Round 16 of the Wrest Point TSLW season ended with Launceston securing a win to secure a remarkable, undefeated season. TSLW reporter Olivia Clayton looks at the round.
Tigers 7.16 (58) def. Lauderdale 1.0 (6)
Tigers – P. Flakemore 3, M. Neal 2, H. Baldwin, S. Grimsey
Lauderdale – O. Hudson
Tigers – M. Neal, H. Baldwin, L. Reid, P. Flakemore, C. Brooke, S. Grimsey
Lauderdale – E. Waller, C. Stewart, C. Kenny, K. Teders, A. Rance, S. Williams
The Tigers secured their fourth win of the season, defeating Lauderdale by 52 points.
Tigers Coach, Brad Willis, says “It wasn’t our best performance, but then again you can only play as well as the opposition allows. Lauderdale were all over us in the first half and their pressure really stifled our flow.
“We responded to the challenge after half time, made a few positional changes and the game opened up a bit, but all credit to Lauderdale as we had to fight every step of the way. It was a fitting way to end the season and get the win for captain Mikayla Absolom who was playing game number 50.”
Paige Flakemore was the Tigers leading goal kicker with three, making her season total 13, which is also the most goals kicked by a Tigers player this season.
Marla Neal was named as the side’s best on ground, with Willis full of praise for her performance.
“Although heavily tagged, Marla really took it upon herself to try and lift the team. Much the same could be said of fellow midfielders Hailee Baldwin and Cara Brooke who were in everything. Exciting youngster Liarna Reid showed plenty of dash at both ends of the field, Sammy Grimsey was a livewire across half forward and Paige Flakemore was her normal pugnacious self.”
Olivia Hudson kicked Lauderdale’s only goal making it her fourth goal this year with Claire McManus and Bridget Dickenson taking claim of the other two goals kicked by Lauderdale this season.
Lauderdale’s best on ground was Emma Waller. Waller has only played three games in the TSLW and has finished in the best players two out of the three games. Waller was named as third best on in round 15 against Glenorchy.
Both teams will miss out on finals this year as the Tigers finish in fifth place on the ladder and Lauderdale sixth in their debut TSLW season.
Lauderdale stepped up to the TSLW after finishing fourth on the ladder in the SFLW in 2018. The side has struggled this season against some tough opponents but has shown improvement since their first match against North Launceston in round two.
“Having only 10 consistent girls from last year’s inaugural SFLW team make the move up to the TSLW, we knew the year would be very difficult. New faces and not much experience has kept me focussing on the girl’s skills, tackling and delving more into running patterns,” coach Robbie McManus said.
“I know some outsiders may look at the scoreboards of our games and judge them, but I believe that having the guts to jump this far in the deep end and learn everything on the fly should earn them more respect around the football community. I’m excited to have our girls finish the year off getting more competitive as they go.”
Captain Katie Teders is the only player in the TSLW who has been named in the best players for all 15 games played. Olivia Hudson has also been reliable on goal and Chloe Stewart and Claire McManus have been key players for the side as well.
The Tigers have also shown improvement this season. Tigers coach, Brad Willis, says the team “have improved markedly this season and that has been achieved on the back of many players adapting to the demands of TSLW football and really wanting to improve their general fitness, skills and knowledge of the game.”
“We have achieved four wins for the year which is our best result to date, and [also] managed back to back wins for the first time. Both Cara Brooke and Mikayla Absolom reached 50 games for the Club.”
“Marla Neal’s dedication and exceptional work ethic has been rewarded with an even better season than her previous two B&F years. Hailee Baldwin returned from Devils duties to prove she is one of the best young talents in the state. Ellie Doyle has juggled netball and football and is an emerging star.
“Seasoned players Cara Brooke, Mikayla Absolom and Liv McKee have led from the front and at the other end of the spectrum, Ella Brereton, Tayla Clifford and Maggie Bones had outstanding debut seasons. Crossing from the SFL, Paige Flakemore has been a valuable acquisition because of her hard-nosed approach.”
Glenorchy 5.8 (38) def. Clarence 2.5 (17)
Glenorchy – N. Lynch 3, M. Shaw, M. Sutcliffe
Clarence – B. McDonald 2
Glenorchy – S. Skinner, T. Corrie, N. Lynch, B. Barwick, R. Siely, E. Barwick
Clarence – M. Wise, N. Bresnehan, J. Williams, B. Scott, L. Standen, B. McDonald
Glenorchy notched a 21-point win over Clarence in round 16 at KGV to enter the finals with confidence.
The ‘Roos started off strong, finishing the first quarter with 2.2 to the Pies one behind. Glenorchy came back in the second quarter to take the lead at half time by three points.
The third term saw the Pies increase the margin to 11 points. Clarence were unable to score in the final quarter and Glenorchy booted another one goal four to take the win.
Clarence Captain, Grace Mitchell, says “the girls had strong first quarter with two goals, from there unfortunately, we were unable to kick any majors which Glenorchy took advantage of.”
Brianna McDonald kicked both of the ‘Roos two goals and Melanie Wise, in her 50th club game, was named as best on ground.
Mitchell says that Jessie Williams was a standout on the day and she “provided run through the middle. Nicole Bresnehan was also strong in the backline and Mel Wise dominated down back in her 50th game.”
Glenorchy Captain, Nietta Lynch, acknowledged that her side showed great resilience to get the result.
“It was a tough day at the office for us, with our head coach and an assistant coach going down with illness late in the week, it was a big ask for Dean Webster, but he stepped up and got the girls over the line.
“Clarence were out to prove themselves and started the game hot. After the first quarter our girls started to chip away showing each other that when our backs are against the wall, we can work together to get the job done,” Lynch said.
Lynch scored the most goals for the side with three to her name and Sarah Skinner was named as best on ground.
Lynch also commended the efforts of Brieanna Barwick.
“Barwick has been a stand out all year, and never failed to show her class from start to finish on the weekend. She will be a contender for the best and fairest and a true asset in our finals campaign.”
There appeared to be two major injuries out of the match as ‘Roos player Darcy Elliston was helped off the field in the third quarter, and Macklyn Sutcliffe carried off shortly before the end of the fourth quarter.
Mitchell says Elliston “rolled her ankle in the third quarter, but will undergo a fitness test on Thursday to determine if she will play on the weekend.”
Lynch says Sutcliffe “completed our full recovery session [on Monday], and with the week off it seems that she will be back to her best against Launceston in two weeks’ time.”
Clarence finishes the season in third and will play North Launceston in the first semi-final this week at Blundstone Arena.
Glenorchy finish the season second on the ladder with 12 wins and will return in two weeks’ time to take on ladder leader’s Launceston.
Launceston 10.20 (80) def. North Launceston 0.0 (0)
Launceston – B. Rattray 4, D. Bannister 2, A. Dickson, A. Halaby, S. Beeton, M. Hillier
Launceston – G. Hill, D. Bannister, A. Dickson, L. Stevenson, C. Thuringer, D. Taylor
North Launceston – J. Clifford, S. Townsend, B. Farrell, R. Wilson, L. Hancock, T. Whitney
Launceston finished the season strong with another win keeping North Launceston scoreless and finishing the match with 80 points.
Needing a win to ensure a perfect home and away campaign, Launceston coach Ange Dickson was pleased with the result.
“We were really pleased with our girls’ efforts on Sunday. We wanted to focus on our intensity and efforts at the start of the game and the girls really produced that. We dominated the play and dictated the pace of the game which is what we were hoping for. The girls all played their role it was a great team effort for all four quarters.”
Brie Rattray was the Blues leading goal kicker booting four goals. This makes Rattray the leading goal kicker in the competition with 38 goals this season.
Georgia Hill was the side’s best on ground for the match. According to Dickson, Hill “not only controlled the ball off half back, but also came in to the ruck in the last quarter. [Hill] is showing each week how versatile she can be all over the ground.”
Dickson also commended the rest of the team’s efforts. “Our backline group were outstanding on Sunday. Their positioning off the ball and run off half back was near perfect all game. This week was really a whole team effort and we couldn’t be happier with how the team is progressing leading in to finals.”
North Launceston coach, Dean Smith, was proud of how his side battled throughout the day.
“It was a tough game against Launceston, as we expected, but we couldn’t be prouder of the girls for fighting out the game and not giving up at any stage.
“It’s been a long tough year, and although they are feeling the pinch, the girls fought the game out well. Launceston are a class outfit and it will take something special for any team to stop them taking out the Premiership.”
Although the side was unable to score, Captain Jodie Clifford was named as their best on ground.
“Sophie Townsend dominated for us, along with Jodie Clifford’s massive work rate in the middle”, says Smith.
“Our backline did very well under immense pressure and were well led by Bonnie Farrell, Renee Wilson and Letitia Hancock, and Tiffany Whitney was our most lively forward. Young Ulverstone U17 player Mya Slatter, who was filling in due to our long injury and unavailability list, again impressed us.”
North Launceston finish fourth on the ladder with six wins in their debut TSLW year. They will take on Clarence at Blundstone Arena on Saturday in the first semi-final.
Launceston finish on top of the ladder with a perfect 15 wins. The side will return in two weeks to play against Glenorchy.
Dickson says “Our focus now is to take the load off the legs and hopefully fine tune our goal kicking. We have had some really hard weeks on the training track, and this week and next, will just be about monitoring the load on the girls and ensuring everyone is fit and ready to go in two weeks’ time.”