Written by Alex FitzGerald.
Lauderdale have taken the first step in avenging last year’s Grand Final loss to North Launceston by defeating the reigning Bupa TSL premiers by 16 points at Skybus Oval on Saturday.
A stunning eight goal second term set the Southern Bombers up heading into the main break, with the hosts holding on in difficult conditions to record their fifth-straight win in what was captain Bryce Walsh’s 150th match in the red and black.
North Launceston kicked with the breeze in the first term, with the strength of the wind made clear after Brad Cox-Goodyer banged through the opening goal from inside the centre square not long after the first bounce. The visitors kicked four majors to one for the term, taking a 19-point lead into the first change.
Lauderdale coach Darren Winter was buoyant at the opening huddle, with his charges taking full advantage of the breeze to record a 41-point turnaround at the half. An arm-wrestle ensued as just five goals were scored after the main break, but it mattered little as last season’s runners-up maintained the advantage when the siren sounded.
North Launceston playing coach Taylor Whitford was happy his side ran out the game against quality opposition, but lamented the Northern Bombers’ inability to pile on the goals at the scoring end early in the contest.
” I thought that in the first quarter we probably didn’t put enough scoreboard pressure on. ”
“It was four goals to one in probably a three to four goal breeze, and Lauderdale showed us in that second quarter what you needed to do with the breeze.”
” They were really good, clinical inside, and got the ball quick inside 50 to score heavily on us.”
Whitford played down any scoring concerns, praising the efforts of classy recruit Ben Elmer and the big-bodied Dakota Bannister while highlighting the blustery conditions and Lauderdale’s pressure around the ground as factors that led to narrowed avenues to goal.
“We understand we need to change a little bit structurally with what we’re doing forward.”
“Bart McCulloch played in the Development League today so he’ll look to come in over the next couple of weeks with us and straighten us up. ”
Defensive duo Brayden Van Buuren and Arion Richter-Salter battled manfully for the visitors, while Cox-Goodyer put on a typical masterclass to finish with four goals from the midfield.
Lauderdale assistant coach Clint Brown was quick to attribute the result to a strong collective buy-in from his playing group to focus on pressure acts.
” It’s always good to knock off the reigning premier.”
” We set the boys a target at the start of the game of 100 tackles and I think we just fell short of that; our pressure and intensity was something that we needed to get over them and we did it well.”
While Brown was pleased with how Lauderdale burst out of the blocks in the second term, he was equally as content with the defensive efforts shown in the opening stanza.
” I thought our first quarter was actually really good too; it’s a strong breeze going down that end of the ground and the four goals they kicked were pretty good goals.
” I thought our pressure was really good and we didn’t let them have any easy scoring shots.”
Jeremiah Perkins was a standout in defence for the victors, earning the praise of Brown for his dogged consistency since breaking into the senior side this season, while recruit Alex Saunders and the diminutive Henry Kerinaiua remained constant threats up forward; the latter finishing with three classy goals including a long-range game-sealer.
Lauderdale Football Club made a big statement in the Grand Final Replay, knocking off their northern namesake by 16 points at Skybus Oval. Get Taylor Whitford's and Clint Brown's thoughts following a tense finish. #BUPATSL
Posted by Tasmanian State League on Saturday, 27 April 2019
Modern-day midfield prototype Sam Siggins continued his rich vein of form, racking up close to 40 touches and laying eight tackles in a tireless display, with fellow on-baller Nat Franklin and mobile ruckman Haydyn Smith also prominent four-quarter contributors.
Brown paid tribute to skipper Walsh following his milestone game, with the Lauderdale local earning loud cheers from the strong crowd as he was chaired from the ground post-match.
” He wears his heart on his sleeve with this club, he loves it.”
“It’s great to be able to reward him with a win over a team that’s had the wood over us for the last couple of years.”
Lauderdale have the bye next week, before taking on the undefeated Glenorchy, a task Whitford’s Bombers face next Saturday in what will be an intriguing and perhaps telling fortnight as the top four on the ladder begins to take shape.
Lauderdale 1.1, 9.2, 10.5, 11.8 (74)
North Launceston 4.2, 5.5, 8.8, 8.10 (58)
Lauderdale : H. Kerinaiua 3, H. Smith 2, P. Bellchambers 1, B. Walsh 1, W. Gergel 1, M. Elliott 1, McGuinness 1
North Launceston : B. Cox-Goodyer 4, B. Elmer 2, J. Tepper 1, J. Curran 1
Lauderdale : S. Siggins, J. Perkins, H. Smith, N. Franklin, H. Kerinaiua, A. Saunders
North Launceston : B. Cox-Goodyer, J. Foon, B. van Buuren, A. Richter-Salter, J. Ponting, T. Donnelly