By Brad Cole, The Advocate
The road to premiership glory has been a long and painful one for former North-West Coast pair Rhys Mott and Ben Reynolds.
Between the two of them there had been seven failed attempts, all of which were in black and white jumpers.
Reynolds went through the agony of Devonport’s three consecutive NWFL grand final losses from 2004-2006, with Mott joining him for the TSL disappointment in 2010 and Glenorchy’s shock loss to North Launceston last year.
But after the Magpies atoned for last season’s result with 20-point win on Saturday, the relief on both their faces was plain for all to see.
“It’s been a long time coming, so it’s a pretty special moment,” Reynolds said after the game.
“I was surprised the final quarter was so short – I thought there was still a couple more minutes to go – so when that final siren went I was pretty relieved.”
“When it got to that 26-minute mark, I was hoping the siren would go and go and go, but what an unreal feeling at the moment” Mott added.
After another outstanding season, which saw him named captain in the TSL’s team of the year, Reynolds almost made it a perfect year with a runner-up finish behind teammate Clinton French in the voting for the Darrel Baldock medal for best afield in the grand final.
With North Launceston bombing the ball regularly into its forward line, Reynolds dominated in the air to repel the attacks and send his team forward.
“I just wanted to defend well and back myself that if the ball was in the air I could mark it,” Reynolds said.
“The way the game panned out it probably played into my hands.”
Mott had a quiet first half as both teams found goals hard to come by, but worked his way into the game in the second half as Glenorchy made their move.
He believed the semi-final loss to the Bombers a fortnight earlier had helped his team in the long run.
“The result in the semi-final was probably the best thing that happened to us in the end,” Mott said.
“It sharpened us up a bit because we were undisciplined, but today we done everything right and we know when we play our best footy we’re the best team.”
There was no fairytale finish however for outgoing North Launceston coach Zane Littlejohn as he prepares for his new role with the Brisbane Lions.
“That’s the beauty about sport – it can be a killer or you can write some fairytales at times,” Littlejohn said.
“I said when I got the job that I wanted to leave it (the club) in a better place that I found it and I hope I have done that – it would have been nice to have won a a premiership today but unfortunately that wasn’t the result.”