Written by Grant Jessup
The race for the 2019 Bupa Tasmanian State League premiership is wide open after Launceston’s stirring 26-point victory over the in-form Glenorchy at a windy KGV.
The Blues were dominant after quarter time, kicking eight of the last nine goals despite limited rotations due to injuries.
Fletcher Seymour, Jay Blackberry and Hamish Leedham led the Blues strongly while Jack Donnellan fought valiantly in the second half after a big hit in the second term.
Launceston playing-coach Mitch Thorp, who was on the sidelines due to a suspension, said the result was a reward for hard work.
“We’ve certainly been building to this.
“We’ve been in and around lots of these games against the top sides, so to come away from home and have two debutants play today, to win was really pleasing,” Thorp said.
The Magpies made a good start, taking a 16-point lead into quarter time with midfielders Ben Kamaric and Sam Rundle working hard in the middle.
However, all momentum was with the Blues after the first term with Mitch Thorp’s men able to cut the margin back to four points at the main break.
“We re-adjusted after quarter time, got the ball back in dangerous parts of the ground and were able to lock it in our forward line,” Thorp said.
The Magpies were kept to one goal, two behinds after half-time with the Blues seizing control of the contest in the midfield.
Joseph Chaplin made a solid contribution in a key forward role, booting two goals.
Ruckman Hamish Leedham also got two majors, including a long bomb from outside 50.
Nevertheless, most of Thorp’s post-game praise was reserved for gun midfielder Fletcher Seymour.
“Fletcher was clearly our best, he’s had a lot of really strong performances [this season],” Thorp said.
In a major blow, Launceston could be without Tim Bristow for the rest of the season after the midfielder went to hospital with a serious collarbone injury.
Thorp said Bristow was in good spirits despite his predicament.
“One minute after the game had finished, he was ringing me to find out had we won, who played well, that just goes to show the type of group we’ve got.”
The win provides the Blues with a handy two game buffer in fourth position on the ladder.
Glenorchy coach Paul Kennedy saw few positives from his side’s defeat.
“It was a scrappy game and they embraced the scrap more than we did.”
“Once the game was on their terms, we never showed the maturity to get it back,” he said.
Midfielder Sam Rundle played well in a tagging role against his old side.
“I thought he did a really good job around the contest with Jobi Harper,” Kennedy said.
The Magpies slip to third with North Launceston and Lauderdale now a game ahead on top of the ladder.
Glenorchy – 4.3, 5.6, 6.7, 6.8 (44)
Launceston – 1.4, 4.8, 8.12, 9.16 (70)
Glenorchy – J. Bowden 3, Geard, Reeves, T. Bowden.
Launceston – Leedham 2, Chaplin 2, Taylor, Donnellan, Gillow, Blackberry, Wright.
Launceston return to Windsor Park and face North Hobart on Saturday. Glenorchy will look to bounce back in their Friday night Centennial game against old rivals Clarence.