Written by Andrew Johnston
Hobart City Demons put further credence to claims they are a finals quality side with a strong 27 point win over Launceston at North Hobart Oval.
The Demons showcased fantastic free flowing, fast football with the W duo of Josh Williamson and Sean Willis, integral in earning the W for the improving Demons.
Willis (three) and Williamson (five) inspired an electric second half with their pace on the break a feature of a dominant performance. The win boosts their finals credentials and draws them level with the Blues on points and in the top five logjam with percentage only separating third through sixth.
Launceston went into the game without gun ruckman Hamish Leedham but it didn’t seem to hinder them, as they shot out of the blocks with Rulla Kelly-Mansell threatening to break the game apart in the opening quarter. The dynamic half forward led up well and took his grabs but did not make the hosts pay on the scoreboard, kicking 2.2 for the opener.
It looked ominous for the Demons with Launceston starting the second stanza with intent. Sonny Whiting had a quiet game but he had an impact to start the term with three shots on goal in quick succession, he kicked one of the Blues two seeing them shoot out to a handsome early quarter lead. City nailed their tactics all day and they did well to quickly stifle the dangerous Kelly-Mansell after quarter time, with the skipper Hugh Williams lining up on the forward to blunt his influence. The Demons responded emphatically as Josh Williamson lit a fire under Hobart City that turned the game their way. Williamson kicked two goals in the space of a minute, and set up another, steering his team to a seven point lead at the major break as the wet weather set in.
The Demons kept the foot to the pedal with a dominant third quarter, kicking three goals in the early stages of a quarter where scores were hard to manage. Sean Willis led up beautifully, while Ryan Matthews led a spirited response from the on ball brigade. Eddie Cole had a great quarter, finding the footy and kicking a beatiful goal, while Will Campbell’s defensive work through the guts was tremendous. A late goal from Blue Jay Blackberry gave Launceston a lifeline, trailing by 19 at the final break.
Joel Smith breathed greater life into a comeback for the Blues when he finished off the first of the last but the Demons responded promptly and kicked away. Willis and Williamson continued their brilliant game, cutting apart the Launceston defence on the break. Jay Blackberry and Sam Lonergan battled hard for the visitors but it wasn’t to be with Demons making it three wins on the trot.
Hobart City assistant coach Richard Robinson was incredibly satisfied with their performance following up their upset win over Clarence last week
“I think it’s just a sign the group is maturing. They’ve been able to train really well in the week, and we’ve backed it up with another win today.”
The loss of Leedham changed their plans with Nathan O’Donoghue forced to play the bulk of the game in the ruck.
“I thought we played some really good footy in patches. We knew we had our backs against the wall, with some internal things and some outs, some significant changes and we knew we were in for a pretty tough challenge.”
Hobart City enter the bye with a lot of confidence from a winning run while for Launceston, it’s a difficult showdown against Glenorchy at Windsor Park.
Hobart City Demons 3.1, 7.3, 10.6, 14.8 (92)
Launceston 3.5, 5.8, 6.9, 9.11 (65)
GOALS, Hobart City Demons :
J. Williamson 5, S. Willis 3, J. Maple 1, K. Wisniewski 1, S. Caswell 1, B. Grant 1,
E. Cole 1, H. Williams 1
R. Kelly-Mansell 2, S. Whiting 2, J. Blackberry 1, J. Smith 1, C. Savage 1, J. Nunn 1
BEST, Hobart City Demons :
J. Maple, J. Williamson, E. Cole, S. Willis, H. Williams, H. Williams
J. Blackberry, C. Savage, J. Boyce, S. Lonergan, S. Williams, M. Hodge