Written by Josh Duggan.
While Lauderdale was forced to work in the first half of their clash with North Hobart on Saturday, a dominant second half helped them extend their lead out to 120 points and record a much-needed percentage boost on the eve of finals.
Jacob Gillbee was the main destroyer for the Bombers, kicking seven goals, including four in a devastating first quarter spell.
The Bombers as a unit were all offence in the first half; but despite their offensive prowess, North Hobart managed to get over the top of them on several occasions, and went into the main break with six goals in the scorekeepers’ books.
Coach Darren Winter implored his side to improve their defensive work-rate, and after the main break, they were impeccable in that category – conceding just two goals – while losing nothing in the other direction (piling on a further 13 majors).
In the second half, Thor Boscott was equally as damaging as Gillbee was in the first; he kicked five goals for the day.
After the game, Captain Bryce Walsh, who kicked two goals upon his return from a long-term injury sustained in round one, was pleased with how the Bombers as a group improved over the course of the day.
“I think we got caught just coming up the ground a bit too far with our defence, not getting the right starting positions, and we got a bit found out when they ran at our defence,” Walsh said of the opening half.
“I think we rectified that in the second half, and it probably shows with the game being probably in our forward half for 80% of the game.”
The Bombers’ big win gives them every chance of jumping into third or fourth on the ladder if Launceston or Clarence slip up this weekend, but they’ll have to get past North Launceston themselves in order to do so.
The ladder leaders will make the trip to ‘the Tip’ in the final round, where a hungry Lauderdale outfit will be waiting for them, and keen to show they can mix it with the competition’s very best for four quarters.
Lauderdale 7.5, 13.8, 17.11, 26.16 (172)
North Hobart 3.1, 6.1, 7.2, 8.4 (52)
Lauderdale : J. Gillbee 7, T. Boscott 5, H. Kerinaiua 2, P. Bellchambers 2, A. Hill 2, A. Hevey 2, N. Franklin 2, B. Walsh 2, T. Havea, N. Lockyer Jnr
North Hobart : S. Caswell 2, S. Willis 2, J. Barwick, A. Norton, W. Burgess, B. Tilbury
Lauderdale : J. Gillbee, N. Franklin, T. Boscott, R. Sutton, N. Baker, R. Wiggins
North Hobart : H. Williams, S. Caswell, N. McCulloch, B. Walker, A. Norton