Lauderdale’s surge towards the upper echelons of the Bupa Tasmanian State League ladder continued on Saturday afternoon, with the southern Bombers recording an impressive 59-point win over Glenorchy at Lauderdale Oval.
After a hard-fought, low-scoring first half, the Bombers manged to gain the upper hand in the second half, with a dominant Ben McGuinness final stanza putting the cherry on top of a 16.14 (110) to 6.15 (51) win.
The match threatened to be a war of attrition on a wet track, with both sides struggling to capitalise on ample forward 50 entries in the opening half, only for the Bombers cleanliness and ability to make the most of opportunities to come to the forefront as the game progressed.
The match was predictably contested early with two of the competition’s premier contested sides going head to head in an enthralling – if not aesthetically pleasing – spectacle.
Glenorchy threatened at times in the opening term to make the early jump, with big man Harry Parker taking strong contested marks inside 50.
Parker was marking anything and everything that came his way and could have had a small bag come the first break, but missed opportunities in front of goal saw him have the visitors’ only two goals of the first term next to his name.
Parker was far from the only player missing goal scoring opportunities, with Glenorchy (3.12) and Lauderdale (5.8) both heading into the main change ruing missed chances.
The ‘Lauderdale brand’ that has been spoken about by players and coaching staff throughout the year came to the fore in the second half, however, with the Bombers stepping up early in the third term to make the most of their chances and use the ball cleanly.
“We showed what our brand is all about today, particularly in the second half our contested ball was outstanding. The way we linked up with our handball through the middle and created avenues to goal was terrific,” Lauderdale assistant coach Clint Brown said post-game.
“It was an arm wrestle early and we managed to get on top early in that second half which was pivotal.
“We were a bit fumbly between our legs (in the first half) and were trying to rush handballs. We cleaned that up a bit and in the second half we were one-touch getting it out to the guys on the outside in the second half.”
Key utility Ben McGuinness was influential for the Bombers, kicking a goal in each of the first three terms before turning a solid display into a dominant one with four final quarter goals to take his tally to seven and ensure the Bombers ran away with victory.
It was the performance Lauderdale fans would have been hoping for after threatening to break games apart at times throughout the season.
“He was outstanding today. He is one of those guys we have the luxury of being able to decide whether we play up forward or down back. He has been itching to jump out of his skin and start clunking some marks,” Lauderdale assistant coach Clint Brown said post-game.
“We decided to play him down forward and it worked well for us, he ended up taking 10 or 11 contested marks and kicked seven goals.”
Thor Boscott also impressed in his second game back from a foot injury with three goals and a spell in the midfield, while Rhys Sutton and Nat Franklin were at their lively best.
After successful performances for the Tassie Mariners and then the Allies at the U18 National Championships, Nic Baker and Matt McGuinness made successful returns to senior football with solid performances.
“First game for the club he was outstanding, I think he was one of our better players,” Brown said of Baker.
“Sometimes when they come back they are on a bit of a down, but Matt comes back to play with his brothers (Ben and Josh) which gives him a boost and Bakes (Nic Baker) comes back for his first game at the club.
“Hopefully they continue to play well as they are definitely in draft contention.”
Lauderdale put plenty of attention into star Magpie duo Jaye Bowden and Rhys Mott, with strong lock down roles on the two play-makers going a long way to the result.
“We had two major roles in Josh McGuinness on Jaye Bowden plus Leo Harrison went to Rhys Mott. They are two of the best players in the competition and I think those guys did a great job of shutting them out of the game,” Brown said.
As Glenorchy’s first loss since round 10, coach Paul Kennedy was far from reaching for the panic button after the match, but was left to rue missed opportunities and a final quarter fade out.
“We looked at a lot of the key stats at 3/4 time – scoring shots, contested ball, inside 50s and clearances – all of that was really even; but Lauderdale did a great job of converting.
“They finished their work off and we didn’t but the last quarter you look at completely differently because we did drop away which was disappointing,” Kennedy said.
Although the Bombers took a five-goal lead into the final change, Kennedy was disappointed with how his side faded late.
“When you go into 3/4 time five goals down, the good teams lock it down and grind away. There’s 30 minutes there to kick five goals and things can happen quickly.
“We were disappointed in the team and they were disappointed in themselves that they didn’t hang in there and let the floodgates open.”
While Lauderdale will travel to Windsor Park to tackle the ever-dangerous Blues, Kennedy’s Magpies will host ladder leaders North Launceston at KGV Oval.
“The season and games are like a roller-coaster, you don’t scream on the way down and you don’t laugh on the way up – you are going to have these moments.
“You saw it with Lauderdale, they stuck with it after a bad start, Launceston are starting to turn their season around and ours has been an up and down season but the guys have stuck with it well.
“It’s important to understand the big picture and keep working at it. Next week will be a good challenge just to see where we are at heading into these last few games.”
Lauderdale 2.5, 5.8, 11.8, 16.14 (110)
Glenorchy 2.6, 3.12, 5.14, 6.15 (51)
Lauderdale : B. McGuinness 7, T. Boscott 3, J. Gillbee 2, T. Mosquito, A. Hevey, T. Havea, E. Stanley
Glenorchy : H. Parker 2, Z. Webster, J. Bowden, B. Kamaric, M. Rainbird
Lauderdale : J. McGuinness, B. McGuinness, R. Sutton, N. Franklin, N. Baker, L. Harrison
Glenorchy : J. Arnold, R. Mott, J. Webb, J. Stevenson, H. Gunther, H. Parker