By Hamish Spence
Lauderdale has solidified its spot as ladder leader and taken home the Speak UP! Stay ChatTY Cup with an emphatic 70-point win over Clarence at Skybus Oval on Saturday.
The Southern Bombers led at all stages and never looked in doubt, leaving as 16.18 (114) to 6.8 (44) winners. They missed some opportunities in front of goal, but still had three five-goal quarters in a strong display.
The ‘Roos faced a tough challenge, going up against one of the top teams in the competition with a young and injured side (Jake Cox and Ryan Edmondson were both out due to injury). They stayed in touch during the first half, but only managed one goal after half-time.
The first quarter was goal for goal, before a magic minute from Alex Hevey (where he kicked two goals in under a minute) and a class finish from Jacob Gilbee, created a 23-point lead for the Southern Bombers at quarter time. There was heaps of spirit in the opening quarter, with a lot of niggle and heat between the two arch-rivals.
The second quarter started with an impressive Henry Kerinaiua crumb and goal for the home side, but the ‘Roos countered with the next two goals through Jason Bailey and Gabriel Chambers. Lauderdale then kicked four of the next five goals, to restamp their authority and to take a 36-point lead into half-time.
The third quarter was a sluggish one, with both teams failing to take advantage of their opportunities. Matt McGuinness was the loan goalkicker for the quarter and Clarence only scored one behind, giving Lauderdale a 46-point lead at the final break.
The fourth quarter was as an explosive one for the Southern Bombers, with Alex Hevey, Ben McGuinness, Matt McGuinness, Phil Bellchambers and Nic Baker all adding to their existing tally of goals. Jack Preshaw broke the drought of ‘Roos goals in the second half by kicking his second goal.
Skybus Oval belonged to the McGuinness brothers, with all three of them playing great games for Lauderdale. Josh (fresh from captaining the Tasmania Devils to victory against Vic Metro) was influential down back, before being moved up forward in the final quarter. Matt (three goals) and Ben (two goals) formed an ominous duo up forward, they kicked five goals between them as the two key targets.
Ruckman Haydn Smith also competed well in the ruck and took some big marks down the line.
Christopher Nield looked the most likely up forward for the ‘Roos. He kicked two goals in the first half and provided a target in the forward line.
Zac Buechner competed hard all game and halved several contests while playing deep in the backline.
Lauderdale assistant coach Clint Brown was pleased with his sides 70-point win.
“It is a good win, percentage is going to be important at the end of the year.”
He said that inaccuracy in front of goal was the only real negative, considering the control that they had over the game.
“You look at the inside 50’s and I think we nearly had three to their one if you add them all up and I just don’t think we cashed in on that,” he said.
“Given the amount of shots we had on goal, we probably should have won by a little bit more.”
Brown said that some niggle in the first quarter was probably to be expected, given the rivalry between the two teams.
“With the Clarence/Lauderdale rivalry there’s always going to be a bit of niggle, it gets pumped up quite a bit and they’ve had the wood over the Lauderdale Football Club for a number of years,” he said.
“It’s good to get it over them, being tagged as the little sister there for a few years.”
Clarence coach Jeromey Webberley was pleased with his team’s effort and took some positives out of game, but was disappointed with the final margin.
“To our guys credit I thought they fought really hard through the first two and a half quarters, but Lauderdale just showed their class,” he said.
“When you run the ruler over names and look at where each club is at, they’re ready to win a premiership and we’re probably starting again and looking to build something for the future.”
He said that while the result was disappointing, their young players will gain valuable experience from it.
“We want to play Lauderdale and North Launceston and Glenorchy every week; because it’s going to make us a better club, it’s going to give us really good experience and it’s going to show the players where they need to get to.”
Webberley now turns his attention to a crucial clash against the Tigers next week.
“If we want to play some finals footy this year it’s probably a game we need to win,” he said.
“I reckon it’s a really good game for us. We can build it up earlier during the week, it’s at Blundstone and we should get some soldiers back for next week.”
Lauderdale: 5.6, 10.9, 11.14, 16.18. (114)
Clarence: 2.1, 5.3, 5.4, 6.8. (44)
Lauderdale: A. Hevey (3), M. McGuinness (3), B. McGuinness (2), P. Bellchambers (2), N. Baker (2), H. Smith, M. Elliot, H. Kerinaiua, J. Gilbee
Clarence: C. Nield (2), J. Preshaw (2), G. Chambers, J. Bailey
Lauderdale: H. Smith, R. McManus, P. Bellchambers, J. McGuinness, B. McGuinness, R. Wiggins
Clarence: C. Riley, J. Bailey, R. Bailey, C. Nield, Z. Beuchner
Lauderdale host Glenorchy at Skybus Oval at 2:00pm on Saturday. The game shapes as a massive clash, with Lauderdale looking to amend their one loss for the season, which was against the Pies.
Clarence host the Tigers at Blundstone Arena at 2:00pm on Saturday. It is a must win game for the ‘Roos if they want to stay in touch with the top five.