Written by Anthony Osborn

Clarence bounced back onto the winners list with an impressive 55-point win over the Hobart City Demons in an entertaining contest at North Hobart Oval on Saturday afternoon.

The 15.16 (106) to 7.9 (51) victory was sweet revenge for the Roos, who were inflicted with their first loss of the season by the Demons back in round seven, while also coming off the back of a disappointing loss to arch-rival Glenorchy last week.

After suffering their first loss of the year at the hands of the Demons in round seven, Clarence brought an elite level of ferocious intensity to the contest, both at the contest and the opposition.

“They beat us earlier in the year and we had to come here and hunt the ball carrier and get the game on our terms… They outhunted us over at Bellerive- they wanted the game more. We knew they were going to come out fired up,” Clarence coach Jeromey Webberley said.

The opening term was a highly pressurised affair, making for some enthralling football to watch.

The Demons began to assert control over the match late in the opening term, but were not quite able to capitalise on the scoreboard and faced an 11-point deficit at the first break as a result.

Much like they did in the last clash between these two sides, the Demons matched the Roos ferocity for passages of the match, with two early second term goals from Will Hay and Hugh NJ Williams temporarily handing the hosts a slender lead as a repeat of the round seven upset loomed.

It quickly became clear, however, that history was not going to repeat itself as the ‘Roos regained control as the second term progressed, with the Demons’ defensive unit forced to deal with a barrage of Clarence attacking surges, resulting in a 21-point Clarence advantage at the main break.

This trend continued throughout the third term, as Clarence slammed on five unanswered goals to make the difference 55 points by the start of the final change, with the disposal and ball-handling skills of Clarence on full display.

The ball became locked inside the Clarence attacking half for the majority of the third term, with the likes of Tyson Hanslow and Jason Bailey playing the roles of intercept sweepers as the Clarence defensive press made the Demons’ efforts to move into attack fruitless.

The hosts ran the match out well in the final term and ensured the deficit remained at 55 points by the final siren, but the damage was well and truly done by the time the final term started.

It was an impressive performance by the ‘Roos, particularly so with the late withdrawal of star ruckman Sam Siggins, who injured his shoulder at training during the week- however, Webberley was confident that the damage was not too extreme.

“He (Siggins) hurt his shoulder on Tuesday night at training, and he probably could have nearly played today, but just a bit of precaution so he should be ok for next week.”

Wade Wall was highly impressive in Siggins’ absence, with his tap work providing the likes of Brady Jones and Jackson O’Brien with first use of the football at the coalface.

After weeks of his return to the side being teased, Jake Cox proved how valuable he is to this side with two goals and a genuine mark of the week contender in the third term surely bringing smiles to the faces of the Clarence faithful.

Webberley was impressed with the way both Cox and Jason Bailey slotted back into the side,

”It took him (Cox) a half to work into the game, but the first ten minutes of the third he really took the game by the scruff of the neck. They (Cox and Jason Bailey) are quality players that will only be better for the run.”

Livewire forwards Aiden Grace and Michael Blackburn impressed as they worked their way into the contest, while the usual suspects of Jones, O’Brien, Ian Callinan and Trent Standen proved to be dangerous throughout the afternoon.

Hanslow and Jordan Roberts were also influential in the victory.

After a disappointing loss to Glenorchy last weekend, a victory over the Demons was crucial for the ‘Roos in the lead up to September action.

“Our last month has been a little bit flat- Glenorchy showed us what finals footy is all about (last week). To come here today and get the four points against a good team is good for the team going forward.”

Tassie Mariner Nic Baker was impressive in a variety of roles as a midfielder, relief ruckman and forward.

Captain Hugh NJ Williams was also fantastic for the Demons in a forward-role, providing a key target and hitting the scoreboard.  Will Campbell and Baxter Norton were also among the Demons’ best in the loss.

Hobart City Demons coach Kane Richter was disappointed in the loss, but remained upbeat after the match,

“I am disappointed in the loss. If you weren’t human, you wouldn’t be disappointed. But, our boys applied themselves well in the first quarter and a half.

“There are some positives, but also some fundamentals of the game we have got to continue teaching our group. We just need to keep teaching them and over time it will become habit and we will get better.”

The Demons’ quest September action will all go on the line with a trip to Windsor Park next Saturday to face Launceston, while Clarence play hosts to the Burnie Dockers at Blundstone Arena in round 17.

Round 16 – 22/07/2017

Clarence                                4.3,  7.8,  12.13,  15.16  (106)

Hobart City Demons                      2.4,  4.5,  4.6,  7.9  (51)

GOALS, Clarence :
T. Standen 4, Z. Buechner 2, J. Cox 2, T. Hanslow 2, I. Callinan 1, M. Fisher 1,
J. Roberts 1, M. Blackburn 1, J. Harper 1

Hobart City Demons :
J. Barwick 2, H. Williams 1, W. Hay 1, J. Charlton 1, E. Cole 1, N. Baker 1

BEST, Clarence :
W. Wall, M. Fisher, T. Standen, B. Jones, M. Blackburn, J. O’Brien

Hobart City Demons :
N. Baker, B. Norton, H. Williams, W. Campbell