1,
R. Kelly-Mansell 1, S. Rundle 1, J. Gillow 1

Clarence :
J. Webberley 2, I. Callinan 1, A. Silver 1, J. Harper 1, T. Standen 1, W. Wall 1

BEST, Launceston :
S. Williams, N. O’Donoghue, J. Hinds, B. Palfreyman, J. Blackberry, S. Whiting

Clarence :
J. Gleeson, J. Bailey, G. Chambers, T. Castle, M. Ling, K. Wylie







FIRST SEMI-FINAL – 09/09/2017

2:00PM – Blundstone Arena


B: N. Douglas, J. Bailey, T. Castle
HB: M. Ling, K. Wylie, M. Fisher
C: G.  Chambers, B.  Jones, Z.  Buechner
HF: J. Cox, A. Grace, J. Webberley
F: T. Standen, W. Wall, I. Callinan
R: S. Siggins, J. Gleeson, J. O’Brien

Int: J. Holmes, A. Silver, J. Harper, J. Brenner
Emg: T. Hanslow, K. Palmer-Hughes, M. Blackburn, J. Roberts

In: K. Wylie, J. Brenner
Out: M. Blackburn, J. Roberts


B: C. Brown, S. Vandervelde, C. Savage
HB: J. Donnellan, J. Aganas, R. Tyrrell
C: T.  Sheppard, R.  Kelly-Mansell, J.  Blackberry
HF: S. Rundle, J. Nunn, J. Gillow
F: S. Whiting, N. O’Donoghue, S. Lonergan
R: H. Leedham, J. Hinds, B. Palfreyman

Int: J. Boyce, S. Williams, B. Taylor, C. Smith
Emg: J. Boyd, J. Harris, M. Hodge, T. Auckland

In: S. Rundle
Out: J. Harris


SECOND SEMI-FINAL – 09/09/2017

4:30PM – UTAS Stadium


North Launceston
B: J. Avent, C. Young, J. Foon
HB: T. Thomas, A. Richter-Salter, J. Lockhart
C: T.  Donnelly, B.  Cox-Goodyer, K.  Baker
HF: L. Hollmer, B. McCulloch, J. Ponting
F: T. Couch, Z. Burt, T. Bennett
R: A. Lee, T. Whitford, M. Walsh
Int: T. Mansell, B. Simpson, J. Pearce, R. Mansell
Emg: H. Goss, F. Bennett, K. Wadley, K. Curtis

In: T. Mansell, J. Lockhart
Out: H. Goss, K. Wadley

B: M. Anderton, E. Whish-Wilson, S. Hill
HB: M. Kleverkamp, A. Hill, J. McGuinness
C: R.  Sutton, B.  Walsh, R.  McManus
HF: D. Fyfe, R. Wiggins, A. Hevey
F: T. Havea, B. McGuinness, T. Boscott
R: H. Smith, P. Bellchambers, N. Franklin
Int: J. Roberts, R. Hill, E. Stanley, J. Williams
Emg: C. Hooker, S. Adams, L. Meagher, C. Laoumtzis

In: M. Kleverkamp
C. Laoumtzis



Second Semi Final – 10/09/2017

12:00PM – Geilston Bay Oval



B: S. Bale, T. Nichols

HB: Z. Crawford, J. Farrow, R. Archer

C: T.  Ford, S.  Pennicott, N.  Pearce

HF: J. Minifie, J. Limbrick, M. Smith

F: G. Mitchell, M. Wise

R: C. Wells, G. Pennicott, N.Bresnehan

Int: S. Harris, C. Kenny, S. Hinks, E. Groves

Emg: H. Bromfield, L. Gwynne, N. Taylor


B: M. Gardner, N. Ristrom, H. Whyte

HB: M. Smith, M. Sinclair, C. Thuringer

C: K.  Child

HF: N. Celebre, G. Hill, M. Cuthbertson

F: E.Manix-geeves, M. Clark
R: A. Green, D. Bannister, A. Dickson

Int: E. Barrenger, M. Binns, D. Corcoran, C. Webb

Emg: A. Halaby, K. McLaughlin, M. King, J.Retallick, A. Bowen


First Semi Final – 10/09/2017

1:00PM – KGV




B: T. Wiggins, R.Siely

HB: T. Corrie, N. Daniels, S. Davis

C: S.  Eaton, E.  Barwick, Z.  Manjerovic

HF: J. Tate Turvey, N. Lynch, J. Rattenbury

F: K. Rattenbury, H. Ryan

R: G. Sullivan, B. Barwick, G. Allan

Int: G. Terry, E. Loveless, S. Flack, E. Fornells Vernet,
M.Jacobs , M. Fish


B: S. Loring, L. Stevenson

HB: L. Haines, K. Sheehan, S. Skinner

C: C.  Loring, J.  Brown, S.  Rodman

HF: K. Loring, C. Haines, S. Edwards

F: C. Chandler, J. Mercer

R: M. Wright, K. Goodson, E. Humphries

Int: I. Duffie, S. Ferguson-Stevens, M. Singleton, J. Whelan

Emg: K. Johnson



LAUNCESTON v. CLARENCE  Semi Finals Semi Final 2 – 09/09/2017


Int: L. Gee, J. Rice, G. Holt, J. Bott, B. Killalea, M. Blazely
Emg: S. Bruinewoud, J. Bangura, A. Dickenson

To be selected from:
J. Boyd, T. Miller, J. Marsden, T. Cooper, Z. Griffiths, J. Dakin,
C. Curtis, J. Harris, C. Downie, G. Holt, A. Wright, Z. Oldenhof,
B. Neil, M. Hutchinson, E. Conway, M. Hodge, M. Spohn, T. Auckland

In: A. Dickenson, A. Wright, M. Spohn, E. Conway, B. Killalea
Out: L. Walsh,  J. Smith


To be selected from:
H. Bailey, J. Havea, C. Berry, K. Howlett, D. Howlett, L. Murfitt-Cowen,
K. Bailey, J. O’Brien, B. Dart, T. Marshall, T. Birchall, A. Gaul,
H. Richmond, T. Hanslow, N. Raglione, J. Pulford, C. Leek, T. Hope,
F. Turner, J. Brenner, K. Palmer-Hughes, A. Morton, M. Blackburn, J. Roberts,
Z. Mastrocola, S. Bradford, B. McGuinness, J. Mazengarb, J. Young

In: J. Roberts, D. Howlett, J. Havea, M. Blackburn, H. Bailey

TIGERS v. NORTH LAUNCESTON  Semi Finals Semi Final 1 – 09/09/2017


Int: M. Cooke, A. Huizing, J. Huizing, J. Wells, T. Hughes, E. Brock, B. Gordon

To be selected from:
L. Griggs, S. Webb, T. Gogolin, A. Webster, B. McCulloch, R. Rinaldi,
M. Coad, C. Bryant, J. Shaw, M. Gardner, C. Rawson, J. Pearce,
H. Crack, J. Lister, M. Booth, A. Humphrey, J. Keogh, T. Cowen,
B. Graham, C. Sawdy

In: T. Hughes, T. Cowen, J. Huizing, J. Wells
Out: C. Woolley

North Launceston

To be selected from:
H. Rand, H. Goss, M. Cossins, K. Thomas, T. Mansell, D. Clayton,
C. Haines, A. Jefferies, C. Lowe, J. Singline, J. Harris, D. Headland,
E. Perry, B. Holmes, B. Simpson, F. Bennett, M. Gray, K. Wadley,
N. Jackson, C. Harrison, J. Rowlands, C. Pearton, R. Mansell, C. Anderson,
M. Donnelly, J. Lanham, K. Curtis, B. Denman, J. White

In: C. Pearton, M. Gray, R. Mansell, E. Perry, H. Goss

Courageous Holmes claims Richardson medal

Clarence Football Club running defender James Holmes has won the Matthew Richardson Medal as the best emerging youngster in the Southern Cross Tasmanian State League (TSL), for season 2017.

Awarded to the rookie of the year, players eligible for the Matthew Richardson Medal must be under 23 years of age, have played less than 20 games at the commencement of the season, and played no more than two years of senior football.

Holmes,19, remarkably only made his TSL senior debut this season with his first senior game coming in Round 2 of 2017. Bursting onto the scene Holmes has played 18 games and a final in a sensational season for the Roos.

Clarence Senior Coach Jeromey Webberley has been thoroughly impressed by the youngster’s season and his ability to take on a new role and make it his own.

“James has had an outstanding year, his ability to win the ball in defence, battle hard in one on ones and his courage has been impressive.”

The gutsy youngster is known for his attack on the footy and his courage, often putting himself in harm’s way to win the ball. Holmes has never been involved in any talent or state program and has maintained focus on his footy to develop through Clarence’s programs. He is a terrific tale of development as he is a home grown product of the Clarence Football Club, playing for the Roos from Auskick right through to TSL.

“He is a really good intercept mark for his size and his ability to create turnover through reading the game and his willingness to put his body on the line is first class,” Webberley said.

“He has leadership qualities and we hope to see him evolve into a leader of our football club, he sets the right example and will be a quality senior player for years to come,” the ‘Roos supremo added.

In 2017, the blonde haired defender has taken the top tier by storm but in previous seasons he plied his trade in the Mercury Cup as a small forward. He was thrown a challenge by Webberley in pre-season to play in defence and he has taken to it extremely well to become a mainstay in the Roos defensive setup.

“His biggest attribute is that he is able to take on information and be shown once and then go out and put that into practice it is something that you don’t often see in young players,” Webberley explained. 

Holmes was a surprised winner of the award, admitting when his coach broke the news he thought the call may be for other reasons.

“I got the call from Jez (Webberley) and thought he was going to tell me I was dropped or something but it was good, I was pretty surprised.

“I didn’t really think I was a chance at all I was more concentrating on the team success.

“My goal at the start of the year was to play six senior games and I fulfilled that in the first six games and then I changed my goal and just tried to keep my spot every week.”

The youngster said it was surreal to win an award named after one of his football heroes.

“It is a massive honour to win it. When they said you’ve won the Richardson medal I was like WOW.

“I lined up in the mall and got his (Matthew Richardson) signature as a kid, got it on my footy card and I’ve still got it actually.”

TSL General Manager Carl Saunder congratulated Holmes on collecting the award that recognises one of Tasmania’s all time greats, Matthew Richardson.

“James’ story is a fantastic one of determination and loyalty.

Credit to him and his club, James hasn’t been involved in talent programs but has stuck at it.The Roos have continued to develop him as a player and it has bared fruit this season as he has broken into a quality outfit and had a profound impact.

“He has taken on a new role and had an outstanding season and for a player of his age and size he demonstrates impressive courage and composure. A deserved winner.”

He is the first winner of the medal from Clarence since 2010 when current team mate Trent Standen won the inaugural medal.

All nine TSL clubs were invited to nominate players that met the criteria of eligibility for the award, the winner was then picked from the nominations by a panel.

Previous Winners – Matthew Richardson Medal

2016 – Toutai Havea (Lauderdale)

2015 – Jordan Arnold (Glenorchy)

2014 – Ben Halton (Lauderdale)

2013 – Thane Bardenhagen (South Launceston)

2012 – Aaron McNab (Devonport)

2011 – Kaine Waller (Lauderdale)

2010 – Trent Standen (Clarence)

2017 Mark of the Year – VOTE NOW

There was some amazing clunks, grabs, screamers and hangers in TSL season 2017.

These are the best from across the season.

Which mark was the very best? Have your say!


This poll is closed! Poll activity:
Start date 05-09-2017 22:55:08
End date 14-09-2017 23:59:59
Poll Results:
Which is the 2017 TSL Mark of the Year?


Southern Cross Tasmanian State League & Mercury Cup

Finals Week 1

Jackson O’Brien (Clarence) was reported for striking Bryce Walsh (Lauderdale).

The incident was rated intentional, high contact and high impact by the match day umpire and as a result was referred directly to the TSL Independent Tribunal. 

The Independent Tribunal heard the case tonight (05/09/2017) and found that the evidence presented failed to support the charge.

After hearing evidence from player Walsh and reported player O’Brien, (which was supported by the visual evidence from match day footage and further supported by the evidence of other witnesses), the case was dismissed.

Player Walsh’s evidence was consistent with that of reported player O’Brien, stating he (Walsh) was bumped to the chest which caught him off balance and caused him to go to ground. Player Walsh also explained his immediate reaction to clutch at his face was as a result of him (Walsh) unintentionally biting his tongue as he landed to ground.




Southern Cross Tasmanian State League & Mercury Cup

Finals Week 1

The Match Review Panel (MRP) was not required to sit today with the only incident from the weekend’s matches referred directly to the tribunal.

Jackson O’Brien (Clarence) was reported for striking Bryce Walsh (Lauderdale).
The incident was rated intentional, high contact and high impact by the match day umpire and as a result was referred directly to the TSL Independent Tribunal. 

The video footage was inconclusive and as a result, the MRP was not in a position to review it to make an assessment.

The Tribunal will sit at 6:00 pm tomorrow night (Tuesday 5 September 2017).

Double-Header a raging success

Over 5000 football fans enjoyed this weekend’s Southern Cross Tasmanian State League (TSL) finals doubleheader, with over 3000 spectators packing into Blundstone Arena and over 2000 enjoying the action via live stream.

The audience was treated to two fantastic games with Launceston upsetting Glenorchy to end the reigning Premiers defence and Lauderdale downing fierce rivals, Clarence to progress into a Semi-Final showdown with North Launceston.

TSL General Manager Carl Saunder labelled the event as a raging success, reinforcing the football public’s appetite for TSL footy.

“It was a fantastic day and the double header concept was well supported which is really encouraging.

“I think the audience indicates that people follow and enjoy their TSL footy but we as a competition need to think about how we make it easy and engaging for people to consume.

“The doubleheader is one example of thinking a little differently to tradition and our weekly live streams are another.

“We are keen to continue innovating and looking at new ways to get more people enjoying the best talent playing in the premier competition.”

Close to 3200 spectators came through the turnstiles of Blundstone Arena with over 2000 unique viewers watching the TSL’s live stream from far and wide locations.

Despite the day being an overwhelming success, the TSL has received feedback suggesting longer than normal queues and catering shortages at the venue.

“We acknowledge that there were some less than ideal circumstances and we will work with our venues to better cater for the growing crowds at the finals games – this will extend to faster access into the venue and expanded catering.

“But while that is unfortunate and an area we will work to address, what it did show is that there is a significant interest and demand for TSL and we look forward to that continuing throughout an exciting finals series,” Saunder said.

The second week of finals will see games at both ends of the state with the Mercury Cup fixtures modified to enable clubs with two teams to play at the same venue. Clarence and Launceston will play each other in both the TSL and the Mercury Cup, with flexible fixturing seeing both games at Blundstone Arena. North Launceston will host Lauderdale, with their Mercury Cup also staying home to face the Tigers.

“We want club’s resources not to be stretched and we want everyone to have the capacity to be at the top of their game. We also care about fans and want them to be able to follow both of their teams and not have to make a choice.

“It made no sense to have North Launceston, Clarence and Launceston have their Mercury Cup teams at opposite ends of the state to their TSL teams.

“This flexible fixturing supports consistent requests from clubs to enable full club support for their clashes and we continue to be receptive to that.

“The shift has been made in line with decisions such as the doubleheader, we want our finals series to be the best it can be in terms of football standard and support,” Saunder explained.

Week one was a major success and the TSL hope it only blossoms in coming weeks with the goal of a Grand Final attendance of 10,000. Saunder believes the success of the doubleheader shows that the ambition is possible.

“We want to make the Grand Final a fantastic well-supported event and we think the twilight time slot will assist as well as match day entertainment and of course high-quality football.

“We are really happy with the first week’s success and eagerly await three more weeks of fantastic footy.”

The finals schedule for Week 2 of the TSL Finals:

Match Number Date Venue Final Start Time Home Club Away Club
5 Saturday 9th  Sept Blundstone Arena Mercury Cup 2nd Semi Final 11.30am Launceston Clarence
6 Saturday 9th  Sept Blundstone Arena Southern Cross TSL 1st Semi Final 2:00pm Clarence  Launceston
7 Saturday 9th  Sept UTAS Stadium Mercury Cup 1st Semi Final 2.00pm Tigers North Launceston
8 Saturday 9th  Sept UTAS Stadium Southern Cross TSL 2nd Semi Final 4:30pm North Launceston Lauderdale



Written by Anthony Osborn


A sensational seven-goal haul from the versatile Ryan Wiggins has seen Lauderdale run out 47-point winners over Clarence in one of the most hotly anticipated Tasmanian State League matches in recent memory.

After succumbing to the ‘Roos in all three of their previous encounters in 2017, Lauderdale were able to win in the biggest clash between the two sides this year, with the 20.6 (126) – 10.19 (79) victory cementing the Bombers’ place as a genuine heavyweight of the competition.

The first three-quarters of the contest proved to be a see-sawing affair, with inaccurate Clarence goal kicking leaving the door ajar for an electrifying final quarter of Bombers’ football that proved to be too much for the ‘Roos to handle.

The Bombers looked to control the contested ball throughout the opening term, with hard-nosed midfield efforts and slick outside work providing Lauderdale with a three-goal advantage at the first change after Ben McGuinness goaled late in the term.

The ‘Roos got on top of the contested ball numbers throughout the second term but were unable to make the Bombers pay on the scoreboard, kicking 4.8 for the term compared to Lauderdale’s two straight majors off the boot of Wiggins. As such, Clarence took a slender two-point lead into the main break when in reality; the difference should have been closer to three goals.

The Bombers capitalised on Clarence’s inaccuracy in front of goal to kick four third-quarter majors that ensured the Bombers took a nine-point lead into the final change.

The match was on a knife’s edge leading into the final break, but the Bombers wasted no time in making their intentions clear, kicking eight straight final quarter goals, including five between Wiggins and Ben McGuinness. Wiggins had been thrust forward after the first term, kicking three of his seven majors in this Bomber blitz, while the similarly versatile Ben McGuinness kicked two of his four to put the result beyond doubt.

Lauderdale coach Darren Winter was clearly pleased with the victory and particularly how his side were able to play their own style of game late in the contest.

“To win a final and to move on to the next one- we are pretty happy with that. The boys did a good job to finish the game off,” Winter said.

“The boys found a bit of space and moved the ball a bit quicker than in the first three-quarters. That is the type of footy we want to play but we know we won’t always be able to play that in finals,” he said.

Wiggins was particularly impressive, with his seven-goal haul further underlining his own versatility as a key forward and a defensive option, as well as the rich versatility of this Lauderdale side.

“We still think he (Wiggins) is playing better footy down back but he presented well, marked strongly and finished well,” Winter said.

Ben McGuinness was similarly impressive whenever he got near the football, with a forward role visibly suiting his aerobic capabilities and athleticism. Thor Boscott showed moments of brilliance while booting two, while ruckman Haydn Smith and gun on baller Dylan Fyfe won the majority of their contests around the ground to put the Bombers in with a chance of victory.

The win was particularly impressive off the back of Max Kleverkamp being a late withdrawal through illness, with the return of his talents next weekend only making the Bombers a more formidable September force.

Much had been made throughout the week of the expected physicality of this match, but Winter was pleased with how his side handled the heat.

“You don’t win games by rubbish off the ball- the boys handled that well. They are a focussed young group of men and we don’t want to be involved in that sort of stuff- we want to keep it close to the line,” he said.

Clarence coach Jeromey Webberley was adamant that there were positives for his players to take out of the contest, but conceded that inaccuracy in front of goal cost his side.

“We won the contested ball and clearances (in the second term) but we couldn’t convert… we should have been in at half time three or four goals up, but we were two goals down.

“At times our transition was back to its best and our stoppage work at times was near the best it’s been all year,” Webberley said.

Webberley, who suffered a corked calf for a second consecutive week, conceded that his side would have some selection decisions to make while also emphasising the importance of re-focusing on the upcoming task at hand, despite the hurt of such a loss to Lauderdale.

“You can’t cry over spilt milk… We have to move on to next week against Launceston who had a fantastic win today- it will be a really tough contest… they have an extremely deep midfield,” he said.

Meanwhile, Winter is looking forward to the challenge of facing minor premiers North Launceston next weekend, stating that every final should be a close encounter.

“The finals series will be strong the whole way through. We know they (North Launceston) are a quality outfit- we will have to be close to our best for the whole game, not just parts of it,” Winter said.


Round 1 – 02/09/2017

Lauderdale                              6.2,  8.2,  12.6,  20.6  (126)

Clarence                                3.2,  7.10,  9.15,  10.19  (79)

GOALS, Lauderdale :
R. Wiggins 7, B. McGuinness 4, T. Boscott 2, T. Havea 1, R. McManus 1, H. Smith 1,
J. Roberts 1, A. Hill 1, C. Laoumtzis 1, R. Hill 1

Clarence :
T. Standen 2, J. Webberley 2, I. Callinan 1, J. Harper 1, W. Wall 1, M. Blackburn 1,
T. Castle 1, Z. Buechner 1

BEST, Lauderdale :
H. Smith, D. Fyfe, R. Wiggins, B. McGuinness, N. Franklin, T. Boscott

Clarence :
J. O’Brien, B. Jones, J. Gleeson, T. Castle, M. Ling, J. Harper