North opens TSL doors

North Melbourne and AFL Tasmania have announced a new partnership that will enable Tasmanian State League (TSL) players to be eligible for selection in North’s VFL side.

North VFL Manager Andrew Carson said the partnership, which extends to VFLW and the Melbourne University Women’s Football Club (MUWFC), is designed to help retain the TSL talent pool in both the men’s and women’s competitions and reduce the number of players leaving to pursue football careers interstate.

“We’re committed to developing the game and players in Tasmania and jumped at this opportunity to further enhance the prospects of TSL players,” Carson said.

“These players will have the opportunity to come and train and play with us and be exposed to the AFL standards and requirements we set for our VFL players.”

Carson said the agreement would be mutually beneficial.

“There is an added bonus for these players who will now have exposure across two State League competitions. The VFL produced another five players through the National and Rookie Drafts this year, and we hope to help create more draft prospects out of Tasmania.

“We hope the players will be able to take their learnings and experiences back to their TSL clubs and help with the development of club programs.”

Tasmanian State League Manager, Carl Saunder, said the partnership was a tremendous outcome for the state.

“We continue to partner with North Melbourne to develop our elite talent pathway and this is an extension of that,” Saunder said.

“As a competition, we are really excited about this partnership with North Melbourne and the opportunities it provides for both male and female players.

“This is an opportunity for TSL players to improve and impress and for our TSL clubs to retain promising talent and remain strong.

“For our TSLW players, it is a fantastic opportunity to impress in the VFLW with the Tassie Roos just around the corner.”

North’s affiliation with Tasmania continues to go from strength to strength, not only with the announcement of the AFLW side, but also at a grassroots level.

North Hobart’s Bear ready to growl

He was a Premiership player for the club in 2003 and in 2018 he is the main in charge of leading North Hobart back toward footy’s promised land.

Richard ‘Bear’ Robinson has been confirmed as North Hobart’s new coach for season 2018, following the recent departure of General Manager and Coach, Kane Richter.

Robinson steps up to the top job after fulfilling the role of assistant at the club. The experienced journeyman has been in the system for some time, including serving as an assistant in Clarence’s 2010 premiership and after serving a lengthy apprenticeship, the man they call ‘Bear’ is now ready to take charge.

“I thought this group needs someone that has been there for the last couple of years to keep improving and to continue the journey and it is about time I got out of my comfort zone a bit and had a crack.

“It has always been an ambition but you just never think you are going to get the chance.”

The self-confessed footy nut said he fell out of love with the game and it was a return to his home club to work with Kane Richter that rekindled his affinity for the game.

“Five or six years ago I nearly took on the Glenorchy job but I stayed at Clarence and then coached at St Virgils. Obviously, my time at the Saints wasn’t ideal and I sort of lost my love for the game a bit and lost a bit of confidence. And then in the last few years with Kane (Richter), I got that love back again.

“When Kane (Richter) decided to move I decided to throw my hat in the ring (for the job).

While he was in favour of the change back to the traditional moniker, it was not the shift to North Hobart that inspired ‘Bear’ to put his hand up for the top job.

“Whether we were called Hobart City or North Hobart I didn’t care, I was still keen to have a crack at it. It is the people and the players that are important.”

He played in the club’s last premiership 14 years ago and is keen to steer the Dees back up the top end of the ladder but acknowledges it will not be a quick journey.

“It has been a big part of my life and I’ve made some lifelong friends that are still very close today and it is nice that they are going to jump back on board and help the club.

“I’m here to keep developing these kids and continue the work Kane started.”

To see the Demons breakthrough for a finals berth, a greater emphasis will be needed on pressure, Robinson explains.

“Defensively we need to get better we have conceded too many points, all around the ground we need to create a stronger emphasis on restricting the opposition and create more pressure.”

Plenty has been made of fellow former Demons assistant Trent Baumeler’s move to the Tigers, and what it may mean for the Demons playing stocks. Robinson welcomes a friendly rivalry between the two young outfits with his mate now a worthy adversary.

“We are good friends, we were on the phone having a good laugh looking at the paper. Kane Richter thinks he is the Alastair Clarkson of the TSL.

“It is good he has an opportunity as well, he deserves it and I wish him all the best.”

 

Tigers unveil new coach

The Tigers have become the latest TSL team to lock down a coach, unveiling the sought after Trent Baumeler as the club’s new head honcho for season 2018.

Baumeler arrives at Twin Ovals after two seasons at the Hobart City Demons, while also impressing with recent work with the state academy, coaching the Under 17s team.

The new Tigers coach replaces Aaron Vince at the helm, who sensationally stepped in at the last hour following the sacking of Scott Mathieson on the eve of the season.

The Tigers beat off rival suitors to secure the services of Baumeler with North Hobart also keen to secure the young coach for the upcoming season.

While he crosses over from a TSL rival, Baumeler is no stranger to Kingborough, spending two years playing for the club in 2005/06. His yellow and black return makes it the club’s fourth coach since joining the TSL, with the hope that their newest arrival will lead the club to September action.

“The Board believes that Trent will be an outstanding Coach for the Tigers group and we look forward to watching him implement his plan with the playing group beginning with pre-season which will start in the next couple of weeks,” President Steve Old shared on the club’s Facebook page.

Baumeler is excited to take the step up to senior coaching with the title of Tigers Senior Coach sitting well with the former Demons assistant.

“There are only nine of these jobs going around in the state so it is an honour and a privilege to get an opportunity to be a senior coach but the hard work starts now.

“I’ve got to get to work making sure we retain our list, getting pre-season organised and meeting the players and the board to start to assimilate myself into the Tigers Footy Club.”

Baumeler was approached by the Tigers to present for the role of Senior Coach and he says the impressive process and vision the club has made Twin Ovals a desirable destination for his coaching future.

“The board, the facility, the playing list they have been developing over the journey since they came into the TSL were all appealing factors. If we can put some good things in place I think we can make some real quick strides in what we can achieve on and off the field,” he said.

The Tigers faithful are eager to taste success and while Baumeler is similarly keen for improvements on ladder position, he preaches a broader focus.

“It would be beautiful to have some quantum jumps and improve massively in the win/loss column but firstly it is about relationships and culture and getting some structure and standards. Not just in how we play footy but how we act as people around the club and with the footy community.”

While the Tigers opportunity excites, Baumeler admits it was a difficult decision to leave North Hobart.

“It is always hard to leave, you spend two years there and you spend time at a footy club you build relationships, you get close with people and you see their improvement. It is always a difficult decision to move on but when you get an opportunity that is new and exciting, where you can put your stamp on things with a new group it is really hard to pass up.”

The incoming Tigers supremo is confident he is ready for the step up into senior coaching, fulfilling a long-held ambition.

“The good thing about working with Kane (Richter) is he gave the coaching staff a lot of rope to make decisions but also to implement things into the gameplan, to take blocks of training and pre-game stuff. That along with the exposure to the state academy system, working with Matty Armstrong and Lance Spaulding has really helped my development, it enables you to fast track yourself pretty quickly and I feel pretty comfortable sitting in the senior coach’s chair.”

“I spent some time at Hutchins developing my coaching craft and I didn’t want to be one of those blokes that sat back and thought I should have gone and had a crack at coaching TSL level. So there was always that little ambition and Kane (Richter) was great in pushing me to try and become a senior coach so I imagine he is smiling as well.”

In taking on the job, Baumeler wants his 2018 Tigers to be known for defensive pressure and effort.

“Effort is key. We want to play high defensive pressure and I also want the guys to be aggressive with how they use the footy and not be afraid to make mistakes and take the game on and use the big ground with leg speed.

“Defensive pressure and effort for 120 minutes is the first building block and getting that mindset right and the offence will flow from that.”

Bombers reappoint Winter

Lauderdale Football Club have re-appointed Darren Winter as the club’s senior coach for 2018, with Assistant Clinton Brown to take the reins for the first six weeks as Winter serves his suspension.

See the below statement from Lauderdale President Julie Kay.

The Lauderdale Football Club’s Board of Directors last night re-appointed Darren Winter as Senior Coach for the 2018 TSL season. Because of Darren’s 6 week suspension, Assistant Coach, Clinton Brown will coach our senior team for the first six weeks of the home and away roster. We are in the process of appointing a number of specialist coaches to our panel which will add another layer of expertise and support for our football department.

Darren has the full support of the playing group, with all players re-signing and several new recruits being interviewed. The Board believes Darren has the passion, knowledge and experience to continue to develop our young playing group. Darren has an outstanding record in developing homegrown players to achieve at the highest level.

LFC and Darren acknowledge the unfortunate incidents which occurred on Grand Final day, in particular, the inappropriate behaviour towards the umpires. Darren has taken full responsibility for his actions and words and has apologised to the Board, players, supporters and officials. He is personally disappointed at how the incidents have impacted on the whole club and understands that his actions do not reflect the values and developing culture of our community club or our outstanding sponsors who will be contacted personally by Darren and the board.

Darren has made a strong commitment to ensure his actions and words truly reflect the club’s values and culture. The Board are confident that the club has the momentum, commitment and support for our players and coaches to achieve positive outcomes into the future. We are very proud of our achievements, in particular as 2017 Grand Finalist and look forward to continued growth, development and success.

Julie Kay

President

TEAMS: TSL FINALS WEEK 2 + TSL W FINALS WEEK 2

IMAGE COURTESY OF ANDREW WOODGATE

CLICK HERE FOR TEAM SHEETS


CLARENCE v. LAUNCESTON

FIRST SEMI-FINAL – 09/09/2017

2:00PM – Blundstone Arena

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Clarence
B: N. Douglas, J. Bailey, T. Castle
HB: M. Ling, K. Wylie, M. Fisher
C: G.  Chambers, B.  Jones, Z.  Buechner
HF: J. Cox, A. Grace, J. Webberley
F: T. Standen, W. Wall, I. Callinan
R: S. Siggins, J. Gleeson, J. O’Brien

Int: J. Holmes, A. Silver, J. Harper, J. Brenner
Emg: T. Hanslow, K. Palmer-Hughes, M. Blackburn, J. Roberts

In: K. Wylie, J. Brenner
Out: M. Blackburn, J. Roberts

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Launceston
B: C. Brown, S. Vandervelde, C. Savage
HB: J. Donnellan, J. Aganas, R. Tyrrell
C: T.  Sheppard, R.  Kelly-Mansell, J.  Blackberry
HF: S. Rundle, J. Nunn, J. Gillow
F: S. Whiting, N. O’Donoghue, S. Lonergan
R: H. Leedham, J. Hinds, B. Palfreyman

Int: J. Boyce, S. Williams, B. Taylor, C. Smith
Emg: J. Boyd, J. Harris, M. Hodge, T. Auckland

In: S. Rundle
Out: J. Harris


NORTH LAUNCESTON v. LAUDERDALE

SECOND SEMI-FINAL – 09/09/2017

4:30PM – UTAS Stadium

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North Launceston
B: J. Avent, C. Young, J. Foon
HB: T. Thomas, A. Richter-Salter, J. Lockhart
C: T.  Donnelly, B.  Cox-Goodyer, K.  Baker
HF: L. Hollmer, B. McCulloch, J. Ponting
F: T. Couch, Z. Burt, T. Bennett
R: A. Lee, T. Whitford, M. Walsh
Int: T. Mansell, B. Simpson, J. Pearce, R. Mansell
Emg: H. Goss, F. Bennett, K. Wadley, K. Curtis

In: T. Mansell, J. Lockhart
Out: H. Goss, K. Wadley

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Lauderdale
B: M. Anderton, E. Whish-Wilson, S. Hill
HB: M. Kleverkamp, A. Hill, J. McGuinness
C: R.  Sutton, B.  Walsh, R.  McManus
HF: D. Fyfe, R. Wiggins, A. Hevey
F: T. Havea, B. McGuinness, T. Boscott
R: H. Smith, P. Bellchambers, N. Franklin
Int: J. Roberts, R. Hill, E. Stanley, J. Williams
Emg: C. Hooker, S. Adams, L. Meagher, C. Laoumtzis

In: M. Kleverkamp
Out: 
C. Laoumtzis

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CLARENCE v. LAUNCESTON

Second Semi Final – 10/09/2017

12:00PM – Geilston Bay Oval

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Clarence

B: S. Bale, T. Nichols

HB: Z. Crawford, J. Farrow, R. Archer

C: T.  Ford, S.  Pennicott, N.  Pearce

HF: J. Minifie, J. Limbrick, M. Smith

F: G. Mitchell, M. Wise

R: C. Wells, G. Pennicott, N.Bresnehan

Int: S. Harris, C. Kenny, S. Hinks, E. Groves

Emg: H. Bromfield, L. Gwynne, N. Taylor

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Launceston

B: M. Gardner, N. Ristrom, H. Whyte

HB: M. Smith, M. Sinclair, C. Thuringer

C: K.  Child

HF: N. Celebre, G. Hill, M. Cuthbertson

F: E.Manix-geeves, M. Clark
R: A. Green, D. Bannister, A. Dickson

Int: E. Barrenger, M. Binns, D. Corcoran, C. Webb

Emg: A. Halaby, K. McLaughlin, M. King, J.Retallick, A. Bowen


 GLENORCHY v. BURNIE 

First Semi Final – 10/09/2017

1:00PM – KGV

 

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Glenorchy

B: T. Wiggins, R.Siely

HB: T. Corrie, N. Daniels, S. Davis

C: S.  Eaton, E.  Barwick, Z.  Manjerovic

HF: J. Tate Turvey, N. Lynch, J. Rattenbury

F: K. Rattenbury, H. Ryan

R: G. Sullivan, B. Barwick, G. Allan

Int: G. Terry, E. Loveless, S. Flack, E. Fornells Vernet,
M.Jacobs , M. Fish
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Burnie

B: S. Loring, L. Stevenson

HB: L. Haines, K. Sheehan, S. Skinner

C: C.  Loring, J.  Brown, S.  Rodman

HF: K. Loring, C. Haines, S. Edwards

F: C. Chandler, J. Mercer

R: M. Wright, K. Goodson, E. Humphries

Int: I. Duffie, S. Ferguson-Stevens, M. Singleton, J. Whelan

Emg: K. Johnson


MERCURY CUP – RINALS WEEK 2

 

LAUNCESTON v. CLARENCE  Semi Finals Semi Final 2 – 09/09/2017

Launceston

Int: L. Gee, J. Rice, G. Holt, J. Bott, B. Killalea, M. Blazely
Emg: S. Bruinewoud, J. Bangura, A. Dickenson

To be selected from:
J. Boyd, T. Miller, J. Marsden, T. Cooper, Z. Griffiths, J. Dakin,
C. Curtis, J. Harris, C. Downie, G. Holt, A. Wright, Z. Oldenhof,
B. Neil, M. Hutchinson, E. Conway, M. Hodge, M. Spohn, T. Auckland

In: A. Dickenson, A. Wright, M. Spohn, E. Conway, B. Killalea
Out: L. Walsh,  J. Smith

Clarence

To be selected from:
H. Bailey, J. Havea, C. Berry, K. Howlett, D. Howlett, L. Murfitt-Cowen,
K. Bailey, J. O’Brien, B. Dart, T. Marshall, T. Birchall, A. Gaul,
H. Richmond, T. Hanslow, N. Raglione, J. Pulford, C. Leek, T. Hope,
F. Turner, J. Brenner, K. Palmer-Hughes, A. Morton, M. Blackburn, J. Roberts,
Z. Mastrocola, S. Bradford, B. McGuinness, J. Mazengarb, J. Young

In: J. Roberts, D. Howlett, J. Havea, M. Blackburn, H. Bailey

TIGERS v. NORTH LAUNCESTON  Semi Finals Semi Final 1 – 09/09/2017

Tigers

Int: M. Cooke, A. Huizing, J. Huizing, J. Wells, T. Hughes, E. Brock, B. Gordon

To be selected from:
L. Griggs, S. Webb, T. Gogolin, A. Webster, B. McCulloch, R. Rinaldi,
M. Coad, C. Bryant, J. Shaw, M. Gardner, C. Rawson, J. Pearce,
H. Crack, J. Lister, M. Booth, A. Humphrey, J. Keogh, T. Cowen,
B. Graham, C. Sawdy

In: T. Hughes, T. Cowen, J. Huizing, J. Wells
Out: C. Woolley

North Launceston

To be selected from:
H. Rand, H. Goss, M. Cossins, K. Thomas, T. Mansell, D. Clayton,
C. Haines, A. Jefferies, C. Lowe, J. Singline, J. Harris, D. Headland,
E. Perry, B. Holmes, B. Simpson, F. Bennett, M. Gray, K. Wadley,
N. Jackson, C. Harrison, J. Rowlands, C. Pearton, R. Mansell, C. Anderson,
M. Donnelly, J. Lanham, K. Curtis, B. Denman, J. White

In: C. Pearton, M. Gray, R. Mansell, E. Perry, H. Goss

WIGGINS’ SEVENTH HEAVEN FUELS BOMBER BLITZ

Written by Anthony Osborn

 

A sensational seven-goal haul from the versatile Ryan Wiggins has seen Lauderdale run out 47-point winners over Clarence in one of the most hotly anticipated Tasmanian State League matches in recent memory.

After succumbing to the ‘Roos in all three of their previous encounters in 2017, Lauderdale were able to win in the biggest clash between the two sides this year, with the 20.6 (126) – 10.19 (79) victory cementing the Bombers’ place as a genuine heavyweight of the competition.

The first three-quarters of the contest proved to be a see-sawing affair, with inaccurate Clarence goal kicking leaving the door ajar for an electrifying final quarter of Bombers’ football that proved to be too much for the ‘Roos to handle.

The Bombers looked to control the contested ball throughout the opening term, with hard-nosed midfield efforts and slick outside work providing Lauderdale with a three-goal advantage at the first change after Ben McGuinness goaled late in the term.

The ‘Roos got on top of the contested ball numbers throughout the second term but were unable to make the Bombers pay on the scoreboard, kicking 4.8 for the term compared to Lauderdale’s two straight majors off the boot of Wiggins. As such, Clarence took a slender two-point lead into the main break when in reality; the difference should have been closer to three goals.

The Bombers capitalised on Clarence’s inaccuracy in front of goal to kick four third-quarter majors that ensured the Bombers took a nine-point lead into the final change.

The match was on a knife’s edge leading into the final break, but the Bombers wasted no time in making their intentions clear, kicking eight straight final quarter goals, including five between Wiggins and Ben McGuinness. Wiggins had been thrust forward after the first term, kicking three of his seven majors in this Bomber blitz, while the similarly versatile Ben McGuinness kicked two of his four to put the result beyond doubt.

Lauderdale coach Darren Winter was clearly pleased with the victory and particularly how his side were able to play their own style of game late in the contest.

“To win a final and to move on to the next one- we are pretty happy with that. The boys did a good job to finish the game off,” Winter said.

“The boys found a bit of space and moved the ball a bit quicker than in the first three-quarters. That is the type of footy we want to play but we know we won’t always be able to play that in finals,” he said.

Wiggins was particularly impressive, with his seven-goal haul further underlining his own versatility as a key forward and a defensive option, as well as the rich versatility of this Lauderdale side.

“We still think he (Wiggins) is playing better footy down back but he presented well, marked strongly and finished well,” Winter said.

Ben McGuinness was similarly impressive whenever he got near the football, with a forward role visibly suiting his aerobic capabilities and athleticism. Thor Boscott showed moments of brilliance while booting two, while ruckman Haydn Smith and gun on baller Dylan Fyfe won the majority of their contests around the ground to put the Bombers in with a chance of victory.

The win was particularly impressive off the back of Max Kleverkamp being a late withdrawal through illness, with the return of his talents next weekend only making the Bombers a more formidable September force.

Much had been made throughout the week of the expected physicality of this match, but Winter was pleased with how his side handled the heat.

“You don’t win games by rubbish off the ball- the boys handled that well. They are a focussed young group of men and we don’t want to be involved in that sort of stuff- we want to keep it close to the line,” he said.

Clarence coach Jeromey Webberley was adamant that there were positives for his players to take out of the contest, but conceded that inaccuracy in front of goal cost his side.

“We won the contested ball and clearances (in the second term) but we couldn’t convert… we should have been in at half time three or four goals up, but we were two goals down.

“At times our transition was back to its best and our stoppage work at times was near the best it’s been all year,” Webberley said.

Webberley, who suffered a corked calf for a second consecutive week, conceded that his side would have some selection decisions to make while also emphasising the importance of re-focusing on the upcoming task at hand, despite the hurt of such a loss to Lauderdale.

“You can’t cry over spilt milk… We have to move on to next week against Launceston who had a fantastic win today- it will be a really tough contest… they have an extremely deep midfield,” he said.

Meanwhile, Winter is looking forward to the challenge of facing minor premiers North Launceston next weekend, stating that every final should be a close encounter.

“The finals series will be strong the whole way through. We know they (North Launceston) are a quality outfit- we will have to be close to our best for the whole game, not just parts of it,” Winter said.

 

CLARENCE v. LAUDERDALE
Round 1 – 02/09/2017

Lauderdale                              6.2,  8.2,  12.6,  20.6  (126)

Clarence                                3.2,  7.10,  9.15,  10.19  (79)

GOALS, Lauderdale :
R. Wiggins 7, B. McGuinness 4, T. Boscott 2, T. Havea 1, R. McManus 1, H. Smith 1,
J. Roberts 1, A. Hill 1, C. Laoumtzis 1, R. Hill 1

Clarence :
T. Standen 2, J. Webberley 2, I. Callinan 1, J. Harper 1, W. Wall 1, M. Blackburn 1,
T. Castle 1, Z. Buechner 1

BEST, Lauderdale :
H. Smith, D. Fyfe, R. Wiggins, B. McGuinness, N. Franklin, T. Boscott

Clarence :
J. O’Brien, B. Jones, J. Gleeson, T. Castle, M. Ling, J. Harper

Launceston stun wounded Magpies

Written by Richard Bannon and Andrew Johnston

Launceston has ended Glenorchy’s premiership defence upsetting the Magpies by 28-points in yesterday’s Southern Cross Tasmanian State League Elimination Final at Blundstone Arena.

Many considered Glenorchy the finals ‘sleeping giant’ but the title may prove to belong to Launceston this September. The Blues were incredibly impressive as they outclassed the reigning premier 14.15-99 to 10.11-71, to progress to next week’s semi-final against Clarence.

They were outsiders for many but the northern outfit looked far better than their home and away record and fifth place finish suggested and will take some beating next week.

Star Blues Sonny Whiting (four) and Jay Blackberry (three) combined for seven majors and Jake Hinds was brilliant as the trio starred to deliver Launceston their first finals victory since 2013.

Blackberry converted the opening goal of the game to give Launceston a dream start. Before Glenorchy kicked the next two goals courtesy of James Webb and Callan Daly, giving the Magpies a 2.2-14 to 1.4-10 lead at quarter time.

The second quarter looked like belonging to Glenorchy as the Magpies kicked a string of three goals to skip out to a 27-point lead halfway through the second. The Magpies had control and looked like putting the game to bed before the momentum swung drastically in Launceston’s favour in the final ten minutes of the quarter. The Blues cutting the deficit with clinical efficiency, slamming home three consecutive goals themselves with Whiting kicking his first to finish the first half in a flurry.

The Magpies’ season has been cruelled by injury and unfortunately, the trend continued in the cutthroat final. Utility Mitch Hills left the field in the second quarter with a lower leg injury and former Hawthorn-listed forward Zac Webster succumbed to yet another hamstring injury to see both players done for the day with a half to play.

Down two rotations on the bench and disrupting their structure, Glenorchy began to leak goals with Launceston dominating midfield as the Blues piled on six goals to one in the third term including a jaw dropping effort from Whiting and two from Blackberry seeing them take a handy 26-point lead into the final change, 10.10-70 to 6.8-44.

 

With a big finish required to resurrect their season, Glenorchy started the quarter in a hurry and kicked a goal in no time through skipper Brayden Webb (who battled manfully through injury to have a major impact, kicking three goals).  Launceston steadied with youngster Hinds’ cool head important as the Blues answered every challenge from the ‘Pies, adding four more goals to assure a 14.15-99 to 10.11-71 victory and a return trip to Blundstone Arena to face Clarence in another sudden death final.

Launceston senior coach Sam Lonergan was delighted with the victory and believes his side is not done with and can match it with the likes of Clarence, Lauderdale, and North Launceston throughout this finals campaign.

 

“We’ve all got slightly different strengths, but I think the level of footy is about the same.

“We’ve got over this first hurdle, and I think now that we’ve done this, if we can play well, we can achieve the same thing next week, which is going to be exciting to see.”

 

Lonergan believes the victory has injected belief into the Blues outfit.

“I honestly believe sides are nervous to play us, we’ve got an ability to break games open very quickly.”

“To hold on throughout the second half was valuable, and that we didn’t dip and we continued to steam on, apply scoreboard pressure, win contested ball and win those things we expect to win.”

The Blues now face Clarence in a semi-final showdown from 2:00pm at Blundstone Arena in what now looms as a fascinating tussle.

 

 

Tasmanian State League

GLENORCHY v. LAUNCESTON
Round 1 – 02/09/2017

Launceston                              1.4,  4.6,  10.10,  14.15  (99)

Glenorchy                               2.2,  5.7,  6.8,  10.11  (71)

GOALS, Launceston :
S. Whiting 4, J. Blackberry 3, J. Hinds 2, S. Lonergan 1, B. Taylor 1, R. Tyrrell 1,
N. O’Donoghue 1, C. Smith 1

Glenorchy :
B. Webb 3, J. Webb 1, H. Pearce 1, C. Daly 1, R. Banks-Smith 1, R. Mott 1,
J. Bowden 1, J. Geard 1

BEST, Launceston :
H. Leedham, R. Tyrrell, S. Williams, J. Hinds, S. Whiting, J. Donnellan

Glenorchy :
C. Daly, J. Arnold, M. Joseph, B. Webb, L. Smith, J. Arnold

 

Fitz’s Finals Forecast – Week 1

Written by Alex FitzGerald

Glenorchy vs  Launceston

Elimination Final

Blundstone Arena – 1:00pm

Saturday 2nd September

2017 Encounters :

Launceston 16.5 (101) def Glenorchy 4.7 (31) (Round 9, Windsor Park)

Glenorchy 14.6 (90) def Launceston 12.12 (84) (Round 18, KGV Oval)

The Magpies will be pleased they’re not venturing to the North of the state this week, with the accurate Blues making surprisingly light work of them at Windsor Park when they met in Round 9.  Glenorchy coach Aaron Cornelius described the Blues as one of the best sides in the competition prior to their rematch in Round 18, and the Blues won plenty of admirers in that game, conceding two late goals to just fall short of the fast-finishing Pies in one of the matches of the season. 

Previous Finals Encounters:

None.

Form Guide:

Glenorchy (4th) – 12 wins/6 losses; 156%:

The Magpies started their season with four big wins, but then lost four matches in a row; all to the sides who ended up qualifying for the finals.  Glenorchy had a stronger back half of the season, despite being decimated by injuries, to win eight of their final ten games against quality opponents.  The boys from KGV have the ability to play at an elite level, as their healthy percentage shows but are undoubtedly racing the clock to field their best side in September.  The Magpies love proving the doubters wrong, and may well do so as they strive to defend their 2016 flag against the other four sides who have lifted to match them in 2017.

Launceston (5th) – 9 wins/9 losses; 113%

Launceston have played solid football in patches this season, without blowing the socks off any opposition sides.  Still, their performances against Glenorchy warrant attention, and the Blues did manage to limit the damage when going down to the other four sides playing finals, with their bravery and hardness at the contest in close matches unquestionable.  With a strong mix of experience and talented youth, the Blues are seen by many as the dark horse of this year’s finals series, with coach Sam Lonergan repeatedly stating he believes his side can surprise teams and play deep into September.

Pic: Snapshots by Sal

Key Matchups:

Glenorchys’ Cameron Duffy and emerging Blue Hamish Leedham have been among the form big men of the competition, with Duffy’s form rewarded through his selection as the state ruckman earlier in the season.  Leedham has turned heads with his physicality and presence in what has been a breakout season for the Launceston tall.  With Duffy nursing an injured finger, the prospective duel between the two is evenly matched, and whoever gets on top to feed the ball to the midfielders will play a crucial role in the progression of his respective side.

Sonny Whiting has been a prominent feature in attack for Launceston this season, with the veteran leading forward booting 44 goals to finish the home and away season as the second highest goal kicker in the competition.  Glenorchy is likely to play state representative defender Jordon Arnold on him, with the Magpie’s courage and spoiling ability crucial to negating Whiting, who has the strength and ability to play tall.  A host of other defenders have played negating roles with great success this season, including Matthew Dilger, who will line up for his 150th match this weekend; as a result, Glenorchy has conceded the second-least points of top-five sides in 2017.

Both sides possess enviable midfields, with Glenorchy captain Brayden Webb, Mitch Rainbird, Rhys Mott and RACT Insurance Player of the Year Jaye Bowden all capable of racking up high numbers and using the ball well by foot.  Launceston have their own power quartet however, with Sam Lonergan, Brodie Palfreyman, Jay Blackberry and Jake Hinds all in stellar form.  The foot skills of Blackberry and Hinds are particularly damaging, with Hinds’ confidence to back his kicking seeing him break lines through the latter half of the season, and Blackberry earning the nickname ‘The Mailman’ due to his ability to always deliver.

Fire Starters:

Zac Webster, like many of his Glenorchy teammates, has had an injury-affected 2017, but has been damaging when on the park.  The former Hawthorn-listed small forward doesn’t need to have a huge amount of the ball to cut teams apart, such is his vision and ball use.  Webster is particularly skilled at finding targets inside attacking 50, and works hard both ways to find the ball in space.  Having not faced the Blues this season due to injuries, Webster is a bit of an unknown for Launceston in that regard, and could be the wildcard in Glenorchy’s quest to remain in the hunt for back to back flags.

Not a lot needs to be said about Jaye Bowden, with not many sides able to quell his influence this season.  Running a hard tag on the versatile superstar wouldn’t be the worst thing Launceston could do, if the nominated player can keep up with him.

Rulla Kelly-Mansell has been a nominated fire starter a number of times this season, with the high-leaping forward well and truly earning the title.  RKM has the ability to kick goals at crucial times in matches, with his snap from the pocket at KGV Oval in Round 18 against the Magpies temporarily giving his side the lead in a hotly-contested final term.  Launceston have trialled him further up the field in recent weeks, and if he lines up on a wing then a tantalising match up on Rhys Mott could be on the cards.  With the uncanny knack of finding a way to produce the impossible, Kelly-Mansell must be guarded closely, as most of the games where he’s been quiet Launceston have fallen.

Tip:

While Glenorchy would be the obvious choice here due to their win-loss record, recent finals history and current form, the Magpies still have an injury cloud overshadowing KGV Oval.  Captain Brayden Webb, ruckman Cameron Duffy and the big-bodied Mitch Hills highlight the key inclusions, however regular best 22 players Josh Watts, Harrison Gunther and Tyler Bowden have all been named as emergencies, foreshadowing a number of possible late changes.  Glenorchy’s pace is one of their strengths, and they showed in their last match up with Launceston the ability to move the ball quickly with damaging results.

The Blues matched North Launceston for most of their Round 21 encounter, and will be armed with plenty of confidence heading into this match.  The returns of the tough Sam Rundle, playing coach Sam Lonergan and emerging defender Jimmy Aganas bolster the visiting side, giving Launceston a real chance to knock off the reigning premiers on Saturday.

Curtailing the Magpies’ key playmakers and not letting Glenorchy kick a string of consecutive goals is integral to the outcome of this match, but the Blues have emerged from a month of tough games well-conditioned for finals football and are well-poised to cause an upset on Saturday.  A tight contest all day; Launceston by 14.

Clarence vs Lauderdale

Qualifying Final

Blundstone Arena – 3:45pm

Saturday 2nd September

2017 Encounters:

Clarence 19.7 (121) def Lauderdale 13.11 (89) (Round 3,Blundstone Arena)

Clarence 14.7 (91) def Lauderdale 11.7 (73) (Round 12, Lauderdale Oval)

Clarence 9.10 (64) def Lauderdale 9.9 (63) (Round 20, Blundstone Arena)

The already-fierce Eastern shore rivalry has gone to a new level this season, with Clarence having inflicted three of Lauderdale’s five losses to be the only side the Bombers haven’t toppled in 2017 to date. All matches have been physical encounters, with Lauderdale closing the gap every time they have met, culminating in a one point margin when the red hot teams last met in Round 20. 

Previous Finals Encounters:

Clarence 17.14 (116) def Lauderdale 14.14 (98) (1st QF, 2013, Blundstone Arena)

The 2013 Qualifying Final was a fiery one, with several reports coming out of the clash.  Current Roos Jeromey Webberley and Jake Cox were among the best for the victors, while a young Thor Boscott impressed for Lauderdale. 

Clarence 16.11 (107) def Lauderdale 14.8 (92) (1st QF, 2012,  North Hobart Oval)

The first final between these sides went down to the wire, with present-day small forward Trent Standen the difference, as he booted six goals to help Clarence get across the line.  Lauderdale have only four current players remaining on their lists who pulled on a guernsey in this match, while the Roos still boast a formidable eight.

Form Guide:

Clarence (2nd) – 14 wins/4 losses; 135%:

After failing to make a finals appearance in 2016, the Roos started their season with a bang, winning their first five matches, before stumbling against the Hobart City Demons in the wet by the slimmest of margins.  Another impressive six game winning streak followed, but a string of injuries to key players saw Clarence drop three of their final six matches, albeit against sides inside the top four.  With the Round 18 loss to North Launceston the only blowout concern all season, and with a host of players fresh after being rested last week, Clarence are heading into September ready to make an impact.

Lauderdale (3rd) – 13 wins/5 losses; 143%

After a slow start, the Bombers pieced together an eyebrow-raising six game streak, defeating Glenorchy and North Launceston along the way.  A loss to Clarence sidelined the juggernaut momentarily, but the boys from the tip bounced back to put together seven high-scoring wins in a row until they again went down to the Roos, this time by a solitary point.  Arguably the form side of the competition alongside North Launceston, Lauderdale head into the finals after the bye, with the much-needed break ensuring coach Darren Winter has a full-strengthsquad at his disposal for a charge at September. The Bombers have been finals regulars but a top three finish is new to them, giving Winter perhaps his best crack at a flag yet.

Pic: Solstice.Digital & Photography

Key Matchups:

Jake Cox has been a thorn in Lauderdale’s side both times he played against them this season, kicking a combined eight goals from an attacking wing position.  Capable of turning a match in a matter of minutes, the Bombers may need to consider sacrificing a playmaker such as Josh McGuinness in an attempt to quell his influence. But will that rob Peter to pay Paul?

With rebounding defender Keegan Wylie likely to miss after suffering a head knock in Round 21, the structure and organisation Jason Bailey provides to the Roos defence will be crucial for Clarence.  Alex Hill is one Lauderdale forward with defensive attributes who may go to Bailey, with his presence and contested marking skills likely to keep Bailey honest all afternoon.

The midfield battle will be a treat for supporters, with both sides boasting onballers in form.  Bomber Bryce Walsh has had a sensational season, but Gabby Chambers has performed admirably in his run-with roles on the Lauderdale captain so far this season and expect him to head to him at the first bounce.  Teenage inside midfielder Nat Franklin has been Lauderdale’s best in two of the three encounters between these sides this year, with Brady Jones a chance to stand him.  Expect to see damaging Roo Jackson O’Brien and ball-winning Bomber Dylan Fyfe spend some time on each other around the stoppages as well.

Fire Starters:

Veteran small forwards Trent Standen and Ian Callinan have been a big part of Clarence’s resurgence this season, booting 68 goals between them in 2017.  Standen has a bag of seven under his belt this year, and his ability to remain dangerous is a concern for oppositions sides, with just one goalless match to his name.  Callinan has the uncanny knack for finding space and kicking back to back goals in a hurry, as he showed against the Bombers in Round 12 when he slotted three in the first quarter alone.  Neither can be given an inch anywhere near the attacking 50.

Thor Boscott has had an outstanding season to date, booting 41 goals from half forward while also spending time in the midfield and cutting sides apart with his clearance work.  As damaging in the air as he is at ground level, Boscott has proven he’s more than a human highlight reel, earning 13 RACT Player of the Year Award votes and gaining selection in the state squad.  Boscott announced himself to casual TSL observers with a nine-goal haul against the Tigers in Round 15, but most fans are well aware of his presence and ability.  Tim Castle played well in defence on him last time these sides met, but with Boscott able to switch into a midfield role, he’ll have to be guarded closely if Clarence want to negate the exciting Bomber’s game winning ability.

Tip:

This is the most anticipated match of the season to date, with Round 20’s nailbiting result a suitable entree for what will undoubtedly be an afternoon full of talking points.  Clarence’s 2016 best and fairest winner Jack Gleeson found himself in hot water in that game, with an appeal sensationally reducing a two-game penalty that would have likely seen him de-registered for meeting the mandatory 16 game threshold. Clarence Coach Jeromey Webberley also voiced displeasure on Lauderdale breaking a coach-code in bringing the incident to the attention to the MRP; it’s fair to say there is no love lost when these sides take the field.

Both sides will bring in players who have been integral to their success this season.  Clarence regain Standen, midfielders Gleeson and Jackson O’Brien, and defenders Jason Bailey and James Holmes.  Lauderdale will benefit from the inclusions of speedy outside midfielders Robbie McManus and Rhys Sutton, as well as young tall Ben McGuinness.  Tough onballer Phil Bellchambers plays his 100th game for the Bombers against a side he has found plenty of the ball against in season 2017.

While Clarence clearly has the wood on Lauderdale this season, the margins have been narrowed and the combined scores lower each subsequent time they’ve squared off.  With fresher legs and greater overall firepower up forward, Lauderdale should be able to break through and claim a hard-fought victory on Saturday, but if the history between these two sides is anything to go by, the result will be anything but a blowout.  Neck and neck for four quarters, but at the siren; Lauderdale by 14.

ADMISSION PRICES

$10 Adult/$5 Concession – Includes both matches (Blundstone Arena Double Header)

THIS WEEK’S MERCURY CUP MATCHES

Elimination Final

North Launceston v Hobart City Demons – 1:00PM @ UTAS Stadium

Will the Northern Bombers march on in September or can the travelling Hobart City Demons keep their flag hopes alive?

Qualifying Final

Clarence v Tigers – 10:30AM @ Blundstone Arena

Both sides have been in red hot form, but can the Tigers limit the impressive Clarence forward line and book themselves a Preliminary Finals berth?

 

TSL TEAM OF THE WEEK – ROUND 21

Every side that played across the final home and away weekend has at least one player named in the Team of the Week for Round 21, with  powerhouses Glenorchy and North Launceston leading the pack with four inclusions each.

The team features a strong mixture of experience and youth, with seven teenagers finishing their respective TSL seasons with impressive games.  Allies trio Hugh Dixon, Tarryn Thomas and Jake Hinds are all named on the field, following eye-catching performances off the back of break-out seasons. Usual suspects Mitch Carter, Jaye Bowden, Sam Siggins and Tom Couch again find themselves named in key position posts, with the latter three looking to continue their dominant form into the finals series.

BACKS

Casey Brown (Launceston)

The Launceston defender has elevated his game this year and has proved as a very handy player for the Blues in the backline this season. Brown played a good rebounding game for the Blues setting up many forward movements, whilst also spoiling many of the Bombers’ attacking opportunities. A Mariners squad member, Brown has had a consistent season, and with more experience he has the potential to become one of the most damaging defenders in the competition.

Nick McKenna (Burnie)

Was part of an enthralling battle with Mitch Thorp in Devonport’s attack. The  Burnie skipper was outstanding taking several intercept marks and spoils, and kept Thorp to two majors.

Mitchell Perry (Devonport) 

The Coastal teenager finished a fine first season at State League level with another solid display in defence. His capabilities to contain his opponent and then run and carry from defence was again on show.

HALF BACKS

Lachy Gadomski (Tigers) 

The teenage Tiger was sensational in not giving his opponent any room, particularly in the close first half where he took a number of intercept marks and laid some crucial tackles.  A strong season in defence capped off with another impressive performance, Gadomski looks set for a big draft- eligible season 2018.

Mitch Carter (Tigers) 

Arguably the standout defender of the competition, Carter’s trademark long kicking and intercept marking was on display on Friday night, but it was his third quarter in particular that stood out.  He registered half a dozen intercept possessions, four effective spoils, three tackles and five rebound 50’s in a stoic 15 minute period as the Tigers fought to repel a strong Hobart City Demons’ midfield.

Harry Walters (Burnie) 

While his brother Nick stole the headlines with what looks to be a strong contender for goal of the year, Harry also did the family proud with another strong game from defence.  One of the leaders at West Park, Walters again proved why he is one of the Dockers’ most important players as they invest solidly in youth.

CENTRES

Josh Ponting (North Launceston) 

The North Launceston midfielder played another outstanding game for the Bombers, booting three goals for his side in their win over the Blues.  Ponting was influential in setting up the his side’s victory by using the ball effectively and winning plenty of the footy himself, with his majors  all coming at crucial times in the match. With his recent good form, the underrated midfielder will be a very important player for North Launceston in the finals series as the flag favourites look to sweep all before them.

Jake Hinds (Launceston) 

The Mariners standout tried all day for the Blues and was close to their best player on the day.  Although his disposal efficiency let him down on occasions, the young star found plenty of the ball and was able to give his side a fighting chance before being overrun in the last term.  Hinds’ impressive goal  resulted in him starting on the half back line before running forward and finding the ball at the 50-metre mark, eventually splitting the middle from 35 metres out.

Rhys Mott (Glenorchy) 

Few have been more consistent at Glenorchy throughout 2017 than the lively Rhys Mott and the talented midfielder furthered this reputation with another classy outing against the ‘Roos. Mott’s ability to use the ball so cleanly by foot and his capacity to find himself in prime positions has made him a vital cog in this side and a real model of consistency

HALF FORWARDS

Tom Bennett (North Launceston) 

The best forward on the day in the Northern derby and presented excellently  the entire game.  The North Launceston forward caused constant headaches for the Launceston defence as he took marks at will inside the forward 50.  Unfortunately he missed some of his opportunities on goal and if he had have kicked straight he would have finished with at least five majors.  Undoubtedly one of the best three players on the ground.

Ben Reynolds (Glenorchy) 

The Glenorchy big man threatened to break the game apart on the weekend, finishing with two majors while posing a significant threat to an undersized Clarence defence. If Reynolds is able to utilise his marking ability come finals, opposition defenders are going to be quaking in their boots.  With injuries decimating Glenorchy at times this season, the return of Reynolds has underpinned a strong finish to the home and away season.

Jaye Bowden (Glenorchy) 

The Glenorchy stalwart may have already wrapped up the RACT Player of the Year award before the weekend, but he delivered another terrific performance that further proved why he is the competition’s best. Bowden moved well around the ground and used his sublime skills to transition the ball into attack.

FORWARDS

Tarryn Thomas (North Launceston)

Thomas had a relatively quiet first half before coming alive in the second half to help get his side over the line. He booted three goals for the game and landed multiple tackles all day. Whilst he didn’t have many disposals he was able to position himself in dangerous positions and make the most of the opportunities that came his way, with his dribbling checkside major all class.

Hugh Dixon (Tigers)

Dixon backed up his five goal haul from Round 20 with three majors from four shots on goal under lights on Friday, but it was the way he did it that was impressive.  His leading up the ground and contested marks stood out, with a hanger on the shoulders of opponent Liam Azzopardi bringing the whole crowd to life.  Dixon’s work at ground level to feed the ball out to team mates highlighted the roundness of his game, in a performance that is sure to have caught the eyes of potential draft scouts.

Blair Rubock (Burnie) 

The young Docker was outstanding in the air and on the ground inside for Burnie, taking two outstanding grabs and kicking five majors.  Rubock was the difference between victory and defeat in the eight-point result, producing an impressive highlight reel along the way.

FOLLOWERS

Sam Siggins (Clarence) 

Siggins stood up to be the most influential big man on the ground at KGV playing as the main ruckman for the ‘Roos. Siggins’ versatility and ability to move well around the ground has impressed all season, and his performance against the Magpies was no exception. Siggins is an elite talent and will prove to be a real handful for opposition coaches throughout the finals.

Tom Couch (North Launceston)

The former Melbourne Demon was the best player on the ground and was a major factor in getting North Launceston over the line.  His disposal efficiency was incredible and he seemed to have the ball on a string at times, such as the rate that he accumulate possessions.  The goalkicking onballer finished second in the RACT Player of the Year award for a reason, and has been an invaluable inclusion for the Bombers this season.

Will Campbell (Hobart City Demons)

‘Soup’ rose to the occasion, leading a dominant Hobart City Demons midfield outfit from the front.  His physicality and want for the football in the contest were second to none, as he covered the ground to be influential across all four quarters.  Campbell finished with two goals, with his evasive gather and finish from the pocket in the first term a class act from one of the competition’s most improved players of season 2017.

INTERCHANGE

Eddie Cole (Hobart City Demons)

The vocal midfielder saved one of his best games of the season for the final round, with his speed and long kicking inside attacking 50 causing the Tigers plenty of issues.  Cole’s final term was huge, with his tackling and run rewarded with a big goal to all but seal the match, seeing him finish the evening with two majors.

Zac Webster (Glenorchy) 

Webster returned to the Glenorchy side from injury to face Clarence and the former Hawthorn-listed player proved just how valuable he is to the Magpies in a highly impressive display. Webster looked dangerous whenever he was near the ball and finished with two majors to stand out as one of Glenorchy’s best. All finals-bound teams should brace themselves- he is only going to get better.

Ryan Matthews (Hobart City Demons) 

The bearded Hobart City Demons on-fielder leader was a constant presence all match, with his pinpoint kicking and ability to link up with possession chains highly influential, especially when the contest was close.  Matthews finished his season with a two goal game from the midfield, a fine reward for a tireless effort all season.

Brayden Butler (Devonport)

The key position utility has played more forward of the centre than recent weeks, and was rewarded in the coastal derby with three goals. Kept on running for four quarters, capping off a strong season for Devonport.

 

The Top Ten TSL Clashes of 2017

By Andrew Johnston and Alex FtizGerald

 

Round 3 – Tigers vs Hobart City -14/4/17 – Twin Ovals

Tigers 10.7 (67) def Hobart City Demons 8.15 (63)

The Tigers produced one of their strongest performances of the year in a Good Friday thriller in round three, striking late to steal the four points from Hobart City. The Tigers had less opportunities than their opponents, but made the most from their chances in front of goal to get the win.

Early troubles for the Demons set the stage for the day, kicking one goal and five behinds in the opening quarter while the Tigers slotted three straight majors. While the Demons were able to even up the scores by the half time break, a three goal apiece third term saw the game in the balance with a hot crowd at the Twin Ovals on the edge of their seats. A late Chris Nield goal was the sealer for the Tigers, as Hobart City Demons were left ruing missed opportunities in a loss that would prove costly.

 

Round 4 – Hobart City Demons vs Burnie Dockers – 22/4/17 – Queenborough Oval

Hobart City 10.12 (72) def Burnie 9.9 (63)

State League football returned to one of its traditional homes at Queenborough Oval, home of the former Sandy Bay Football Club, producing a return to the halcyon days as Hobart City Demons chalked up their first win of the season against the Dockers. The southern hosts dominated general play, but errant kicking allowed the Dockers a real chance in another nail-biting clash.

The Demons started the game with early control, but inaccurate kicking saw them score 4.6 in the opening quarter. With the wind in the second quarter, Burnie also left their kicking boots behind, managing one goal five, giving the Demons a 24 point half time lead.  The Dockers piled on four unanswered goals in the third stanza, with Nick Walters dominant, cutting the margin to just two points with a term remaining.  Enter hobbled midfielder Will Campbell, who came to life late in the match with one of the best individual quarters of the season, including a crucial goal, helping to pull the Demons over the line to open their account for 2017.

 

Round 4 – Lauderdale vs Launceston – 22/4/17 – Lauderdale Oval

Launceston 15.11 (101) def Lauderdale 13.12 (90)

Launceston continued its resurgent early-season form on a grey and gloomy day, knocking off Lauderdale at their home ground by 11 points.

The Blues were dominant early in proceedings, taking a lead into quarter time, only for the Bombers to wrestle back the momentum in the second term aided by some Alex Hevey brilliance.  But the Blues in turn responded, with Rulla Kelly-Mansell booting two jaw-dropping goals in the third quarter to give the visitors a 17 point lead at the final change. The game stepped up a gear as the sides went goal for goal late, but a number of costly errors saw the Bombers fall to an unthinkable 0-3, as the Blues boarded the bus with the chocolates off the back of a breakout game from young midfielder Brodie Palfreyman.

 

Round 6 – Glenorchy vs Clarence – 6/5/17 – KGV Oval

Clarence 14.7 (91) def Glenorchy 8.7 (55)

Two of Tasmanian football’s greatest rivals faced off again in what was touted as a blockbuster match, and the game didn’t disappoint, with the Roos storming home in the final term to take a strong win.

Glenorchy were the better side in a low-scoring physical first half, taking a seven-point lead into the main break despite only registering three majors. The Magpies opened the third with two quick goals, but two late Clarence majors saw the Roos rally to be within eight points at the final change. The final quarter saw a stunning Clarence blitz, with the visitors booting seven goals and keeping Glenorchy scoreless to run out 36 point winners.  Wily small forward Trent Standen inflicted most of the damage, finishing with a seven-goal haul.

 

Round 7 – Clarence vs Hobart City – 13/5/17 – Blundstone Arena

Hobart City Demons 12.8 (80) def Clarence 11.13 (79)

On a wet Eastern shore day, the Hobart City Demons shocked the competition by knocking off Clarence by a single point at Blundstone Arena in the upset of the season. The underdogs held strong to lead at every change, tumbling across the finish line against the highly-fancied ladder leading Roos.

The Hobart City Demons were the dominant side of the first half aided by four goal forward Sean Willis, skipping out to a 26-point lead at the main break. But the Roos would not be held out of the contest, and while the quarter produced a less than convincing three goals five, the Roos had pulled back to within seven points at the final change.  The Hobart City Demons held strong in the last few minutes to be exhausted but ecstatic victors at the welcome full time siren.

 

Round 9 – Tigers vs Devonport – 27/5/17 – Twin Ovals

Tigers 11.8 (74) def Devonport 9.9 (63)

An improving Devonport side made their way down to Kingston, holding the Tigers to a scoreless first quarter and leading at every change before being overrun late in the final term.

The Magpies lead the charge early, opening the account with four first quarter goals with the hosts unable to trouble the scoreboard operators.  Devonport added a fifth early in the second quarter before the Tigers took control, piling on four of their own to trail by five points at the main break.  Teenagers Ethan Brock and Harry Barker both slotted impressive goals for their respective sides in a tense third term, with the Tigers trailing by eight points with a quarter remaining.  The hosts struck back to lead early in a see-sawing final term, and despite the Magpies regaining the lead, they conceded the final two majors to fall agonisingly short of a thrilling upset victory.  Leaders Beau Sharman and Brad Symmons led from the front for the young Magpies, while Sherrin Egger gave fans a taste of the future.

 

Round 10 – North Launceston vs Lauderdale – 3/6/17 – UTAS Stadium

Lauderdale 18.3 (111) def North Launceston 17.8 (110)

When these two sides faced off in round one, the Northern Bombers were dominant, running out with a 61 point victory. But when the teams met again in round 10, the game was far closer, producing arguably the match of the season, as a combined ten goal haul from Thomas Bennett and Zach Burt wasn’t enough to defeat a rampaging Lauderdale.

Lauderdale kicked six majors to the hosts’ three in the first term, before being held scoreless in the second.  A shootout in the third quarter produced eleven total goals, with the visitors entering the final break with a seven-point lead.  When Lauderdale kicked the first three majors of the final term to extend the margin to 25 points, the game looked done and dusted.  However North Launceston charged to bang on six quick goals, running hard while Lauderdale looked out on their feet. With only seconds remaining, another North goal pulled them within one point, with the UTAS Stadium crowd on the edge of their seats. As the hosts searched for the winner and the ball ventured inside 50 the siren sounded, denying North what would have been an iconic victory, with Lauderdale celebrating a victory for the ages.

Nat Franklin was outstanding and put an exclamation mark on a break out season in an upset victory that announced Lauderdale as a genuine premiership threat.

 

Round 16 – North Launceston vs Glenorchy – 22/07/17 – UTAS Stadium

North Launceston 9.10 (64) def Glenorchy 8.12 (60)

It was a grand final rematch that did not fall short of expectations when the Northern Bombers and Glenorchy met on a Saturday afternoon at University of Tasmania Stadium.

The Magpies were hot from the opening bounce with four first quarter goals, as Jaye Bowden starting strongly despite an injury that would see him miss the next game.  Midfielders Brad Cox-Goodyer and Josh Ponting began to impact the game in the second quarter, with the Pies holding a slim lead at half time.  Injury issues that would underline Glenorchy’s season continued to rear their head with captain Brayden Webb and Brady Quinn both failing to resume in the second half.  Despite rotation worries, the Magpies managed to stay on top of general play but failed to capitalise, kicking an inaccurate six behinds in the third term.

After trailing all day, the running game of North Launceston took hold as young gun Tarryn Thomas came to life, as did big marking forwards Bart McCulloch and Zach Burt.  The Bombers led by 16 points with five minutes left on the clock, but goals to Magpies superstar Jaye Bowden and the dangerous Josh Watts kept the game alive.  The stoic defence of Bombers held the visitors off, however, as the home side claimed a hard-fought four-point win.

 

Round 18 – Glenorchy vs Launceston – 05/08/17 – KGV Oval

Glenorchy 14.6 (90) def Launceston 12.12 (84)

In a see-sawing game played with finals-like intensity, Glenorchy rallied late against an impressive Launceston outfit to steal a six-point victory at home.

Glenorchy led at the first change by a reasonable margin, only for the Blues to wrestle ascendency back in the second term to unbelievably hit the lead at half time. A Jaye Bowden-inspired third term saw the Magpies go into the final change with their noses in front but nothing could have prepared the crowd for what was to follow.  The Blues opened the fourth term with two quick majors to take back the lead, triggering a goal for goal fight. A brave defensive mark with the flight from Thomas Sheppard eventually led to a Rulla Kelly-Mansell goal of the year contender as Launceston appeared to have the upper hand late in the game. Enter Mitch Rainbird with two clutch set shot goals from the tough midfielder inside the final four minutes giving the Magpies a victory over a side that demolished them earlier in the season, ensuring a southern final in September.

 

Round 20 – Clarence vs Lauderdale – 19/08/2017 – Blundstone Arena

Clarence 9.10 (64) def Lauderdale 9.9 (63)

With just one round to play before finals, the Eastern shore rivalry went to a new level. Clarence were sitting second on the ladder but the Bombers had been in tantalising form all season, with the Roos the only side they were yet to knock off.

In a spiteful game that would have much-publicised Match Review Panel ramifications, the lead changed back and forth all afternoon, as both sides struggled to attain a dominant grip on the game. A big fourth quarter effort and long goal from captain Brady Jones in his 100th game looked to all but sealed the result in the final minutes but when Bomber Josh McGuinness goaled in the dying embers of the match it made for a nervy finish. The Roos hanging on to set up a tantalising qualifying final between the two eastern shore sides.

 

HONOURABLE MENTIONS

Round 4 – Glenorchy vs Tigers – 25/4/17 – KGV Oval

Glenorchy 15.15 (105) def Tigers 5.5 (35)

Whilst the result of this game is hardly noteworthy given Glenorchy’s dominance, it was an afternoon that would go down in history after play was stopped mid-match following an appearance by a new cult figure, a border collie named Banjo.  The fan favourite decided he wanted to be a part of the match, running into the Magpies’ defensive 50 for a pat as the Tigers lined up for a set shot on goal. The incident, which was filmed as part of AFL Tasmania’s live stream, made mainstream sporting news across the country.

 

Round 10 – Tigers vs Burnie – 3/6/17 – West Park

Tigers 15.13 (103) def Burnie 14.17 (101)

In a rare high-scoring affair at West Park, the Tigers led by a point at half time before seemingly putting the game away in the third term.  The Dockers lifted after the final huddle, booting an incredible seven final quarter goals to hit the lead with only minutes remaining.  Teenage Tiger Toby Cowen broke the hearts of the Burnie faithful, shrugging off an opponent to goal from long range, as the visitors fell across the line by two points.  Docker captain Nick McKenna and Tiger Mitch Walker both excelled in tricky conditions to kick five goals each.