After finding some impressive form in recent weeks, Launceston loom as one of the teams to beat come the 2018 finals series, writes TSL Digital Reporter Mitchell Jones.
Launceston’s vital 34-point win over Clarence last weekend looms as a key victory that places the Blues within striking range of a double chance in this year’s BUPA Tasmanian State League finals series.
Launceston’s impressive win comes after they made short work of fellow finals bound team Lauderdale in their last match up and North Hobart the week before after a mid-year slump in form.
Last Saturday’s win was set up in the early stages of the first quarter as the Blues dominated possession.
This dominance of possession was largely thanks to the talent of Chayce Jones, who found plenty of the ball early in the game and often won his team centre clearances.
Launceston’s first half defensive dominance also showed true on the score board at half time as a starved Clarence forward line only converted a single goal at the half way point of the game.
Clarence mounted a comeback in the third quarter with regular senior performers in Brady Jones and Jake Cox starting to assert themselves on the game as they continued to find the football.
Ultimately Clarence’s resurgence which saw them win the second half was not enough to get them back in the game, as Launceston left the field 15.15 (105) to Clarence’s 10.11 (71).
Along with the performances of Brady Jones and Jake Cox, Clarence was also well served by Tim Castle and Ryan Edmondson, while Trent Standen got on the end of three goals.
Launceston was best served by Chayce Jones, a player considered to be a potential top 20 draft pick in this year’s AFL draft, with coach Sam Lonergan describing his clearance work as ‘elite’ post game.
Mitch Thorp was ever enthusiastic as he bagged six goals to stretch his Peter Hudson Medal lead, while Jake Hinds used the ball well and took marks all around the ground in a impressive performance.
Launceston’s win sees them now one game out of third position but with the advantage of holding a superior percentage over Clarence, who are now in third after the loss at Windsor Park.
This weekend will have huge ramifications on finals positions as Clarence looks to jump back into second position as they take on Glenorchy.
Launceston will be endeavoring to capitalize against a Tigers team that have little to play for at this point of the season when they meet at the Twin Ovals, the site of Launceston’s shock loss to the Tigers earlier in the season.
Launceston 4.8, 7.10, 9.13, 15.15 (105)
Clarence 0.2, 1.7, 5.8, 10.11 (71)
Launceston : M. Thorp 6, C. Jones 2, H. Leedham, J. Smith, B. Taylor, M. Hodge, J. Hinds, D. Riley, J. House
Clarence : T. Standen 3, C. Nield 2, J. Cox 2, J. Harper, G. Chambers, A. Silver
Launceston : M. Thorp, C. Jones, J. Hinds, R. Kelly-Mansell, T. Mundy, B. Palfreyman
Clarence : B. Jones, F. Seymour, T. Castle, J. Holmes, G. Chambers, R. Edmondson