The Eastern Shore derby rarely disappoints, and the round eight edition of the rivalry was as enthralling as ever, with the in-form Roos continuing their winning streak and the wayward Bombers forced to pay for missed opportunities.
On a day full of momentum swings, the Roos prevailed after making the most of their opportunities, running over the top of the home side in the final term to record a crucial 16.11 (107) to 13.15 (93) win.
Lauderdale had the opportunity to surge ahead in every term, only for missed opportunities and a plucky Clarence outfit keeping the door ajar.
The Roos kicked 5.1 in the opening term to the Bombers 5.5, with Ryan Wiggins threatening to take the game by the scruff of the neck with two goals in the opening stanza.
Clarence went on to draw blood early in the second quarter before the final three goals of the term again shifted the match, with the hosts taking a one-point lead into the main break.
The third term, renowned as being the ‘premiership quarter’, hurt the Bombers, who kicked 2.7 to the Roos 1.3, with all the momentum suggesting that the Bombers would be run away with the four points.
This inaccurate goalkicking proved costly, with an 11-point buffer at the last break not enough, with Clarence delivering a barnstorming six goal to two final term to leave the Bombers wondering what might have been.
Lauderdale forwards coach Tyson Bluett reflected as much in the post-game.
“It was the one that got away. We kicked 2.7 in the third term so the game should have been on its way to being sealed, but we left the door ajar and they took the points again, reminiscent of round one,” Bluett said.
The parallels of this result to round one’s at the same venue are stark, with Lauderdale giving up a 13-point lead at three-quarter time on that occasion to eventually go down by 17 points, with the Roos booting seven final quarter goals.
Lauderdale’s effort was a big step up from last weekend’s big loss to North Launceston, however, with the Bombers impressing with their attack on the contest.
Oscar Shaw was particularly impressive in his debut, while Wiggins, Rhys Sutton and Phil Bellchambers also stood out as the day unfolded.
“We felt like we turned the corner today, but obvously not coming away with the four points hurts.
“Trying to get into the top three is starting to get out of reach, but we are confident out best football is up there,” Bluett said.
Clarence coach Jeromey Webberley was pleased with how his troops attacked the contest, particularly after appearing to be out of the game at certain stages, including early in the final term.
“I thought at three-quarter-time that we lacked a bit of energy – we weren’t playing poorly but they had got on top around contested ball.
“They were really good, but to our boys credit they continued to fight hard and their ability to cover the ground was good. When we got momentum into the game, we managed to score,” Webberley said.
Jake Cox was at his damaging best in the win, kicking three second half goals, and two in the final term, to help the Roos claw back a deficit that got to 11 points at the final change.
Cox’s explosiveness from contested stoppages was difficult to stop, as highlighted by his terrific roving goal that sealed the match in the final term, but he also did other things around the ground, including a brave contested mark only minutes earlier that helped keep the attacking Bombers at bay.
And while Jake Cox highlighted the side’s flexibility, recruit Troy Cunliffe epitomized the relentless pressure and attack that has underscored the club’s performances in recent weeks.
With the final term already 26 minutes old, Clarence had done enough to already sew up the end result, but this didn’t stop Cunliffe, who completed a sprint of nearly 70 metres to bring down Alex Hevey in the middle of the ground.
Although this forced turnover didn’t have a direct influence on the final score, it highlighted that this Clarence side seriously mean business, and with stars to come back into the side, the ‘Roos are a genuine contender in 2018 as they sit with a 5-2 record heading into the round nine bye.
“We are happy with where we are at. We are playing some really good footy but I think we are getting better every week – we are starting to know what it takes to be a good TSL team.
“We should get Brady Jones, Keegan Wylie back after the bye with Trent Standen and Ryan Edmondson a few weeks away. We are starting to get some soldiers back on deck, but we are really pleased with the new guys whpo have come in and what they’ve added to the group. Those guys coming in add some cream on top,” Webberley said.
While Clarence enjoy the week off, Lauderdale will host Glenorchy in round nine.
Lauderdale 5.5, 9.6, 11.13, 13.15 (93)
Clarence 5.1, 9.5, 10.8, 16.11 (107)
Lauderdale: R. Wiggins 3, J. Gillbee 2, T. Mosquito 2, E. Stanley 2, H. Kerinaiua, P. Bellchambers, A. Hevey, C. Laoumtzis
Clarence: T. Castle 4, J. Cox 3, H. Richmond 2, G. Chambers 2, J. Webberley 2, C. Nield, J. Harper, R. Bailey
Lauderdale: O. Shaw, P. Bellchambers, R. Wiggins, R. Sutton, E. Stanley, J. Perkins
Clarence: T. Cunliffe, G. Chambers, J. Cox, J. Webberley, T. Castle, J. Holmes