By Alex FitzGerald
Lauderdale remain atop of the BUPA TSL ladder after emerging victorious from an enthralling duel with powerhouse rival Glenorchy to the tune of 34 points at SkyBus Oval on Saturday
The Magpies looked the stronger side early, leading by four straight kicks midway through the second term, but four consecutive red-time goals saw the Bombers claim the lead at the stroke of half time, with the hosts controlling the contest up forward from that point onwards.
Lauderdale hit the scoreboard first through Ben McGuinness in the opening term, but wayward kicking and ill-discipline saw Glenorchy gain early ascendency, with Jaye Bowden receiving two ‘gimme’ goals from unnecessary 50m penalties. Magpie spearhead Aiden Grace joined in to boot two goals of his own in as many minutes, and suddenly the visitors had a 24-point buffer halfway through the second quarter.
It continued to rain goals, with thirteen in total being scored for the term, but this time it would be the Magpies left to rue some undisciplined play as they allowed a flood of Bombers majors, unbelievably trailing at the main change by two points.
Despite a hotly contested second half around the ground, the Bombers were never headed from that point on, as they made the most of their opportunities up forward to kick eight majors to three.
Lauderdale assistant coach Clint Brown was proud of how his charges dug in across four quarters.
“It was a very good win, a hard-fought win,”
“Glenorchy came out firing, (but) I thought we controlled the game in the second half.”
Brown was particularly impressed with the size of the vocal crowd, with a host of Glenorchy faithful joining a strong home turn out at SkyBus Oval.
“I reckon there were a fair few people here, there were two of the best team in the state going at it, so it was good to get a good quality game.”
The Bombers were well-served by tireless midfield trio Nat Franklin (34 disposals), Sam Siggins (33) and Phil Bellchambers, with the former crashing packs and laying tackles for much of the afternoon.
Tall Devils over-ager Matt McGuinness backed up his three-goal haul against Clarence with another three majors, including nine marks in slippery conditions, while Ethan Whish-Wilson also finished with three as Lauderdale had five multiple goal-kickers on the day.
Josh McGuinness showed his class across half-back, while Sam Burge and Matt Elliott also had their moments.
While Brown was quick to play down his side’s hot form leading into next weekend’s clash with North Launceston, he conceded the Southern Bombers were as close to injury-free as they’d been in a long time.
“I don’t think there’s any perfect time to come up against North Launnie,” he said.
“We’ll get our captain back (from work-related travel), Bryce (Walsh), and I think the Devils have got a bye too, so (hopefully) Ozzie (Oscar) Shaw should be available, so we’ll have a full list to pick from bar Rhys Sutton (and Thor Boscott).”
For Paul Kennedy, it was the one that got away, with the passionate Glenorchy coach left frustrated with how his hard-working side lost their collective focus just prior to the main break after being pleased with their relentless forward pressure beforehand.
“I thought it was a pretty good contest the whole way; I thought probably the difference in the game was that last ten to fifteen minutes of the second quarter where we lost a bit of discipline.”
“You know when Lauderdale play Glenorchy the game is a bit on edge, they’re two really fierce on-field rivals now competing for the same thing.”
Kennedy pointed to Lauderdale’s boldness in repeatedly taking the game on from stoppages as another turning point in the match.
“As the game wore on we allowed them to open up the corridor,” he said.
“They’re so good with their ball movement through the middle of the ground, particularly at this ground, and when they’re getting really quick access to their forward line they’re tough to stop.”
Magpie star midfielder Ben Kamaric again put on another impressive display of skills and work rate alongside fellow onballer Rhys Mott, while dangerous forward duo Grace and Callen Daly both threatened to break open the match a number of time to finish with three goals apiece.
Kennedy’s Magpies currently sit in third place, but he was quick to dismiss any notions that the ladder position reflected where they were as a side this season ahead of upcoming clashes against finals contenders Tigers FC and Launceston.
“In my time at Glenorchy we haven’t played a game where we’ve played really well for most of the four quarters and lost,” he said.
“We’ve always won those games. so we have a level of confidence.”
“The Tigers are good, they can really put some heat on with the way they play, and we are ready for a battle next week that’s for sure.”
Lauderdale 1.3, 8.5, 12.8, 16.10 (106)
Glenorchy 2.1, 8.3, 9.6, 11.9 (75)
Lauderdale : E. Whish-Wilson 3, M. McGuinness 3, M. Elliott 2, B. McGuinness 2, A. Saunders 2, H. Kerinaiua, N. Franklin, P. Bellchambers, N. Baker
Glenorchy : A. Grace 3, C. Daly 3, J. Bowden 2, B. Kamaric, R. Banks-Smith, S. Reeves
Lauderdale : N. Franklin, S. Siggins, A. Saunders, J. McGuinness, S. Burge, M. McGuinness
Glenorchy : B. Kamaric, R. Mott, C. Daly, A. Grace, Z. Webster, J. Bowden