Written by Anthony Osborn 

An impressive Lauderdale outfit have made it two victories in Launceston from two attempts in 2017, running out convincing 27-point winners over the Blues in an entertaining affair.

The Bombers took another serious step towards premiership legitimacy over the Blues, taking the valuable points back down the midlands in the 16.9 (105) to 12.6 (78) victory.

The opening quarter was a scrappy affair, with Launceston emerging as the side that was able to acclimatise to slippery conditions underfoot and the red-hot nature of the contest, taking a 19-point buffer into the first break.

Rulla Kelly-Mansell looked set for a big day, with his performance in the opening term, which included two magnificent goals, threatening to blow the Bombers out of the water, while a heavy knock on Sam Lonergan prematurely ended the Launceston playing-coach’s day.

The injury to Sam Lonergan undoubtedly influenced the contest, with the playing-coach’s influence sorely missed both on and off the field.

Just as Kelly-Mansell did in the opening term, Thor Boscott roared to life in the second term to emphatically stamp his influence on the match. The fiery Bomber booted two, and set up several others, to put Lauderdale right back in the match.

Lauderdale coach Darren Winter was clearly pleased with how his star returned to the side after serving his suspension.

“He (Boscott) is a really strong young man- he is really important to our team with the way he goes about his footy… at stages he changed the shape of the game,” Winter said.

The Bomber second quarter surge was far from a coincidence, with the prime movers of the Lauderdale midfield, including Dylan Fyfe, working their way on top around the contest as the term progressed. Lauderdale’s defence were also stringent in their efforts, keeping the Blues scoreless in the second term.

The third quarter went much the same way as the visitors piled on seven goals to one to put the result beyond doubt.

Just as Boscott had done in the second, regular defender Alex Hill took the game by the scruff of the neck in the third term, booting three of his five goals in the premiership stanza.

Launceston ran the game out well, outscoring the Bombers six goals to three, kicking six final quarter goals, including multiples from James Gillow and the well-held Sonny Whiting.

Alex Hill’s presence in the forward half emerged as a result of regular key forward Ryan Wiggins playing a role in defence, and this decision from Darren Winter proved to be a masterstroke, with Hill’s ability to take contested marks and finish cleanly in front of goal having a significant influence on the contest.

Winter was pleased with how both players performed, and cited an issue of predictability as the catalyst for the tactical shift.

“The first eight or nine weeks we played good footy, but we have been pretty predictable. To be able to throw the opposition out we need to have some flexibility in our team… We will continue to do different things” Winter said.

Alex Hill and Thor Boscott’s performances were certainly the most eye-catching, but the even performance of the entire Lauderdale outfit made for a seriously impressive display; with the likes of the McGuinness brothers, Dylan Fyfe and Rhys Sutton all playing significant roles in the victory.

Max Kleverkamp similarly did a magnificent job of restricting the output of damaging Launceston forward Sonny Whiting, keeping the goal sneak goalless until being forced off the ground after copping some friendly fire from teammate Phil Bellchambers.

Winter was pleased with the performance, but conceded that his side had much to work on, particularly the free kick count.

“We had 41 free kicks against us… we really need to address that. We can’t keep handing the ball to the opposition,” Winter admitted.

Lauderdale’s victory atoned for their round four loss to the Blues at home earlier this year, and also saw the Bombers take a 2-1 record from the past three games against premiership hopefuls North Launceston, Clarence and Launceston; three sides they lost to at the beginning of the season.

Launceston assistant coach Darrin Geard was pleased with how the Blues ran out the match, but was left to rue the second and third quarters.

“Lauderdale brought a physical contest. We (Launceston) won the first quarter but in the second and third quarters we went away from our structures… the damage really was done in those middle quarters,” Geard said.

Brodie Palfreyman was his usually productive self for the Blues, finding plenty of the football in a prominent display, while Sam Rundle and Joe Boyce also impressed.

Lauderdale face the dangerous Hobart City Demons at North Hobart Oval next Saturday, while Launceston face an imposing road trip down the midlands to face premiership fancy Clarence at Blundstone Arena.

Round 13 – 01/07/2017

Lauderdale                              2.1,  6.5,  13.9,  16.9  (105)

Launceston                              5.2,  5.2,  6.4,  12.6  (78)

GOALS, Lauderdale :
A. Hill 5, T. Boscott 3, A. Hevey 2, C. Laoumtzis 2, R. Hill 2, P. Bellchambers 1,
J. Roberts 1

Launceston :
R. Kelly-Mansell 3, S. Whiting 2, J. Gillow 2, J. Boyce 1, J. Smith 1, C. Smith 1,
B. Palfreyman 1, J. Nunn 1

BEST, Lauderdale :
P. Bellchambers, D. Fyfe, A. Hill, R. Wiggins, N. Franklin, E. Stanley

Launceston :
B. Palfreyman, H. Leedham, S. Rundle, J. Blackberry, J. Boyce, T. Sheppard