Written by Alex FitzGerald
Saturday 1st July
Clarence vs Devonport (Blundstone Arena) 1:00pm
Last Time They Met: Clarence 19.8.122 def Devonport 8.9.57 (Round 4, 2017, at Devonport Oval)
A six goal to none first term saw Clarence defeat Eastern shore rivals Lauderdale by 18 points last week, while Devonport claimed their maiden victory of season 2017 with a convincing display against fellow coastal side Burnie. Last time these sides met, Clarence defeated Devonport by 65 points, with defender Jason Bailey leading a strong team effort.
Clarence booted the first six goals at Lauderdale Oval last week and outside of a few minutes in the second, remained in front all afternoon, with Ian Callinan kicking two unbelievable majors, early. He finished with three for the day to be among the Roo’s best, while Sam Siggins also imposed himself on the match to finish with two goals. Jason Bailey and James Holmes were outstanding in defence, although Bailey will miss this week after being suspended for striking Ryan Wiggins. Brady Jones and Jackson O’Brien controlled the midfield, but it was the performance of Kyle Palmer-Hughes that stood out as he finds his feet at senior level. Jake Cox will still be out of action but in the story of the weekend Jordan Roberts returns to senior football after two and a half years on the sidelines thanks to two ACLs.
Devonport broke through for a well-deserved win over the Dockers, with Mitch Thorp’s 60-game plan starting to pay dividends as the young playing group improves each time they step onto the field. Thorp was solid up forward in booting three goals, and he was joined in attack by usual midfielder Dylan Riley, who finished with three majors of his own playing at full forward. Riley’s co-captain Beau Sharman was best afield, and the tough midfielder now has a solid month of football under his belt. Teenager Mitchell Perry continues to show he belongs at TSL level, with a standout game in defence and lively when up forward late in the match. Brayden Butler and Brayden Scott also played well across the four quarters, but will welcome the inclusion of Brad Symmons this week after serving a one match suspension.
Clarence will leave nothing in the tank this week, with a win meaning they will be on top of the ladder and a game clear of North Launceston. Devonport will go into the game confident, however, with the taste of a win in their mouths and nothing to lose. The absence of Bailey means that a mismatch on Thorp is likely, and while the Roos should win comfortably with their strong list depth, don’t be surprised if the boys from Devonport push them at stages.
Launceston vs Lauderdale (Windsor Park) 1:00pm
Last Time They Met: Launceston 15.11.101 def Lauderdale 13.12.90 (Round 4, 2017, at Lauderdale Oval)
Launceston matched North Launceston in the Northern derby until half time last week, but fell away in the third quarter to go down by 21 points. Lauderdale fought back after conceding the first six goals again Clarence at home last Saturday, but ultimately fell short by 18 points. Last time these sides faced off, Launceston prevailed in a shootout, with Blues midfielder Brodie Palfreyman best afield and Rulla Kelly-Mansell slotting three goals.
After a run of wins, Launceston let North Launceston get on top late in the match last Friday night to fall short at the final siren. Brodie Palfreyman continued his strong run of form, with the midfielder now among the names on the RACT Player of the Year Leaderboard. Jack Donnellan recaptured some of his early season form with a fine game capped off with a crowd-pleasing long goal. Sam Lonergan, Sonny Whiting and Sam Rundle all kicked two goals, with the dangerous Rulla Kelly-Mansell held to a single major after his seven goal haul the week previous. Ryan Tyrell, Brendan Taylor and the lesser known Jimmy Aganas all put in admirable performances for the Blues under lights as well.
Lauderdale’s run of six straight wins came to an end at home last week, but not without a spirited fight back from the Bombers. Josh McGuinness impressed after being switched from defence into the midfield, while Jordon Roberts made the most of limited opportunities up forward to finish with a four goal haul. Phil Bellchambers continues to impress of late, and Saturday was no exception. Alex Hill and tough nut Scott Hill also showed why they’re so highly regarded with strong performances as a number of the bigger names were unable to fire against a more experienced Roos outfit. Lauderdale will welcome back the lively Thor Boscott from suspension, and his inclusion should inspire a much improved performance from the Bombers.
This clash in undoubtedly the match of the round, with both sides having proven at stages this season that their best football is not far off that of Clarence or North Launceston. Hosting the game will give Launceston an advantage, but the Bombers have shown that travelling doesn’t faze them, having defeated North Launceston on the road only a few weeks ago. With both sides boasting strong midfields and depth in defence, the key to the four points could well be locking down the respective forward targets. Expect a margin of less than five goals as both sides are known for playing with conviction deep into final terms. A win is important for Lauderdale, as a loss would leave their spot in the top five very vulnerable.
Tigers vs Glenorchy (Twin Ovals) – 2:00pm
Last Time They Met: Glenorchy 15.15.105 def Tigers 5.5.35 (Round 4, 2017, at KGV Oval)
Glenorchy had the bye last week after defeating Devonport in lazy fashion on the road in Round 11. The Tigers undoubtedly put in their worst performance of the season last week, managing only three goals as they went down to Hobart City Demons without as much as a whimper. Last time these sides met was the Anzac Day clash, where Jaye Bowden booted five goals and midfielders Mitch Rainbird and Brayden Webb dominated all afternoon.
Tigers’ coach Aaron Vince said he felt let down by his players following their loss to Hobart City Demons, so don’t be surprised with the wholesale changes made to the field last week. Mariners’ trio Lachlan Gadomski and Lachie Clifford continued their strong seasons with resilient efforts in a difficult match last week, while Mitch Carter was one of few who stood up in defence. Don’t be surprised if challenges are issued to forward targets Brandon Batchelor and Mitch Walker this week, as the Tigers’ results seem to depend on whether they fire or not. With finals all but out of the question, Vince will blood some fresh faces who show the hunger to play TSL football.
Glenorchy sit in fourth spot on the ladder, but their healthy percentage means that they can move up a rung if Launceston are defeated by Lauderdale. The Pies put in a good team effort against Devonport the week before the bye, without playing spectacularly. Jaye Bowden went goalless, but worked hard to finish with more than 30 disposals. Cameron Duffy rucked well all day, and captain Brayden Webb benefited from his work to get busy in the midfield. Connor Salter and Brady Quinn were named among the Pies’ best, as was Tim Butterworth, who has worked himself into form after a late start to the season. Zac Webster will be unavailable this week after being suspended for an undisciplined strike on his Devonport opponent.
This game is a must-win for Glenorchy, who will be keen to silence any doubters with a strong four-quarter performance against an out of sorts Tigers outfit. The hosts are out with something to prove themselves after bitterly disappointing Vince last week, and while the Tigers have the talent to challenge the top sides in patches, it will be a strong effort that will be required if they are to come close to a pleasing result. The Magpies should win comfortably here, but expect a physical and tough contest at Twin Ovals.
Burnie vs Hobart City Demons (West Park) 2:30pm
Last Time They Met: Hobart City Demons 10.12.72 def Burnie 9.9.63 (Round 4, 2017, at Queenborough Oval)
Burnie started slowly last week and found it hard to close the gap against Devonport, going down by 34 points. Hobart City Demons showed what they are capable of when playing confident fast-moving football, beating the Tigers comfortably at North Hobart Oval. When these two sides played earlier in the season, Burnie threatened to steal the match late before two clutch goals to the Hobart City Demons saw them claim a narrow victory after being the more impressive side for most of the contest.
Burnie will be disappointed with how they played last week in what was a winnable match up, and now find themselves last on the ladder. The upside of blooding so many young players has been the form of a number of teenagers. Last week highlighted this, with a strong number of first and second year players named among the best. Bailey Boag, Sam Kalbfell and Darcy Crane all stood up in the loss, and have surprised many with the rate of their development as they grow in confidence each week. Crane kicked two majors, as did playing coach Clint Proctor and the in-form Rudi Barrett. Nick McKenna also had a good second half when moved onto Mitch Thorp in an attempt to quell his influence up forward.
Hobart City Demons showed why they’re the dark horse of the competition, with an impressive display resulting in a 54 point win over the Tigers. Josh Williamson booted three goals, including one from well outside 50, while youngster Sam Caswell chipped in with two of his own from a good game across half forward. Charles White was dominant, with the big man starting to impact games in a big way. Hugh Williams put in another big effort in defence, while Jesse Maple rounded out a big month of June with a solid game in the midfield. Mariner Baxter Norton played his best game of the season, with the youth policy of the club starting to pay dividends. Will Campbell will miss the next fortnight after being suspended for a high bump, with a midfield spot now up for grabs.
If they are any chance of making a finals appearance this season, the boys from North Hobart Oval will need to win this game comfortably and boost their percentage in the process. The trip to West Park is a daunting one however, with Burnie’s knowledge of the ground giving them a big advantage, as they’ve proven already in a number of contests this year. With a tough run of games ahead, expect the Dockers to challenge as they eye off a coveted second win. This game will go down to the wire, and while the Hobart City Demons enter as favourites, don’t be overly surprised if there’s an upset result come late Saturday afternoon.