The Glenorchy Magpies have pushed further ahead atop the Bupa Tasmanian State League ladder, grinding out a hard-fought 20-point win over the Tigers at Kingston’s Twin Ovals on ANZAC Day.
Entering the match as serious underdogs, the Tigers scrapped and fought to make the match a closer contest than many expected, and one worthy of the occasion.
The Tigers impressed with their ball movement out of defence in the opening term, but struggled to make many meaningful forays toward goal, with Glenorchy’s class across half back; patrolled by Daniel Joseph and Josh Arnold, helped set the Magpies up with four opening quarter goals and a 20-point lead at the first break.
The Tigers responded well in the second term, applying immense pressure on the ball carrier and locking the ball in their attacking half.
Midfield stars Will Campbell, Ryan Matthews and Lachlan Clifford all began to establish their influence, with only some missed opportunities in front of goal keeping the Tigers 11 points down at the main break.
The third term saw the contest even up around the ground, but the pressure was kept up by the Tigers, who went into the final change well and truly in the contest at just 15 points adrift.
Despite playing three games in 11 days, Glenorchy ran the game out well, kicking four final quarter goals to the Tigers’ three, finishing 20 points ahead as the final siren sounded.
Glenorchy coach Paul Kennedy was pleased with how his side dug deep to earn four points.
“I really admire the way they went about this game today. I was worried about this game (due to having three games in 11 days).
“We said to the guys that it probably wasn’t going to be a pretty game,” Kennedy said.
Ben Kamaric was one of the most influential players on the ground, finding plenty of the football to generate plenty of drive into attack, and was duly recognised as the best player on the ground with the ANZAC Medal.
Although the clash wasn’t as aesthetically pleasing as many others, the pressure and contested work of both sides stood out, with Kennedy partiuclarly pleased with how his players rallied after letting the Tigers into the contest in the second term.
“We haven’t had to change a lot across the first three weeks, but we do have an adaptable group and they did an excellent job with that today.
“I’m really happy with how they managed to recover from a poor second quarter and apply that team defence in the second half. There were a few choice words at half time… but we managed to halve all of the key stats we were keeping on the Tigers in the second half, so I have to be pleased with that,” he said.
Cameron Duffy was strong in the ruck for the Magpies, while skipper Brayden Webb and Daniel Joseph also stood out.
One of the stars for Glenorchy was 15-year-old Jye Bearman, who kicked three sensational goals, with Kennedy admitting he is impressed by what the goalsneak has achieved at TSL level.
“Some people have it when it comes to playing footy. It is a game that relies on instinct, and he has that natural instinct.
“Players like Jaye Bowden, Brayden Webb, Daniel Joseph and Zac Webster, you sometimes take a seat back and admire how good they are as footballers. Jye has those moments, but still has a lot to learn – he is only 15,” Kennedy said.
Trent Baumeler was proud of how his side competed, but ultimately disappointed in the final result.
“Our effort was first class but unfortunately effort doesn’t get you the four points – we came here to win.
“It was probably a little bit of polish that hurt us, we hit targets inside 50 about 50% of the time and against a good side like Glenorchy, that’s not going to be enough.
“Our effort and work around stoppages was quite good though, we showed that our method stacks up well against good teams. We got our defensive mechanisms right behind the footy which helped narrow that 20 point gap in the second quarter,” Baumeler said.
The Tigers will take plenty out of the contest, with Matthews, Campbell and Clifford appearing to have a bigger influence with every match.
Key defender Jake Doran also played a good game to keep dangerous former Tiger Mitch Walker goalless, while Mitch Carter also patrolled the back half of the ground with poise.
Glenorchy will now shift attention to round six opponent Clarence, while the Tigers will begin preparations for a trip to Windsor Park to take on Launceston.
Tigers 1.0, 3.4, 5.4, 8.6 (54)
Glenorchy 4.2, 5.3, 7.7, 11.8 (74)
Tigers – L. Clifford 2, C. Bryant 2, L. Graham, B. Grant, E. Burrows-Cheng, S. Rice
Glenorchy – J. Bearman 3, J. Grant 2, B. Bester, A. Roberts, M. Joseph, Z. Webster, J. Geard, B. Webb
Tigers – R. Matthews, L. Clifford, M. Carter, H. Johnston, J. Doran, L. Graham
Glenorchy – B. Kamaric, B. Webb, D. Joseph, C. Duffy, H. Gunther, A. Roberts