Glenorchy’s unbeaten start to the 2019 Bupa TSL season continues after a 22 point victory over a valiant Tigers at KGV.
Magpie John Geard won the ANZAC Day Medal in a scrappy contest with the wind wreaking havoc, TSL Digital Reporter Grant Jessup writes.
The Tigers struck early with star midfielder Kieran Lovell snapping a crafty goal from the pocket.
However, Glenorchy hit back with two majors in a row through explosive forwards Aiden Grace and Cal Daly.
Lachlan Watt put the visitors within three points at quarter time after crumbing a goal from the back of a pack.
Chris McKnight was brave in his 100th game for Glenorchy, suffering an injury after a goal saving contest.
The defender went on to play for the rest of the game.
The second term was an arm wrestle with neither side able to take control of the game.
Classy midfielders from both sides were struggling to hit targets with the wind becoming a significant factor.
As a consequence, the second quarter went without a goal for 22 minutes.
Eventually Magpie Riley Oakley broke the goal drought before the main break, kicking the only major of the term.
A different Glenorchy came out of the change rooms for the third term with the Pies’ ball use becoming quick and clean.
The Magpie engine machine of John Geard, Ben Kamaric and James Webb began dominating centre clearances.
Tigers began feeling tremendous scoreboard pressure with the black and white army kicking five goals to two for the quarter.
Kieran Lovell and key forward Michael Paul kept the Tigers in the contest with a goal apiece while midfielder Lochie Griggs was working hard for the visitors.
The Pies’ third quarter blitz would prove to be the deciding factor in the end.
A positive for the Tigers was winning the final term, kicking two goals to one through Lochie Griggs and Michael Paul.
However, the Tiger army was only able to claw the margin back to 22 points before the final siren went.
The Magpie trio of John Geard, Ben Kamaric and James Webb were influential in the middle throughout the contest.
Geard, one of the Pies’ lesser known contributors, had arguably his best game in black and white.
Cal Daly and Aiden Grace continue their fine form this season, contributing to the scoreboard in tough conditions.
Grace was in an exciting battle all day against young Tigers defender Will Poland, who was terrific in the backline.
For the Tigers, Kieran Lovell was all class in the midfield while Lochie Griggs and Lachlan Watt made important contributions.
Veteran Marcus Davies led the Tigers’ defence well with assistance from Will Poland and Blake McCulloch.
Glenorchy coach Paul Kennedy was full of praise for ANZAC Day Medallist John Geard.
“His work around the contest was sensational.
“He had been a fringe player at our club for quite a while.
“We had some honest chats about what he needed to do and he’s really stepped up,” Kennedy said.
The Magpies coach felt his side were below par in the first half after the bye last week.
“We had a bit of rust early.”
“Some of our really best players, who are extremely skilful players, were missing kicks they would normally make,” he said.
Nevertheless, Kennedy was happy with the victory considering the conditions.
“It wasn’t the prettiest of wins but today was never going to be that.”
Tigers coach Trent Baumeler said Glenorchy’s dominance in the middle was the key to their poor third term.
“Third quarter, I think we were down in centre clearance and stoppage which allowed them to get inside 50s, and repeat inside 50s, which put us under the pump.”
Baumeler said Blake McCulloch and Will Poland were important for the Tigers in the backline.
“They were really good under a fair bit of pressure.”
“Nathan McCulloch was really strong for us behind the ball,” Baumeler said.
Poland held Grace to just two goals after the young Magpie’s stunning start to the season.
“Will Poland was really good on Aiden Grace.”
Kieran Lovell’s performance also caught the eye of Baumeler.
“Glenorchy put a lot of pressure on him today.”
“It was pleasing to see Kieran work through that and have his usual game, in terms of possession and work rate around the ground,” he said.
Glenorchy 9.10 (64)
Tigers 6.6 (42)
Glenorchy – Daly 3, Grace 2, Oakley, Bowden, Roberts, Banks-Smith.
Tigers – Lovell 2, Paul 2, Watt, Griggs.
Glenorchy – Geard, J. Webb, Kamaric, Bowden, Smith, Grace.
Tigers – Lovell, McCulloch, Griggs, Davies Poland, Watt.
Glenorchy will hit the Midland Highway and face the reigning premiers North Launceston at UTAS Stadium.
Tigers will also travel to Launceston and face the Blues at Windsor Park in an intriguing battle between two young sides.