Magpies edge out wounded Launceston

By Corey Martin, The Examiner

A STANDOUT six-goal show from Devonport coach Mitch Thorp was enough to see the Magpies swoop past Launceston by two goals at Windsor Park.

The Blues were up and about early with only skill errors stopping them from leading by more than four points at quarter time.

Both sides controlled the corridor at different stages with Blues’ utility Josh Bellchambers showing promise before he was ruled out of the match with a leg injury, after kicking an opposition player while converting a stoppage goal at the 17-minute mark.

Devonport had more inside-50s but failed to use them.

The Pies fought back hard in the second quarter as Thorp began to dominate Zac Oldenhof, kicking three majors for the term.

The game began to open up with Magpie Beau Sharman booting a goal two minutes into the second, only for Blues captain Sonny Whiting to respond strongly four minutes later with a lovely goal from 40 metres out.

A 50-metre penalty gifted Thorp his second goal and first of three for the term to reduce the deficit to a solitary point.

Launceston playmaker Jay Blackberry, who was well held by Tom Enniss, held a resurgent Devonport back, which was back up by a long-bomb by Jake Nunn for the Blues’ second straight major.

All before the Magpies kicked five straight to give the visitors a 7.7 (49) to 5.2 (32) half-time advantage.

Whiting added two in the third as did Magpie Brodie Deverell, as both teams tussled for supremacy.

It was a hotly contest term that was marred by a suspected ACL for Blues’ defender and Tassie Mariner Jack Donnellan.

Heading into the final 30 minutes three goals behind, a superb Michael Musicka set up a versatile Dan Sellars on debut, who converted a goal within a minute.

Thorp responded with his fifth before Caleb Van Buuren added another for what felt like the match sealer.

But beware the walking wounded, Sam Rundle kicked a crumbing left-foot snag moments ahead of Thorp’s sixth.

Launceston then came again with a Whiting goal, a successful conversion from Jake Nunn and Sellars’ second reducing the gap to just eight points with time ticking by.

However, the result was put beyond doubt via Deverell’s third in the second half to finalise the 15.9 (99) to 13.7 (85) result.

Dylan Riley was a solid contributor for the victors, putting his leg speed and skills to great use.

Enniss shut Blackberry down, Deverell proved a competitive beast and Nathan Rataj toiled hard.

For the home side Nunn and Sellars performed well, while Jake Smith and Rundle led the on ballers in perfect conditions for football.

Burnie’s brilliant afternoon

By Alex Fair

‘’It is pretty emotional really.’’

That’s how Burnie captain Kade Munday described his Saturday afternoon at West Park, when he ran out for the Dockers for the 289th time, passing the mark of 288 set by Tom Lee from the Cooee days.

It made for just about the perfect day for Munday and the Dockers, who defeated Glenorchy by 26 points, 11.13 (79) to 7.11 (53), in their State League top-of-the-table clash.

‘’We talked a little bit about it (the record) before the game, and there was the build-up during the week, which you are just not used to,’’ Munday said post-game.

‘’But it was good to get the result, as that is best possible way to cap the day off.

‘’I do appreciate what the footy club have done this week.’’

It was a milestone that Munday and his teammates didn’t get lost in.

It was a game full of pressure and intensity, with a real physical nature to it, which resulted in two Dockers finding their name in the umpire’s book.

Zac Smith, for tripping, and Darren Banham, for rough conduct, were reported, and other incidents are likely be assessed, in the only real negative for coach Clint Proctor.

The home team were fired up and kicked five of the first six goals, a lead that soon stretched to 36 points.

Glenorchy weren’t in it early, taking more than 10 minutes to register an inside 50, and that came from a 50-metre penalty.

It was pressure from Smith and Zane Murphy saw Glenorchy off-balance.

After that onslaught, the Magpies were able to even things up somewhat, but the initial gap was too great.

As effective as Burnie were in attack with the breeze, they doubled that effort in defence against it, with John Holland and Rudy Barrett leading that.

Two men played key hands after half-time.

Harry Walters kicked two in the third and Banham kicked one and set up another.

Banham finished with two, including one which came after following up from his own smother in the first term.

James Dowling kicked three, with Nick McKenna two early before spending time in defence.

For Glenorchy, Jaye Bowden was outstanding, with James Webb and Jordon Arnold also having strong games.

Proctor described it as a ‘’tough’’ win, which leaves his side undefeated after four rounds.

‘’They (Glenorchy) were hard and ferocious,’’  he said.

‘’Getting that break early, with the wind, allowed us to take some calculated risks, which paid off.’’

He praised the pressure his midfield provided, but knows they face another challenge against North Launceston.

Undisciplined acts did upset him, with Banham and Smith facing potential stints on the sidelines.

But he did not believe his team were any more ‘’dirty’’ than Glenorchy.

One thing he was proud of was the fact they didn’t get caught up in the occasion of Munday’s milestone.

‘’They understood and embraced the occasion, and they knew if we got caught up in it, we would have fallen away.’

Proctor suffered a head knock when met by a Glenorchy opponent in the first quarter, while Romain Grenville’s hamstring is still troubling him.

Dockers stay on top after tough win

By Alex Fair, The Advocate

THERE was something a bit old school about Burnie and Glenorchy’s State League top-of-the-table clash at West Park on Saturday.

The physicality of the contest, with just a bit of off-the-ball attention, stood out as Burnie continued its undefeated start with an 11.13 (79) to 7.11 (53) victory.

That intensity displayed what was at stake.

The Magpies were making a rare trip to the Coast, and were out to prove that could conquer Clint Proctor’s men away from home.

The Dockers had two main areas of focus.

The first was to show they could bring down the powerful Magpies and at the same time ensure that Kade Munday’s record breaking day was one of celebration.

The 33-year-old captain played a club record 289th game.

The Dockers were fired up and kicked five of the first six goals.

It was a lead that stretched to 36 points deep in the first term, with the scoreboard reading 7.6 to 2.0.

Glenorchy weren’t in the contest early, taking more than 10 minutes to register an inside 50, and that came from a 50-metre penalty.

But after that initial onslaught, the Magpies were able to even things up around the ground.

But the initial gap was too great.

As effective as Burnie were early in attack with the breeze, they doubled that effort in defence against it.

They may not have a kicked a goal in the second quarter, but they only conceded one to prove this fact.

Two men played key hands in the second half..

Harry Walters kicked two majors in the third and Darren Banham kicked one and set up another, in what would be the only additions to the goal tally for the home team to ensure victory.

‘’They (Glenorchy) were hard and ferocious, so it really was a tough win,’’  coach Clint Proctor said post-game.

‘’Getting that break early, with the wind, allowed us to take some calculated risks, which paid off.’’

He said his players had embraced Munday’s milestone, and he was proud they had not got lost in the emotion of the day.

Proctor praised  Zane Murphy and Zac Smith’s pressure for stifling the Magpies’ possession game and helping build that early lead.

John Holland and Rudy Barrett led an outstanding defence.

For Glenorchy, Jaye Bowden was his usual self, having an impact all over the ground, while Josh Arnold was also prominent.

Dockers to face tribunal after tough game

By Brett Stubbs, The Mercury

BURNIE’S comfortable victory over Glenorchy at West Park could have its conclusion at the tribunal.

Celebrating captain Kade Munday’s club record 289th senior game, the Dockers jumped the Pies in the first quarter with the breeze, defended magnificently against it in the second and then cruised to victory, 11.13 (79) to 7.11 (53).

Two Dockers, Zac Smith (tripping) and Darren Banham (rough conduct) went into the book, while the umpires took note of another eight incidents to be looked at.

Glenorchy coach Aaron Cornelius said the match did get physical.

“It got out of control there,” Cornelius said.

“There were a lot of off the ball incidents on some of our better players, they got hit late which are obviously being looked at.”

Burnie playing-coach Clint Proctor was unavailable for comment.

Using a four-five goal breeze in the first term, the Dockers had 14 shots on goal to open up a 27-point lead, but won the game in the second stanza by restricting the visitors to just 1.5 with the tailwind to remain the only undefeated side in the TSL.

The second half was relatively even but the damage had been done.

Cornelius was impressed with what he saw but far from daunted.

“They are a pretty good outfit,” he said.

“They play an older style footy, it is nothing out of the top.

“When we played our best footy and moved the ball quickly they couldn’t go with us but they are strong and they are physical and they are very good at home.”

The Dockers have the chance to shore up premiership favouritism when they host dual champions North Launceston next Saturday.

‘Old blokes’ rise to challenge for Demons

By James Bresnehan, The Mercury

CLARENCE’S  loss to Hobart City Demons at Blundstone Arena yesterday was compounded by the report of star recruit Ian Callinan for swearing at a field umpire and ball magnet Jake Cox wrecking his ankle.

The Roos are winless on the bottom of the ladder after four rounds and now face the possibility of losing two of their key players.

Callinan’s case will go to the match review panel tomorrow. A low-level breach will attract a sanction or reprimand and if it is deemed to be a serious breach Callinan will front the TSL Tribunal tomorrow or Tuesday night.

The Demons were rapt with their first win of the year and maiden win for playing coach Kane Richter.

“It’s always good to get a win early on to give them a bit of belief and understanding that we are going down the right track. It’s really pleasing,” Richter said. The two teams played a close contest but when Callinan kicked his fifth early in the last and then missed two shots off his non-preferred left boot, the Roos were dominating.

But hard-nut Jake Briggs inspired a turnaround for the visitors.

Briggs kicked two of the Demons’ three fourth-quarter majors, and with Ryan Cowie bagging the other, it was enough to get them home 12.9 (81) to 10.10 (70).

“I put it on the old blokes at halftime. I said at some point in this game it’s going to come down to the old blokes standing up,” Richter said.

“Briggsy was fantastic. He took charge of the forward line and I wouldn’t like to come up against him in a one-on-one contest because he’s got too much pig in him to want to lose.

“But as a group, a big part about today was building resilience and not giving up, not chucking in the towel when it gets tough.” Clarence coach Trent Bartlett felt his men snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.

“Our last quarter was terrible,” Bartlett said.

“Our genuine effort wasn’t there. Too many guys didn’t want it enough and that resulted in 18 inside 50s to them and we had seven in that last quarter. “We did some good things today. Our good footy is good, our bad footy is bad. We’ve got to close the gap between the two.’’

Lauderdale makes accuracy count

By Simeon Thomas-Wilson, The Mercury

IN a battle of the Bombers, it was Lauderdale’s attacking arsenal that was too accurate and powerful as it blitzed North Launceston in the second quarter to set up a statement-sending victory.

After the southern Bombers took a eight-point lead into the first break at Lauderdale yesterday, the southern Bombers came out firing in the second — kicking seven goals and keeping North Launceston scoreless — as they inflicted a first defeat on the reigning premiers this year 14.14 (98) to 5.13 (43).

Tough as nails on-baller Kaine Waller got things rolling as the home side kicked with the wind and down the slope, goaling just 20 seconds into the second stanza and from there it was all Lauderdale in the quarter and the match.

Nick Dodge claimed two of his six goals soon after Waller’s breakthrough.

Weston Tate Turvey also kicked two in the second to cap a fine performance by the youngster, who was also able to keep Taylor Whitford quiet while Dylan Fyfe and Ryan Wiggins struck in added time to give the southern Bombers a 38-point lead at half time — and their northern counterparts never recovered.

A shift back to defence for Sam Siggins ensured the southern Bombers stood firm when the northern Bombers came calling, Thor Boscott continued his fine start to the season and Bryce Walsh was also solid in the midfield.

With wins over last season’s premiers and grand finalists in the opening three games for Lauderdale, coach Darren Winter said it had been a fine start to the season by his side.

“We’ve had out of the three games so far probably 11 good quarters and it was only the last quarter against Devonport that really let us down,” Winter said.

“The boys are strong and fit and playing some really good footy.”

A poor day at the office for the reigning premiers was compounded with Hadyn Goss being taken by ambulance for scans on a suspected broken hand but North Launceston coach Zane Littlejohn said his side would learn from the defeat.

“They were very good, we didn’t turn up to play and if you don’t turn up to play against a good opposition you don’t get the result,” Littlejohn said.

“The beauty of losses is that your culture really gets tested and that’s what will happen — and it’s about us standing up, we believe it will stand up and we will have to work out why we lost.”

Battle of the bombers

By Simeon Thomas-Wilson, The Mercury

IT is only round four but Lauderdale coach Darren Winter says his side’s match against North Launceston is a vita­l one for the southern Bombers’ TSL top three aspirations.

After no action last week because of the bye, the Northern Bombers travel down to Lauderdale today to take on their southern counterparts with another close encounter between the two well and truly on the cards.

The two were barely separated last year with Lauderdale taking out the first game bet­ween the two by a point and then, in the second semi-final, big Daniel Roozendaal kicked a goal with less than a minute on the clock to hand North Launceston a three-point win.

But Winter said that today was not about gaining rev­enge from the heartbreaking season-ending loss last year, it was about ensuring the southern Bombers give themselves the best chance of breaking through to the top three.

“No, not really [looking for revenge]. We have a few new players in this year’s team so they wouldn’t have experienced the loss last year. We can’t change what happened last year anyway,” Winter said.

“If we want to be a contender for a top-three spot we have to win these games against the big teams.

“It’s certainly one of those games we need to win so we can get a top-three spot and not play in elimination finals later on this year.”

For the Northern Bombers, ensuring that Brad Cox-Goodyear’s 100th senior game for the club will be just as big a motivation as continuing their unbeaten start to the season.

“We try and set a precedent and win all the milestone games but you also just want to win all games in general,” North Launceston coach Zane Littlejohn said.

“He [Cox-Goodyear] is only turning 23, I think, so to play 100 games at that level now is a good effort for him.”

In other action this weekend, Glenorchy makes the big road trip up to West Park to take on early pacesetters Burnie in a top-of-the-table match.

Tomorrow Launceston ent­ertains Devonport at Windsor Park, with the Blues looking to bounce back after a drubbing from the Magpies last week.

Bombers set for raid south

By Phil Edwards, The Examiner

NORTH Launceston will renew their State League rivalry with Lauderdale in another battle of the Bombers encounter with a road trip south on Saturday.

The Northern and Southern Bombers played out two thrilling encounters last season with Lauderdale getting up to win by a solitary point at home and North fighting hard to win their first semi-final clash at Aurora Stadium by three points.

North has had wins over Launceston and Devonport to start their season while Lauderdale is 1-1 after knocking off Glenorchy in the opening round but falling to Devonport last week.

The reigning premiers face two tough road trips in a row heading to Lauderdale this week and Burnie next week.

“Probably the toughest two trips in Tassie footy to be honest and  a really good challenge and one we are looking forward to,” North Launceston coach Zane Littlejohn said.

“They will be one of the real improvers this year and no doubt they will be super disappointed with the result last week.

“They have winners on every line, are strong in defence with Hill and those guys, Wiggins, Cassidy and Siggins who plays forward and their onballers are some of the best in the state.”

Littlejohn said the bye had allowed his players to freshen up but Clarence and Lauderale had both suffered defeats coming off byes and North would be keen to reverse that trend.

“Our program has been pretty successful and we’re confident it will be successful again – our game style and the way we want to play will stand up on any ground and hopefully will stand up really strong this week.

“I have no doubt that if our playing group buy into it and we have our 22 contributors I am pretty confident of a really good result.”

North will rest exciting 16-year-old talent Tarryn Thomas this week with a return to the Development League in their only likely change.

Premiership player Dakota Bannister has returned from Queensland and is pressing for a senior call-up but Littlejohn said they will look at team balance before finalising their line-up.

In other round 4 matches, Launceston host Devonport on Sunday at Windsor Park while Burnie will put their unbeaten record on the line against Glenorchy who make the road trip to West Park.

Clarence play Hobart City and Tigers have the bye.

Blues aim to feast on Pies

By Phil Edwards

LAUNCESTON will look to bounce back from last week’s big defeat at the hands of Glenorchy when they host Devonport in their State League round 4 clash at Windsor Park on Sunday.

Blues coach Chris Hills said his team needed to improve and get more physical.

“If we took the second quarter out of the game last week, when they kicked roughly ten goals to none, it wasn’t that bad for a trip to Glenorchy against quality opposition and without that quarter we would have gone down by 25 to 30 points,’’ Hills said.

“I was a little bit disappointed with our tackling efforts and we have not been good enough in that area and not had enough tackles altogether.

“We try to keep positive about things and footy is a long season and you can’t dwell on one game so we try to get over that as quick as we can and move on to the next one and hopefully turn things around.”

Hills said Devonport were a strong and physical side and would be on a high after their last quarter comeback last week to beat Lauderdale.

“We have to play for the four quarters again and we will have a few changes this week but being a Sunday game we will give everyone a full opportunity to come up for Friday night.

“It gives us that extra day for recovery and a bit of work – there will be one or two but I can’t say who they are now.

“We’ve had a pretty good run with injury so far but Hamish Leedham will miss with suspension.

“We will have a heart to heart with some players and we have the opportunity this year to bring some players up and you don’t just get a game because we don’t have that pressure.”

DEVONPORT coach Mitch Thorp was very happy with his side’s comeback to defeat Lauderdale last week.

“Lauderdale are certainly a very strong side knocking off Glenorchy in round 1 and it was a good effort to play four quarters and a complete turnaround from the previous week where we had all the play against North and they overran us – we did the same to Lauderdale so a positive win.”

Thorp said the win was a confidence boost for his team after losses to Burnie and North after being in a position to win both those games.

“The aim is to even the ledger at 2-2 but once again I am very respectful of some of the players they have in their side and they are coming off a pretty big loss last week and will be pretty keen to bounce back at home this week so we need to make sure we are ready to go.”

Windsor Park has been a good hunting ground for the Pies in the past and they recorded a couple of good wins there last season.

“It is a great ground to play footy on at TSL level and we really enjoy playing there – it is nice and big and long and we’ve already had two games this year in practice games so looking forward to going back there and getting a positive result.”

Jesse Johnson is likely to return after suffering an ankle injury in a pre-season game.

“Kurt Heazlewood is very close to returning but we will probably give him another week to make sure he is ready to go after having minor knee surgery after round 1 and he is not too far away which would be another boost for us as well.”

Cody Thorp was named and could join his two brothers for his first game with the Pies.

Cox-Goodyer reaches 100-game milestone

By Phil Edwards, The Examiner

NORTH Launceston midfielder-forward Brad Cox-Goodyer will bring up his 100th senior game for the club against Lauderdale on Saturday.

The 22-year-old, dual premiership player, has been an integral part of the Bombers success in the past two seasons.

“It is a pretty good achievement I guess and I have played here since I was nine years old and I have watched the seniors growing up so playing 100 senior games is pretty exciting especially with two premierships involved in that as well,” Cox-Goodyer said.

Cox-Goodyer debuted in seniors in 2009 and said the Northern Bombers were looking forward to the challenge of travelling to play Lauderdale.

“It’s obviously a challenge but we think we are good enough to win.

“Obviously we have had a few changes since last season but we have some guys coming through who have been around three or four years and know what we are about so it’s not so much the personnel changes but the way we go about our game.”