Glenorchy have convincingly defeated second-placed Lauderdale by 48 points at KGV Oval on Saturday to make a big statement with just one home and away round remaining in the BUPA TSL season. Alex FitzGerald takes a look at the one-sided contest.
The Magpies led at every change to roll a shell-shocked Bomber outfit, locking in third place in the process to set up a salivating finals rematch between the two sides in a fortnight’s time.
After weeks of muddy football, the sun shone on a pristine KGV Oval, with the Bombers unbelievably looking to win just their second clash since 2012 at what has become a fortress for Paul Kennedy’s charges.
It wasn’t to be for the visitors, with Glenorchy’s slick ball movement and fast forward entries resulting in three early majors to set the scene for the afternoon.
Classy operators Zac Webster, Callen Daly and Rhys Mott all had field days against the sluggish Bombers, with dangerous trio Aiden Grace, Jaye Bowden and Clinton French capitalising on their hard work up forward to boot a combined ten goals.
The Magpies’ defence remained stingy all day despite being made up by a number of relatively inexperienced heads, capping off what would’ve been a dream day for the hosts if it wasn’t for the sight of Grace, the competition’s leading goalkicker, being helped from the ground in the dying minutes with what appeared to be a lower leg injury.
Glenorchy coach Paul Kennedy was pleased with how his side gelled to play a disciplined brand of football across all four quarters against quality opposition in front of a strong home crowd.
“It’s nice to have a game where we play really well from the start,” he said.
“Our pressure and work rate were just exceptional.”
“On a day like today we really wanted to back in our ability to play our style of game, and the guys did that well.”
While Kennedy acknowledged the strong contributions of his star players, he was keen to highlight the improvement and subsequent performances of his younger players leading into the pointy end of the season, having focused on blooding youth since arriving at KGV as head coach following the 2017 season.
“When I came in it became really obvious that we needed to rebuild while we still had our senior players here,” he said.
“We went really hard at that last year and played a lot of kids.”
“With the (injury) circumstances this year we’ve got to do that again, and probably the time we put into those kids last year has held us in good stead (this season).”
The result means the Magpies have a double-chance locked away ahead of their first final regardless of the outcome of next week’s clash with North Launceston, but Kennedy was quick to dismiss any suggestions his side was favourite heading the rematch with the Southern Bombers based on Saturday’s turn out.
“It’s important we don’t get too carried away with today’s result,” he said.
“It’s a different game in two weeks’ time, and games are decided between the sirens.”
Lauderdale coach Darren Winter was candid in his disappointment post-match, saying his side had played far from their best football in a game they had been excited for.
While poor disposal and skill errors cost the Bombers, who went into their final roster game without injured skipper Bryce Walsh for the second week running, Winter was happy to reflect on what has been a remarkable season to date for the boys in the red and black.
“You’ve got to win enough games to get to a position where you play finals, and then finish on the ladder where you can give yourself an opportunity to play good finals,” he said.
“We’ve done that.”
“Our last month has been pretty poor, so we’re not going to shy away from that, but we’ve certainly done some good work throughout the year and we’ll focus on that a little bit more than the other way.”
Glenorchy 3.3, 5.4, 10.6, 14.8 (92)
Lauderdale 0.1, 1.2, 2.5, 6.8 (44)
Glenorchy : A. Grace 4, C. French 3, J. Bowden 3, C. Daly, S. Reeves, J. Geard, A. Roberts
Lauderdale : B. McGuinness 3, A. Saunders 2, L. Arnold
Glenorchy : Z. Webster, C. Daly, J. Bowden, A. Grace, A. Roberts, R. Mott
Lauderdale: A. Hill, M. Anderton, N. Franklin, S. Burge, A. Saunders, P. Bellchambers