Clarence have kept in touch with the competition’s pacesetters, recording a hard-fought 14-point win at a blustery KGV Oval on Saturday afternoon.
After going down to North Launceston and Launceston in consecutive weeks, the Roos steadied to register their third win for the season, upsetting the previously unbeaten Magpies 12.13 (85) to 11.5 (71).
The win sees Clarence stay just four points behind the previously undefeated Magpies, who have slipped to third place behind Launceston (first) and North Launceston (second).
The visitors were made to scrap for the win, with the Magpies getting off to fast starts in the opening two quarters to put Clarence on the back foot.
The Roos rose to the challenge on each occasion, however, managing to keep the deficit to 13 points at the main break, despite Glenorchy stalwart Jaye Bowden taking the second term by the scruff of the neck to boot three goals.
The Roos were sensational in the third term, controlling the contest right around the ground to have seven scoring shots (3.4) to one (0.1) for the quarter.
Clarence coach Jeromey Webberley was pleased with the effort his side showed all day, but credited this third term dominance to the work of his mid-sized forward group.
“They [Glenorchy] set up extremely well behind the ball with Daniel Joseph and Josh Arnold, but I thought once our forwards were able to nullify that and we got the ball moving forward, we managed to lock the ball inside our forward 50. It was coming out of our forward line a bit too easy in the first half.
“Our forward six were outstanding with their pressure on the ball carrier and brought the ball to ground- particularly after half-time. Ashton Dickenson, Alex Silver, Troy Cunliffe, these guys are so strong when the ball hits the ground,” Webberley said.
After kicking the opening goal of the final term to extend the lead to 20 points, the Roos were significantly challenged with Brady Quinn, Mitch Walker and Brayden Webb cutting the margin back to just five points as the clock ticked over 20 minutes.
The Roos had ample opportunity to seal the game with repeat forward 50 entries in the following minutes, before an Ashton Dickenson goal at the 29-minute mark sealed a memorable victory for the Roos over their arch rival Glenorchy.
After being beaten around stoppages last week against Launceston, Webberley was delighted with the increased pressure, hunger and application displayed by his group, with Jackson O’Brien playing a huge role in the middle of the ground.
“[It was] The complete turnaround [from last weekend], we really put it on the players and leaders to make sure our effort and hunger for the contest was there and we got it for four-quarters.
“Our stoppage work and contested work around the ground was fantastic – I couldn’t fault the players. We need to tidy up some stuff with our transition and ball movement, but I thought the contest work, not just around stoppages, but also through winning one on ones was outstanding,” he said.
Clarence coach Jeromey Webberley was brilliant in the win, controlling the midfield and drifting forward to kick two vital majors after spending much of the start of the season across half back, while Ryan Bailey was named best afield after playing a key role in the ruck after Wade Wall went off the ground with a rolled ankle in the first half.
Clarence’s back six, again led by Jason Bailey and James Holmes, were again tough to expose, as evidenced by conceding just one behind in the third term.
“We have been prettyy happy with our defensive application. We had one week where our contest stuff was pretty poor, but it has more been the stuff we are generally pretty good at – using the ball, getting the ball deep inside 50 and maintaining possession. We have struggled with that so far this year but it has been a big strength of ours last year,” Webberley said.
Glenorchy coach Paul Kennedy was full of praise for the Roos, but conceded his side were off on the day.
“In the second half we had as many missed tackles as laid tackles and after quarter time we were really well beaten around the ball – they came hungry.
“It’s not about names and talent. Football is a game where if you play harder and pressure harder, it gives you an opportunity to win.
“We didn’t have that appetite for the contest or the work rate once we had lost the contest to win the ball back. It made it very tough in that second half. It was a good wake up for the guys. We know that we can be a lot better,” Kennedy said.
The Magpies will now turn attention to the in-form Blues, with a round seven trip to Windsor Park.
“We didn’t bring the heat we had in the first three and a bit games. Going up to Launceston next week, if we are not a lot better, it is going to be a tough day.
“Our forumla and our playing group are still good. One bad day doesn’t change that. We will look at a cuple of things but we will start afresh and look at the challenge we have got with Launceston and go up there to win the game of footy. When we are on we are a really good football team.
Clarence will travel to Kingston’s Twin Ovals to take on the Tigers in round seven.
Glenorchy 3.3, 8.4, 8.5, 11.5 (71)
Clarence 3.2, 6.3, 9.7, 12.13 (85)
Glenorchy – J. Bowden 3, B. Webb 2, J. Webb 2, J. Bearman 1, M. Rainbird 1, B. Quinn 1, M. Walker 1
Clarence – A. Dickenson 3, A. Silver 3, J. Webberley 2, G. Chambers 1, C. Nield 1, R. Bailey 1, J. Harper 1
Glenorchy – J. Bowden, D. Joseph, C. Duffy, B. Quinn, B. Webb, M. Rainbird
Clarence – R. Bailey, J. O’Brien, J. Holmes, C. Nield, A. Dickenson, R. Cowie