Lauderdale’s winless run to start 2018 ended under the bright lights of Friday night football after the Bombers were made to earn an impressive victory over the Tigers at the Twin Ovals, TSL Digital Reporter Ryan Rosendale writes.
With a 0-3 win-loss record heading into Friday night, the pressure was well and truly on Lauderdale to get their season off and running, and after a tight tussle at the Twin Ovals, the Bombers got their first win of the season with a 27-point victory over the Tigers.
In an early contender for game of the season, the Bombers and Tigers fought out a highly entertaining contested game of football with the men in red and black running out eventual winners 16.14 (110) to 13.5 (83).
After a tight first quarter and the loss of Bombers star Josh McGuiness to an early hamstring injury, it was all the Tigers throughout the second with the hosts going into the break with a handy 20-point lead.
“He (McGuinness) felt a pinch and he tried to run on it and said it just kept grabbing so we didn’t want to risk it any further and tear it, so he came off and that was pretty early in the game so we were down a midfield rotation but the boys battled well,” Bombers interim-coach Clint Brown said post-match.
Things eventually clicked for Lauderdale after the long-break, with a string of consecutive goals midway through the third-term giving the Bombers a six-point lead at the final change, thanks in-part to an electric performance from Tim Mosquito who finished with four goals.
“Timmy’s great and he’s a funny little character and when I said to him at half-time ‘I’m moving you forward’, his eyes just lit up.”
“I thought we brought them (the Northern Territory recruits) into the game throughout the second half; you know they play a pretty slick game of footy and sometimes when we fart-ass about with the ball it takes them out of the game so getting it in there quickly certainly helps them do their thing,” Brown said.
The Bombers’ second-half momentum and effort eventually got them on the winners list, with Brown showing signs of relief post-match.
“Windy’s (Darren Winter) been calling me Owen all week, so he can drop that one,” Brown laughed.
“It’s a bit of relief and sort of rewards the boys for all the hard work they’ve put in over the summer.”
“Bar the Glenorchy game, I think there’s certainly been effort there against Clarence and again against Launceston last week, but we probably just weren’t good enough with finishing off our goals. Tonight we battled hard in the second-half and capitalised on some of the good play we had which was probably the biggest difference,” he said.
For the Bombers, Haydn Smith was prolific all night in the ruck and was given best afield honours while Brown was pleased with Leo Harrison’s tagging role on Tigers star Ryan Matthews.
Despite the attention, Matthews finished with two majors and gathered plenty of the ball, yet it was midfielder partner Lachy Clifford who was able to get off the leash and play his best game in Tigers colours.
Tigers coach Trent Baumeler, while pleased with the effort and intent of his group, said it was just a small period of the game where the Tigers slipped.
“We probably got a lot of things right for 110 minutes but there was a little ten minute lapse were the things we identified Lauderdale would do well (pre-game), we gave them the opportunity to do and it ended up costing us… so now it’s all about finding that extra ten minutes to get that consistent 120 minute performance.”
With the Tigers now preparing to face the red-hot unbeaten Glenorchy on ANZAC Day this Wednesday, the group will be sweating on the fitness of star defender Marcus Davies who went down with a knee injury in the second-half of Friday’s game.
“In the lead up we will talk about what an honour and a privilege it is to play on what’s a pretty important day in our country and our history, it’s not something we’ll take for granted.”
“We’ve just got to embrace playing on a really big occasion where everyone is watching us with a chance to showcase our brand.”