Written by Josh Duggan.
The TSL’s Premiership favourites continued to show off their ominous form in Round 19, as North Launceston steamrolled North Hobart by 163 points at North Hobart Oval on Saturday.
The Bombers have sterner tests coming over the next two months as they look to retain their crown, but they fired a warning shot to the rest of the competition with their form looking ominous in the 30.20 (200) to 5.7 (37) win.
While North Hobart was competitive at stages in the first half, the second half resembled a training run at times, with the Bombers having plenty of time to chip the ball around in the forward 50.
A 20-goal second half showed the class of the side, as Playing Coach Taylor Whitford and spearhead Bart McCulloch each kicked bags of six, as part of a forward group that worked seamlessly on the day.
The pressure from the Bombers was immense with Jack Avent and Dakota Bannister amongst the best inside 50; both received rewards for their effort too, kicking four and three goals respectively.
Having kicked five last week, Tom Bennett also continued his great run of form, as he scored three majors in a day where he deserved even more than that.
Assistant Coach Adrian Smith spoke after the match and made clear the Bombers’ pursuit of perfection; a ten-minute patch in the second quarter saw the Demons kick four consecutive goals as the visitors’ effort briefly dropped off.
“That’s two weeks in a row now that we’ve had that lapse of about five minutes; last week they [Clarence] kicked three of four goals, today they [North Hobart] kicked three or four goals,” Smith said.
“It’s just not the standard we want to set.”
Those lapses could be punished further against the sides they’ll face in September, but North Launceston can focus on getting into shape for the finals now; the bye this week will give them a chance to reset, with skipper Brad Cox-Goodyer still on the sidelines with injury.
After that, they’ll head back to Hobart to face their Southern namesakes Lauderdale, and then embark on another finals campaign that could well end with silverware once again.
North Hobart 0.4, 4.5, 4.6, 5.7 (37)
North Launceston 6.3, 10.11, 18.16, 30.20 (200)
North Hobart : M. O’Neill 2, J. Steele, H. Allan, S. Willis
North Launceston : T. Whitford 6, B. McCulloch 6, J. Avent 4, T. Bennett 3, D. Bannister 3, B. Simpson 2, J. Ponting 2, T. Donnelly, K. Wadley, A. Lee, B. Sharman
North Hobart : H. Allan, H. Ireland, W. Peppin, B. Tilbury
North Launceston : T. Whitford, T. Bennett, J. Ponting, B. McCulloch, A. Lee, D. Bannister