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.