Blues Hold On In Thriller
Launceston continued its winning ways on Saturday afternoon, recording a thrilling one-point win over a fast-finishing Glenorchy at Windsor Park, writes TSL Digital Reporter Josh Partridge.
“The people that tell you TSL footy is boring, they can jump back in their box.”
That was the message, jokingly, from Glenorchy coach Paul Kennedy after their one-point loss to Launceston on Saturday at Windsor Park.
In what can only be described as an absolute thriller, Kennedy’s boys almost roped in a 26-point deficit at three quarter time to knock off Launceston, with a Ben Kamaric goal in the dying stages leveling the scores.
The visitors were stopped, however, by a booming Jack Donnellan left foot shot that was punched through the point posts in the dying seconds of the game, handing the red-hot Blues a thrilling one-point win in the game of the season.
Sam Lonergan’s Launceston boys got off to a flying start, kicking with the breeze that swung down the Tamar River with two first quarter goals from recruit Jack Rushton setting the scene.
Launceston were able to dominate play but could have been further in front on the scoreboard as Glenorchy toiled hard in the backline.
The Magpies struggled to hit the scoreboard in the first, however, with Launceston’s defensive group of Chris Savage, Jake Hinds and Dylan Riley stopping all bar one goal in the first term, with the one goal being kicked by late inclusion Riley Oakley, who came into the side for Jaye Bowden, as the visitors entered the first break three goals down.
In his post-game press conference, Launceston coach Sam Lonergan said, “it was two sides, two teams, in a game playing two different halves, Glenorchy were good for two quarters and we were good for two quarters.”
This statement rang true in the second term as Glenorchy took advantage of the strong breeze to claw back the quarter time deficit to just seven points at the main break.
Callen Daly was instrumental for the Magpies in the second, kicking a goal and assisting youngster Oakley to slot his second for the day. Giving the Magpies a commanding presence up forward, Oakley will be one to watch given more senior opportunities in the future.
Launceston’s third quarter was assisted by two goals to youngster Giacomo Millucci. Already the leading goal-kicker in the Mercury Cup Development League competition, Millucci made an impact on Saturday, slotting three majors for the Blues as one of their better players on the day.
Rulla Kelly-Mansell also joined the goal-kicking list for the Blues in the third and was also one of the better players on the day for Launceston, providing many a moment for the highlight reel with his impressive bursts of play.
The efforts of Millucci and Kelly-Mansell helped the Blues take advantage of the wind once again to stretch the lead out to 26 points at the final change.
But as had happened all day, the Pies took advantage of the breeze to set up a grandstand finish.
Ben Kamaric (three goals) and Harry Parker (two) took control of the final term in starring final quarter performances for the Magpies, with the southern side
Ben Kamaric and Harry Parker were stars for Glenorchy in the final term with Kamaric kicking three goals in the last to give the Magpies a red-hot crack at the Blues. Parker kicked two to assist kicking seven goals to two in the last term in one of the best TSL games of the year, if not the decade.
Launceston debutants Sam Bruinewoud and Tyson Miller stood up in the last, with Bruinewoud having a tough initiation against Cameron Duffy, getting better as the day progressed and Miller providing drive forward in key moments for the Blues.
Lonergan praised the efforts of Riley, Hinds, Savage and Blackberry as well as Sonny Whiting, who returned after a stint in the Mercury Cup, which allowed for a change in role for the forward.
“Sonny contributed today. Being an experienced TSL player and is now in a position to develop a secondary craft,” Lonergan said.
Kennedy spoke highly of the young Glenorchy group, particularly 18-year-old Harrison Gunther, who took some big marks at key moments for the Magpies.
“Harrison’s switched down back this year from being a junior forward and has potential to be a really good defender. He probably had some moments today he wants to bring back, but apart from that, he chopped off so many attacks, used the football well and is such an exciting prospect,” Kennedy said.
Launceston will now need to back up this effort and possibly more, as they face ladder leaders North Launceston in a top of the table clash in round eight, while Glenorchy will rest up with the week off, before going on to face Lauderdale on the 26th.
Full Match Results:
Launceston – G. Millucci 3, M. Thorp 3, J. Rushton 2, J. Blackberry 2, B. Palfreyman, R. Kelly-Mansell
Glenorchy – B. Kamaric 3, R. Oakley 2, H. Parker 2, C. Daly 2, M.Joseph, J. Webb, M. Rainbird, J. Millhouse
Launceston – J. Blackberry, R. Kelly-Mansell, C. Savage, J. Donnellan, D. Riley, R. Tyrrell
Glenorchy – B. Kamaric, M. Joseph, H. Gunther, J. Arnold, C. Daly, J. Webb