Bombers sneak home
Written by Andrew Johnston
North Launceston remain on top with thanks to a come from behind four point win over Glenorchy in one of the matches of the year at the University of Tasmania Stadium, in Launceston.
The Bombers trailed at every change, but ran over the top of an undermanned Glenorchy in the final quarter to lead when it mattered. The Pies were headed but again mounted a late charge in a dramatic finish but the Bombers hung on for a four point win.
Taylor Whitford was a late withdrawal for the hosts, with Tom Couch, Jay Foon and Tarryn Thomas all taking their place. Bradley Cox-Goodyear was dominant for the Bombers in midfield, while Jaye Bowden kicked two and was prevalent in midfield, despite recent hamstring troubles.
The Magpies were on top in the opening quarter, kicking four goals four and nearly doubling North’s inside 50’s. Jaye Bowden started brightly and Cameron Duffy took early dominance in the ruck battle.
The second quarter saw the Bombers take back a degree of control, limiting the Magpies to just the one goal, hitting the scoreboard with three of their own. Bradley Cox-Goodyer took control through the middle of the ground and was well supported by Josh Ponting, who delivered one of the goals of the year with a 50 meter dribble kick rolling through. Despite North’s improved quarter, the Magpies held a lead at the main break.
Glenorchy lost Captain and superstar Brayden Webb and Brady Quinn with both succumbing to injury and ruled out of action prior to half time.
The third quarter was a hard-fought slog with only one goal scored by each side. Glenorchy had multiple chances to kick away but were stung by inaccuracy, scoring six behinds for the quarter. The Premiers were held back with two players off the ground and limited rotations, missed opportunities took their toll. In the middle of the ground, North ruckman Alex Lee began to take control in the ruck contest and silky midfielder Rhys Mott continued his impressive form.
In the early stages of the final quarter, the dam wall finally broke, with the Bombers running game providing them with a dominance on inside 50’s. Bart McCulloch and Zach Burt began to take marks inside 50 and young gun Tarryn Thomas came to life. With five minutes remaining, the Bombers lead by 16, and looked home against a Glenorchy side out on their feet.
But the Magpies wouldn’t go away. A moment of magnificence from Jaye Bowden saw him take the ball 70 from goal, get around a defender and goal to give the Magpies life. Josh Watts would sneak into a mark moments later to pull the margin back to three points. But the experienced Bombers shut the game down, managing to run out the clock with Thomas adding another point to hold on in one of the most exciting games of the season.
Glenorchy coach Aaron Cornellius was very impressed with his team’s fight.
“We had our scoring opportunities, didn’t capitalise, down rotations, but a lot of fight within the team to push through.
“It was disappointing not to get the result, but very proud (of the team).”
Injured North captain Taylor Whitford, who took the role of coach for the week, was happy with the team’s return to form.
“It was a finals like intensity. It’s good to start playing some footy that we want to play.”
He also spoke highly of the team’s ability to stick with the Magpies, and then finish the game off strongly.
“We knew that if we stayed with them, and hung on, we could come home strong.”
The first placed Bombers head to Twin Ovals to take on Tigers next week, whilst Glenorchy head to the tip to take on the white hot Lauderdale.
NORTH LAUNCESTON v. GLENORCHY
Round 16 – 22/07/2017
North Launceston 2.3, 5.4, 6.6, 9.10 (64)
Glenorchy 4.5, 5.6, 6.12, 8.12 (60)
GOALS, North Launceston :
B. McCulloch 2, Z. Burt 2, C. Harrison 1, T. Thomas 1, L. Hollmer 1, B. Cox-Goodyer 1,
J. Ponting 1
J. Bowden 3, J. Webb 1, J. Geard 1, H. Pearce 1, J. Watts 1, M. Hills 1
BEST, North Launceston :
B. Cox-Goodyer, J. Ponting, J. Avent, T. Mansell, T. Bennett, T. Thomas
M. Dilger, L. Smith, J. Bowden, B. Reynolds, J. Arnold, J. Arnold