‘ROOS REIGN SUPREME IN STAY CHATTY BLOCKBUSTER
Written by Anthony Osborn
Clarence continued their surge towards September in a blockbuster Stay ChatTY Cup clash against their Eastern Shore archrivals, Lauderdale, running out 18-point winners.
In the marquee clash of the SPEAK UP! Stay ChatTY round, Clarence registered their second victory over the enemy this season in a 14.7 (91) to 11.7 (73) victory that saw Clarence defender Jason Bailey awarded the medal for best afield.
A first half of seismic momentum shifts and a second-half arm wrestle made for an enthralling contest that largely lived up to the hype that preceded it during the week, even if Clarence’s selection of star Jake Cox proved to be smoke and mirrors.
Cox’s omission didn’t seem to affect the ‘Roos, however, with his side starting the game in scintillating touch at a chilly and breezy Lauderdale Oval.
After eleven minutes of no scoring, a Michael Blackburn goal opened the floodgate for a ‘Roo avalanche of six unanswered first-quarter goals, including two from stalwart Ian Callinan, as Clarence made the most of a breeze favouring their end of the ground.
Clarence’s dominance around the stoppages in the first term placed the Bombers on the backfoot, and sparked Darren Winter to move the damaging defensive duo of Josh McGuinness and Max Kleverkamp into the middle of the ground, with this move working wonders as Lauderdale began to win at the coalface and wrestle back control.
Two Jordon Roberts goals in the opening two minutes of the second term, and then majors to the likes of Toutai Havea and Dylan Fyfe saw the Bombers ride a wave of momentum into a temporary lead midway through the quarter, before a Trent Standen crumbing goal allowed the ‘Roos to take a six-point lead into the main break.
The seismic momentum shifts of the first half were not as stark in the second half, as both sides locked horns in an enthralling and seesawing third stanza that saw both sides trade blows.
Goals to Roberts, Robbie McManus and Max Kleverkamp had the Bombers matching it with their Eastern Shore rivals, before a brilliant late Aiden Grace goal in the dying stages of the term provided Clarence a handy 11-point buffer leading into the final term.
The fourth term was all set for a grandstand finish, but early goals from Kyle Palmer-Hughes, Callinan and Jackson O’Brien taking the ‘Roos out to a four-goal buffer, despite Jordon Roberts’ fourth and a late consolation goal from Liam Meagher.
Clarence’s victory came off the back of another even team contribution, with eleven individual goal-kickers highlighting the attacking depth Jeromey Webberley’s side possesses.
The experienced Ian Callinan was dangerous up forward with three goals, while Brady Jones and Jackson O’Brien were as impressive as ever in midfield. Sam Siggins, Michael Fisher and Kyle Palmer-Hughes were all also influential in the crucial victory.
Clarence’s defensive unit were similarly impressive, with Jason Bailey duly awarded the medal for best afield for his dour performance on Lauderdale key forward Ryan Wiggins. The performance of Bailey and the entire Clarence defensive unit thoroughly pleased Webberley.
“The defence have been great all year to tell you the truth. Jason (Bailey) did a fantastic job on Ryan Wiggins and he just gets better every week, he is starting to lead the back six,” he said.
Young defenders James Holmes and Keegan Wylie also continued their super-impressive seasons, playing with the level-headedness, desperation and skill of players well beyond their experience.
Josh McGuinness was excellent in both defence and midfield in one of his most damaging 2017 performances, while Jordon Roberts played a big role inside forward 50, finishing with four majors. Phil Bellchambers was similarly impressive across halfback, generating plenty of run and drive for the Bombers side.
Despite wrestling their way back into the contest, Darren Winter was bitterly disappointed in the loss and specifically the final quarter when the match was still up for grabs.
“We were pretty poor in the last quarter. We gave away some soft free kicks… The players were disappointed and I’m disappointed in the playing group – we won’t accept that sort of effort.”
Clarence, who will be hoping to bring back Jake Cox and Jack Gleeson into their side in the coming weeks, play host to Devonport at Blundstone Arena next Saturday; while Lauderdale face an imposing road trip up the midlands to face off with Launceston, a side they lost to at home in round three.
LAUDERDALE 0.0 6.3 9.7 11.7 (73)
CLARENCE 6.0 7.3 11.5 14.7 (91)
Lauderdale: Roberts 4, Fyfe 2, Havea, Kleverkamp, Wiggins, Meagher, McManus
Clarence: Callinan 3, Siggins 2, O’Brien, Jones, Palmer-Hughes, Grace, Harper, Chambers, Blackburn, Standen, Buechner
Lauderdale: Roberts, J McGuinness, A Hill, Bellchambers, S Hill
Clarence: Callinan, O’Brien, Jones, Palmer-Hughes, Wall, Bailey