Midfield masterclass sees Tigers roar on Good Friday

The Tigers have broken through for their maiden win of the 2019 Bupa TSL season on the back of a Good Friday midfield masterclass, writes Alex FitzGerald. 


The hosts, who had five multiple goalkickers, put together a classy four quarter performance in front of a strong home crowd to run out 60-point winners over southern rivals North Hobart.

Both sides went into the match winless, and it was North Hobart who did all of the early attacking, registering the first seven inside 50 entries including the opening major.  The Tigers struck back through Bailey Gordon, with the teenager slotting two quick goals in reply as the intensity of the contest began to rise.  It was a physical term, with the Tigers heading into the first change up by 13 points but down a player after Jake Doran left the field for the day with a shoulder injury.

The Tigers hit the ground running after the break, with the midfield dominance of Kieran Lovell and Ryan Matthews and relentless pressure around the ground seeing the hosts boot eight goals to two across the second and third terms, effectively putting the game to bed at the last change.

Fittingly it was Matthews who brought up the ton for the boys in the yellow and black, with the final score an even 15.10 (100) to 5.10 (40).


Tigers Head Coach Trent Baumeler was all smiles post-match, but was quick to point out the hard work that led to his side’s break through win after tough opening matches against 2018 grand finalists North Launceston and Lauderdale.

” I think everyone says that the first win is a reward for effort.

“The pleasing thing about today was that it was a four quarter performance; we played a full game of footy.”


Baumeler attributed the consistency of the performance to the Tigers’ willingness to run all day and to focus on the defensive actions to could then turn into attack.

“We wanted to put maximum pressure on the ball carrier, and not let them link up with one-two’s.”

” I thought we set up really strongly behind the ball, which allowed us to rebound really quickly whenever North Hobart got some inside 50 entries.”




Time and again it was Matthews and former Hawthorn-listed midfield bull Lovell who drove the ball forward for the hosts, with the latter racking up close to 40 touches in a best-afield performance.  The pair were well supported in the middle by Lachie Clifford, who played more of an outside role than usual, Marcus Davies, Lachy Watt, and Lochie Griggs, who fought hard to work through a tag in the second half.

Debutants  Patrick Kelly and Alex Bessell were also rotated through the midfield at times and held their own against more established opponents to win the plaudits of Baumeler.

Sam Duigan was electrifying at ground level to finish with four opportunistic majors, while Bailey Gordon reminded Devils selectors of his attributes with a lively performance in the forward half.




North Hobart Coach Richard Robinson put his side’s disappointing showing down to a number of factors, headlined by a lack of confidence and a collective sub-par skill level.

” To be honest it shows that we’re not right up to the mark at the moment, and that we’ve got a lot of work to do.”

Robinson was particularly frustrated with North Hobart’s inability to convert after repeated inside 50 entries early on in three of the four terms.

” I’ve said all year that scoreboard pressure is the greatest form of pressure and it’s deflating when you go back and have set shots and miss.”

“I think we kicked three or four behinds in the first five minutes of the third quarter.”


He saluted the performances of leaders Sam Darley, Hugh Williams and Nathan McCulloch in an otherwise dogged day for the Dees, and was pleased with how 16 year old debutant Neo Butler acquitted himself at senior level up forward.

The bye has come at the perfect time for North Hobart, who made seven changes leading into Friday’s game, with the young side next set to take on Clarence in a fortnight’s time.


A  vastly different week awaits for the Tigers as they look towards a big clash against an in-form Glenorchy outfit on ANZAC Day at KGV, a game Baumeler said his charges are eagerly awaiting.

“Good Friday is a big occasion and then going out and playing ANZAC Day will be pretty tough, especially as it’s our second five-day break this season.”

“We want to play in those games and those moments, the only way you get better as a footy club is to test yourselves.”




Tigers                   3.4,   8.5,   11.7,  15.10  (100)

North Hobart     1.3,   3.5,  3.8,    5.10 (40)


Tigers: S. Duigan 4, L. Griggs 2, B. Gordon 2, H. Johnston 2, T. Carter 2, L. Clifford, R. Matthews, M. Paul.

North Hobart: B. Midson 2, S. Darley, A. Norton, N. McCulloch.


Tigers: K. Lovell, R. Matthews, M. Davies, S. Duigan, L. Watt, B. Rees

North Hobart: S. Darley, H. Williams, M. Yates,  C. Kilpatrick, N. McCulloch, F. Lapham.