Lauderdale has booked its second ever Bupa Tasmanian State League Grand Final appearance with an impressive 18-point win over Glenorchy at Blundstone Arena.
Last year’s Grand Finalists were forced to grind for the win, overcoming a five goal deficit late in the second term to run away 13.11 (89) to 11.5 (71) winners.
The Bombers, heavily favoured heading into the contest, were outplayed in the opening half, with Glenorchy’s immense pressure and swift ball movement putting Darren Winter’s side on the back foot early.
Glenorchy’s leaders in Brayden Webb, Mitch Rainbird, Daniel Joseph and Rhys Mott were brilliant early, with the lack of a big focal point inside 50 alleviated by the likes of Mott, Zac Webster, Brodie Rowbottom, Ryan Banks-Smith and Ben Kamaric all hitting the scoreboard in the first half.
The Magpies’ hunger for the contest was evident, with Lauderdale’s lack of tackle pressure in the opening half telling.
The Bombers upped their intensity towards the back end of the opening half, with a Tim Mosquito goal on the main break siren cutting the deficit back to 23 points.
The third term saw the Bombers’ trademark run and carry, ball movement and intensity come to the fore, with Phil Bellchambers and Nat Franklin getting their hands on the football across half back and Thor Boscott beginning to stamp his authority on the contest in the middle.
“It was a tough tussle,” Lauderdale assistant coach Clint Brown said post game.
“Looking at half time, we weren’t playing great footy; Glenorchy were playing the footy they like and we weren’t able to shut them down as they got the ball on the outside which was really cutting us up.
“We sent Nat and Phil back to half back, Thor got on top in the middle and Henry Kerinaiua and Tim Mosquito started to cause havoc inside 50.”
Kerinaiua was particularly dynamic in the third term, kicking two of his four goals, while a raking major from Nic Baker late in the third term got the Bombers to within just seven points heading into the final term, strikingly similar in context to the efforts of Tim Mosquito late in the previous term.
The Bombers took all of this momentum into the final term, with Lauderdale’s run and carry and potency inside 50 seeing the Bombers snare the lead early in the final term through Thor Boscott, with his side refusing to look back from thereafter, with five goals to one in the final term taking the Bombers into a second straight Grand Final, and setting up a second shot at toppling North Launceston.
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Glenorchy was dealt a big blow on the eve of the match with Josh Grant again a late withdrawal, while Matthew Joseph also popped his shoulder in the warm-up before playing out the game.
These injuries were added to throughout the evening, with skipper Brayden Webb playing out the game with a suspected broken leg and ruckman Cameron Duffy stretchered from the field after suffering a concussion in the final term.
With these injuries on top of the absence of star forward Jaye Bowden, coach Paul Kennedy was proud of the young group’s efforts.
“I was really proud of the effort and at the end of the day we ran out of some bodies, especially against a team as experienced, hardened and talented as Lauderdale.
“We just couldn’t change the momentum – they did a good job of rebounding off us.
“It was a disappointing day but Glenorchy fans should be pretty excited by some of the footy we played today.”
Kennedy, despite being disappointed in the season ending this way, was full of praise for Lauderdale’s efforts.
“That was cracking finals football.
“Some of the footy we played in that first half was exceptional, but the second half, their contested work and ability to take territory and win the footy with their big bodies was exceptional.
“We walk out of the season the third best team, and that is probably a fair reflection.”
Although the loss marks curtains on Paul Kennedy’s first season at the helm at KGV, he is confident that a foundation has been laid for future success.
“We walk away from the year and know we have to get our young guys stronger, but we also walk away thinking that next year, our centenary year will be a good platform. It is a proud club and I am really pleased with how the guys bounced back from a down year and put Glenorchy back on the map.”
Glenorchy 3.2, 9.3, 10.3, 11.5 (71)
Lauderdale 2.4, 5.4, 8.8, 13.11 (89)
Glenorchy : R. Banks-Smith 2, Z. Webster 2, H. Parker, B. Rowbottom, R. Mott, C. Duffy, B. Kamaric, M. Rainbird, C. Daly
Lauderdale : T. Boscott 4, H. Kerinaiua 4, T. Mosquito 3, A. Hevey, N. Raglione, N. Baker
Glenorchy : D. Joseph, B. Webb, J. Arnold, M. Rainbird, H. Gunther, B. Kamaric
Lauderdale : T. Boscott, R. McManus, P. Bellchambers, N. Baker, T. Mosquito, N. Raglione