Bombers grind down Pies on road to TSL semis
LAUDERDALE outlasted a gallant but undisciplined Glenorchy yesterday to keep its TSL premiership dream alive while capping a horror month for the Magpies in the process.
The Bombers used two goal-kicking bursts — in the second quarter and again in the last — to record a 17.8 (110) to 11.11 (77) victory at North Hobart Oval in the elimination final.
Lauderdale kicked six unanswered majors in the second term to turn a 14-point deficit into a 23-point buffer at half-time.
The Bombers then withstood a Magpie comeback in the last stanza, booting the final five goals of the contest after seeing their advantage whittled down to four points.
The match started tight but the Magpies began to unravel as the Bombers kicked into gear in the second quarter.
First, a free kick resulted in a goal to Elijah Taylor, and the next centre bounce led to a chain of handballs ending with an Adam Joyce goal on the run.
Lauderdale gained more momentum when Ben Reynolds gave away a free kick and 50m penalty to Bryce Walsh just as the Pies were breaking free a short time later.
On the back of Shane Piuselli, Rhys Mott and Brayden Webb, Glenorchy dragged itself back into the match after the long break, kicking five goals to Lauderdale’s three. And when Matthew Dilger ran on to a ball over the back of a pack and into an open goal early in the last term, it looked like Glenorchy would run over the top.
But best afield Michael Cassidy quickly answered with a set shot and Ryan Wiggins followed suit two minutes later to restore the buffer — and from there the battling Pies ran out of gas.
“In a finals atmosphere nobody wants to give the game up, the pressure lasts longer so you have to scrap it out longer,” victorious coach Darren Winter said.
“I thought both teams made it a really tight contest. I know we kicked away towards the end but for the whole game there was no space.
“We knew Glenorchy would come back. They are a proud club and have that ability to keep scrapping it out.
“We had to hold our nerve. What we didn’t want to do was go into shutdown mode.”
Phil Bellchambers blanketed the influence of Glenorchy star Jaye Bowden after quarter time, Nicholas Burk was a terrier all day and bobbed up with two third-quarter goals, and Walsh (22 possessions), Taylor and Zac Plant (20) provided plenty of midfield drive.
Pies stand-in coach Matthew Smith was left ruing second-quarter brain lapses that cost his side dearly, and admitted the pain of losing Aaron Cornelius finally took its toll.
Four weeks ago Glenorchy was third on the ladder, but it limped into finals after losing two of its last three games.
“The second quarter was not Glenorchy-like, we were a bit undisciplined, a few acts cost us some goals and cost us the game I suppose,” Smith said.
“Aaron was basically our security blanket, if we were in trouble we could kick the footy to him and we knew he would mark it or do something special.
“But we are only a young team and hopefully we will learn from it.”
Lauderdale will meet Western Storm in the first semi-final at Aurora Stadium next weekend while minor premier Clarence clashes with North Launceston at Blundstone Arena. Both games will start at 2.30pm on Saturday.