Demons pip Dockers in Queenborough nailbiter

Written by Richard Bannon

Despite another inaccurate performance in front of goal, the Hobart City Demons have kick-started their TSL campaign, with a nail biting nine-point win against the Burnie Dockers this afternoon.

In what was their first victory for the season, the Demons out-scrapped a physical Dockers outfit to come away 10.12-72 to 9.9-63 winners.

With top-flight footy returning to the traditional Queenborough Oval, the home venue of former State League club Sandy Bay, the Demons raced out of the blocks, registering 20 inside 50’s as they dominated general play throughout the first term. Despite their supremacy, Hobart City wasted a number of chances to put significant scoreboard pressure on the Dockers, with the Demons kicking a wayward 4.6-30 compared to the Dockers 1.1-7 by the first change. Hobart City’s Jack Guesdon was electric early, kicking the first two goals of the game, including a volley which would have made David Beckham smile.

Burnie wrestled back the momentum in the second quarter, but suffered from similar issues kicking for goal, as the Dockers piled on a wasteful 1.5 for the term, compared to the Demons two goals straight. Burnie’s fleet-footed brother duo of Nick and Harry Walters began to control the game, while the presence of man-mountain Nick McKenna around the ground swung the match the way of the Dockers. With Demons gun Will Campbell struggling with an ankle injury which he sustained throughout the warmup, Hobart City appeared to lack the drive forward which they possessed in the first stanza. This aside, the Demons still took a handy 24-point advantage into the long break, leading 6.6-42 to 2.6-18

Following the halftime break, it was up to one of the sides to really run with the match. Burnie did just this, as they kept the Demons goalless for the quarter, while they slammed on 4.1, Nick Walters was a key driver in the Docker dominance, kicking two for the term. In a stunning turnaround, Burnie trailed Hobart City by just two points at the three quarter time break, 6.9-45 to 6.7-43.

It was in the final term that someone had to stand up and take the game by the scruff of the neck. Enter Will Campbell. ‘Soup’ shook off the lingering ankle problem that was causing him grief throughout the first half, as he ran himself into the ground, getting to the feet of just about every contest, and applying constant pressure. With both sides finally hitting the scoreboard with conviction, Campbell was instrumental in his two-way running and his forward drive. To cap it off, the midfielder kicked a clutch goal late into the final term, a raking left foot snap which sent the healthy crowd at Queenborough into a frenzy. Soon after, young Demon Sam Caswell took a strong contested mark deep in his side’s attacking 50, and calmly slotted it to all but assure that Hobart City were going to claim their first points for 2017.

Hobart City assistant Richard Robinson lauded the character that the youthful Demons displayed when the going got tough.

“In the past, some of these guys could have just rolled over. But all 18 blokes on the field really stood up. It was tough footy today down here on a small ground, and our guys really stood up late. These types of wins are really character-building for the group.”

Burnie mentor Clint Proctor was left devastated following a tight loss, but also praised the spirit which his side showed.

“They never give up, which is evident. At quarter time, we were in a really difficult position. So to fight back from that, and then to come out in the third quarter was really pleasing. I’m just disappointed for them that they didn’t get the result.”

Next week the Dockers have the imperious Glenorchy and Hobart City face the winless Lauderdale, in a fascinating meeting.