Brilliant Blues Blitz Dees

Launceston have had their first victory of the 2019 Bupa TSL season, defeating North Hobart by 53 points at North Hobart Oval.

Led by Jobi Harper, the Blues midfield was in scintillating form, providing plenty of supply to playing-coach Mitch Thorp (six goals) and Alec Wright (three goals), TSL Digital Reporter Grant Jessup writes.

 

The visitors made a strong start, dominating the centre clearances and placing tremendous pressure on the Demons’ defence.

Despite the midfield onslaught from Jobi Harper, Tim Bristow and Brodie Palfreyman, the Blues only kicked three goals in the opening term.

North Hobart defenders Callum Kilpatrick and Bailey Walker were working overtime, with Walker getting the big job on Thorp.

The Demons got their only goal in the opening term through midfielder Nathan McCulloch.

 

Launceston’s dominance continued in the second term with ruckman Hamish Leedham providing first use to his midfielders throughout the day.

Once again, the Blues were unable to take advantage of their inside 50 dominance, kicking three goals for the term and missing some chances.

Thorp finished the half with four majors while Jobi Harper and Brodie Palfreyman had a goal each.

Late inclusion Bradley Young scored the Demons’ second goal just before half-time.

 

https://www.facebook.com/tasmanianstateleague/videos/437108747095677/?t=1

 

The start of the third quarter was an arm wrestle with neither side able to kick a major for 10 minutes.

Sam Darley had a good quarter, laying a goal-saving tackle in the pocket.

Blues midfielder Jack Donnellan also made his presence felt with a strong third term.

Launceston eventually broke through North Hobart’s defence with talented tall Alec Wright presenting well and kicking two majors in the term.

Mitch Thorp also snapped his fifth goal from 45 metres out.

The Blues were inaccurate in front of goal during the third term, kicking six goals, four behinds and several out of bounds on full.

 

Fatigue set in during the final term with plenty of congestion and only three goals for the quarter.

Brodie Palfreyman honoured a strong lead from Alec Wright and he kicked his third.

At the other end, Brad Tilbury laid a strong tackle inside the Demons’ forward 50 and converted a set-shot goal.

North Hobart made some costly mistakes in the final quarter, giving away several 50 metre penalties.

 

In the end, the battle was won in the midfield with Launceston’s Jobi Harper, Tim Bristow, Brodie Palfreyman, Hamish Leedham and Brendan Taylor producing elite performances.

Mitch Thorp and Alec Wright were tremendous in the forward line, providing plenty of leads for the Blues’ ball users.

 

https://www.facebook.com/tasmanianstateleague/videos/2187145968065185/

 

Callum Kilpatrick was a shining light for North Hobart across half-back, taking several intercept marks, kicking a goal and gathering more than 30 possessions.

Brad Tilbury, Hugh Williams and Nathan McCulloch kept battling all day for the Demons.

 

Injured Launceston co-captain Jay Blackberry said he was happy with the team’s performance.

“It’s a step in the right direction.”

“We probably didn’t finish off the way we wanted to but we put together four quarters of footy,” he said.

Blackberry was full of praise for the Blues’ midfield.

“We pride ourselves on that and we wanted to come out and really get our drive from there and that’s what happened.”

 

The Launceston co-captain also said that youngster Alec Wright had a good game and will become a key target inside 50 for the Blues this season.

“We’ll just get some more game time into him and he’ll be really handy for us at Centre Half Forward/Full Forward.”

 

North Hobart assistant coach Aaron Vince said the Blues were too strong.

“It was a game that we probably really geared ourselves for, that we probably thought we’d be a really good shot today.”

“Unfortunately Launceston were really good around the ball and [had] a few more avenues to goal than what we had today,” he said.

Vince said the coaching staff were disappointed with the efforts of some players.

“A few blokes in the side didn’t give enough effort that we expect at senior level.”

 

Final Score:
North Hobart – 5.5 (35)
Launceston – 12.16 (88)

 

Goalkickers:
North Hobart –
McCulloch, Young, Kilpatrick, Di Venuto, Tilbury.
Launceston – Thorp 6, Wright 3, Harper, Palfreyman, Brown.

 

Injuries:
North Hobart ruckman Cooper Best came off the ground with a concussion in the final term.

 

Next up:
North Hobart will reignite their emerging rivalry with Tigers in a Good Friday clash at Twin Ovals.

Launceston have a blockbuster on Good Friday against cross-town rivals North Launceston at Windsor Park.