Written by Alex Fitzgerald
Football fans braving the rain were treated to another episode of the long-running Jaye Bowden show at North Hobart Oval on Saturday, with the Glenorchy spearhead defying the conditions to boot eight goals in his side’s 74-point win over North Hobart.
A strong collective defensive effort from the hosts saw them restrict the Magpies to just six goals in a tight first half, before the favoured Glenorchy outfit kicked into gear to run 18.15 (123) to 7.7 (49) victors.
Both sides seemed evenly-matched early on in the game, with the visitors holding a slim 14 point lead at the first break off the back of two Bowden majors late in the term. The Magpies kicked the only three goals of the second stanza, with classy midfielders James Webb and Rhys Mott imposing themselves on the contest. The quarter was soured by a head clash between Demon defender Tyler McGinnis and Magpie forward Matt Joseph, with the duo both leaving the ground on stretchers and later diagnosed with concussions.
The hosts found themselves 53 points in arrears at the final change, but rallied to kick four of the opening five goals of the final term to put some pressure on Glenorchy. The Magpies duly responded, with Bowden kicking a handful of late majors in the fading light to put the game well and truly to bed.
North Hobart coach Richard Robinson was disappointed with the margin, but took solace in his side’s ability to produce some solid play in patches.
“We battled most of the day and then in the last quarter we threw things around and were able to win the footy out of the centre,” he said.
“We started to get some clean inside 50’s and kicked four out of five goals.
“You could see what the future holds.”
Late call-up Will Burgess and emerging tall Jake Steele both played beyond their years for the inexperienced Demons, impressing Robinson, with onballer Nathan McCulloch also providing some penetration through the middle of the ground.
The coach conceded his young playing group were outclassed by the more established Glenorchy names, and that focusing on putting a four quarter performance together was the Club’s main goal moving forward.
“A lot of these guys have come out of under 16’s last year into senior footy this year,” he said.
” You get to this level and it’s pretty demanding.
“I want them to go out there next week and take the game on with plenty of run from behind and celebrate the good things we do as a group.”
Glenorchy coach Paul Kennedy paid tribute to the Demons’ efforts following the match.
“Something I really like about North Hobart is the way they just keep coming.
“They kick red-time goals; usually young teams late in the (fourth) quarter are just waiting for the siren to blow.
“They kept testing us, and midway fourth quarter I was a little bit grumpy in the box because they got on top.”
Kennedy attributed the Magpies’ second half dominance to the collective work rate of midfielders John Geard, Webb and Mott, with the latter breaking a tag to have a big say in his side’s plethora of inside-50 entries following the main break.
Defenders Daniel Joseph and Jack Stevenson also earned Kennedy’s praise for their stoicism, as did forward targets Mitch Walker and Adam Roberts.
But the spotlight inside the Glenorchy rooms post-match was firmly on the efforts of Bowden.
“Everyone will talk about his eight goals, but after the game I asked our group about his other work in terms of our forward structure and his work rate, and they almost shook their heads, because he was just tireless,” Kennedy said.
“As a coach I’ve just been impressed by how hard he works and how coachable he is.
“I was pleased for him to get a bag today, because he’s done a lot of selfless work this year and I’ve asked him to play a few different roles.
“He doesn’t complain, he just goes out there and does it.”
Glenorchy now find themselves going into next week’s home game against Clarence behind third-placed Launceston on the ladder on percentage with six wins apiece. The Magpies will be keen to atone for a slim loss to the ‘Roos earlier on in the season, before taking on the Blues the following weekend.
“Last time we felt we let an opportunity to beat a really good team go, so as soon as we spoke after the game today the boys were pretty much looking forward to next week,” Kennedy said.
“I’ve got confidence in my team, and whatever happens we’re going to keep building and getting better.
“While it’s a young team, we think we’ve got huge potential in both the short and long term.”
North Hobart will face an in-form Lauderdale before facing Western Shore rivals, the Tigers, following the bye.
North Hobart 1.2-8 1.3-9 3.7-25 7.7-49
Glenorchy 3.4-22 6.6-42 11.12-78 18.15-123
North Hobart: C. Kilpatrick 2, M. Woods, N. McCulloch, S. Collins, A. Norton, S. Caswell
Glenorchy: J. Bowden 8, H. Parker 2, M. Walker 2, M. Joseph, J. Geard, J. Bearman, A. Roberts, J. Webb, C. Daly
North Hobart: B. Tilbury, H. Williams, W. Burgess, J. Cleaver, N. McCulloch
Glenorchy: J. Bowden, R. Mott, D. Joseph, J. Webb, M. Walker, C. Duffy