Clarence held on against the Tigers in a thrilling eight-point win, in the first Gadomski-Riewoldt Trophy clash at Twin Ovals on Saturday, writes Hamish Spence.
The ‘Roos pressure was immense in a complete four quarter performance, leaving as 10.16 (76) to 11.2 (68) winners.
They were the better side and led at all stages, but their inaccuracy in front of goal kept the Tigers in the game.
It was a club defining win for Clarence in front of a packed Twin Ovals, as they played without their captain Brady Jones and coach Jeromey Webberley.
The Tigers looked good in bursts and patches, but struggled to control the game for a prolonged period of time. Their bits of momentum, along with their accuracy, meant they stayed in touch for most of the game.
Lachlan Watt quickly kicked off proceedings for the Tigers, with the first goal of the game. Jarrod Harper’s lead was honoured and he got the ‘Roos first.
Jake Cox soccered through another goal after some good pressure from Jarrod Harper, but Sam Duigan quickly responded with a classy finish from 35m out.
Keegan Wylie went bang on 50, with the ‘Roos pressure on full display.
Luke Graham got a free and made no mistake, cutting the margin back to three points at quarter time.
The ‘Roos let some opportunities go begging at the start of the second, before Michael Paul was rewarded for his tackle and converted, giving the Tigers a one-point lead.
Tyler Carter was set, took a good mark and extended the lead as the Tigers started roll.
Noah Holmes kicked a much-needed steadier, before Jacob Smith squeezed through his first to give the ‘Roos a six-point lead at half-time.
The Tigers’ tall timber combined at the start of the third, Michael Paul and Tyler Carter took back to back contested marks, with Carter kicking his second.
Jacob Smith laid a great tackle on the goal line and took the advantage for an easy goal.
The ‘Roos were in control, but peppered the goals with four behinds over the next 10 minutes.
Jake Cox finally gave them some reward for effort with his second, giving the visitors a 17-point lead at the final break.
‘Alex Gadomski Medal of Courage’ ?: Ryan Matthews
‘Alex Gadomski Medal of Courage’ ?: Ryan Bailey
— Bupa TSL (@TasStateLeague) August 17, 2019
Luke Graham got a head-high free and gave the Tigers the perfect start to the last.
Elijah Reardon created something out of nothing with a floating snap, making it just a goal the difference.
Christopher Nield snapped from the pocket to give the ‘Roos some breathing room.
Alex Vincent profited from a costly turnover by Clarence, bringing the margin back to eight points.
The ‘Roos surged the ball forward and Christopher Nield got on the end of it for his second.
There was a tense six minutes, before Jacob Smith rolled through his third to seemingly seal it.
Luke Graham gave the Tigers life with two quick goals, but it was too late, with Clarence holding on for an eight-point win.
There were casualties for both sides.
Ruckman Ryan Bailey, who received the ‘Alex Gadomski Medal of Courage,’ injured his hamstring and will not play in the ‘Roos final game.
Beau Adams injured his ankle in a tackle early in the second quarter and was taken away for X-rays on crutches, which will likely end his season.
Bailey battled well for the ‘Roos, up against two ruckmen in Marcus Gardner and Hugh Johnston, earning the Medal as Clarence’s standout performer.
Keren Howlett was influential all game and covered incredible territory across the ground.
Young Jack Preshaw followed Kieran Lovell for most of the day, while also getting his own ball.
Ryan Matthews was the Tigers best with his presence in the guts and around stoppages, getting the ‘Alex Gadomski Medal of Courage’ for his side.
Luke Graham was the leading goalkicker with four and had a big-three goal final quarter to keep the Tigers alive.
Jarryd Drew was good down back and created important drive.
Clarence coach Jeromey Webberley was pleased with his team’s performance.
“We thought we were in control of the game for large parts of it, obviously the Tigers had some run on at times, but we were able to restrict them really quickly once they had momentum.”
He said their younger and middle-tier players stood up.
“We sort of challenged the guys on Thursday, with the captain and coach not playing,” he said.
“I was really proud today, especially in that last 10-15 minutes, the Tigers had started to come and we just held tough at the end.”
He said they played their brand of footy, which will give them confidence heading into next pre-season.
“I just thought our offensive ball movement, our willingness to take on the game was really really good.”
Tigers coach Trent Baumeler said Clarence were too good.
“I definitely thought they out pressured us and out hunted us around the contest,” he said.
“We probably let them play the way they wanted to play.”
He said they honoured the occasion and it was good for them to be in a built-up situation.
“Of course we wanted to win and get the result, but I think the main thing out of today, we talked about the courage medals and Alex Godamski’s journey, and I thought us staying in the game and kept fighting trying to get that result, I thought we paid tribute to that moment and Alex’s legacy really well today.”
He was excited about playing Launceston next week, in a preview for their Elimination Final.
“It gives us a chance to go up to Windsor Park and have that full-dress rehearsal, try and have a really good competitive performance on the ground we’re going to play our first final in.”
Tigers: 3.0, 5.1, 6.1, 11.2 (68)
Clarence: 3.3, 5.7, 7.12, 10.16 (76)
Tigers: L. Graham (4), T. Carter (2), A. Vincent, L. Watt, S. Duigan, E. Reardon, M. Paul
Clarence: J. Smith (3), C. Nield (2), J. Cox (2), N. Holmes, J. Harper, K. Wylie
Tigers: R. Matthews, K. Lovell, J. Drew, S. Duigan, O. Burrows-Cheng, A. Vincent
Clarence: R. Bailey, K. Howlett, J. Preshaw, M. Ling, C. Riley, J. Bailey
Clarence will look to finish their season of strongly, in a 6:30pm Friday night clash against North Hobart at North Hobart Oval.
The Tigers head up to Windsor Park to take on Launceston at 2:00pm next Saturday, in an Elimination Final preview for the following week.