Now there are four and soon there will be three. It’s crunch time in the 2019 #BUPATSL Finals, with two blockbuster Semi Finals at our doorstep.
1st Semi Final
Glenorchy v Launceston
Head-to-head: Glenorchy – 9 | Launceston – 12
Round 1, 2019: Launceston 5.10 (40) def. by Glenorchy 9.15 (69) – Windsor Park
Round 9, 2019: Glenorchy 6.8 (44) def. by Launceston 9.16 (70) – KGV Oval
Round 15, 2019: Glenorchy 7.3 (45) def. by Launceston 20.14 (134) – KGV Oval
Players to watch:
Jaye Bowden (Glenorchy): Modern Tasmanian football’s most decorated figure, Bowden continues to go from strength to strength. Often used as a ‘break in case of emergency’ weapon, Bowden may find himself playing a variety of roles. A four-goal haul last weekend should see him spend plenty of time inside 50, however.
Ben Kamaric (Glenorchy): Almost single-handedly dragged the Magpies over the line against the Bombers last weekend with a sensational final quarter. Came up clutch with two stunning goals. One of the competition’s quickest midfielders, Kamaric will cause plenty of damage with ball in hand.
Jared Dakin (Launceston): Successfully returned to the senior TSL stage last weekend and didn’t look out of place. Worked his way into the game to finish with over 20 disposals. A class act, Dakin is shaping as a trump card up Mitch Thorp’s sleeve.
Hamish Leedham (Launceston): The Launceston big man monstered the Tigers last weekend with close to 60 hit outs and 20 disposals. A prominent figure right around the ground, Leedham will look to give first use to his star-studded midfield group.
The question mark:
Glenorchy: The home fortress. The Magpies have traditionally been unstoppable at KGV, but two losses to the Blues at the venue this season has somewhat tarnished this record. Expect this to burn Paul Kennedy’s side and for a response to come. Eyes will also be closely focussed on the Magpies
Launceston: Momentum. Can the Blues carry the form shown last weekend in what is likely to be a wet-weather slog? The big-bodied midfield contingent of Seymour, Harper and Bristow should suit the conditions like ducks to water, but the cleanliness of ball inside 50 will be an area to watch.
Tip: Blues by 10 points. Launceston’s big-bodied midfielders to get the job done in wet, muddy conditions. Injuries continue to stack up for the ‘Pies, and although a strong effort will be delivered, the visitors will prevail and book a Preliminary Final date.
This match will be available to stream LIVE via the Tasmanian State League Facebook page and AFLTAS YouTube Channel with commentary from Damian Gill, Chris Rowbottom and Tigers FC coach Trent Baumeler.
2nd Semi Final
North Launceston v Lauderdale
Head-to-head: North Launceston – 13 | Lauderdale – 9
Round 5, 2019: Lauderdale 11.8 (74) def. North Launceston 8.10 (58) – Skybus Oval
Round 13, 2019: North Launceston 4.13 (37) def. by Lauderdale 10.14 (74) – UTAS Stadium
Round 19, 2019: Lauderdale 3.5 (23) def. by North Launceston 9.14 (68) – Skybus Oval
Players to watch:
Will Edmunds (North Launceston): Primed to be a finals X-Factor, Edmunds has impressed since returning midseason. A strong mark, catlike at ground level and with good goal awareness, Edmunds makes for a difficult match-up and may be able to exploit Lauderdale if given space and time.
Taylor Whitford (North Launceston): A seasoned campaigner. The North Launceston coach knows what is required to win big finals. Throw in the fact it is his 150th game and you have a dangerous combination if you are a Lauderdale opponent.
Jacob Gillbee (Lauderdale): The former Gold Coast Sun has spent time in defence as well as attack in 2019 but looked lively inside 50 last weekend with two majors. A seasoned campaigner capable of the mercurial, the stage looks to be set for Gillbee to have an enormous finals campaign.
Bryce Walsh (Lauderdale): Is there a player better suited to finals football? A contested brute, Walsh lifts those around him by shear action and work rate. Looks to be in good health after an injury-riddled couple of years and you just know he will be fired up for the contest.
The question mark:
North Launceston: Will there be any rust? The Northern Bombers come into this clash fresh from a weekend off, while Lauderdale are off the back of a titanic battle with the Magpies. Eyes will be keeping a close check on whether North Launceston show any signs of rust as a result or whether the week off has freshened them up so they’re in top shape for finals footy.
Lauderdale: The Southern Bombers have two wins against North this season but somewhere in their minds would still be the fact that they have never won one of the four finals played between the two teams. Two Grand Final victories may give North Launceston a mental edge, but the question surrounds how Lauderdale will respond to the challenge – and whether the neutral venue of Windsor Park will aid Darren Winter’s men.
Tip: Northern Bombers by 12 points. This is going to be a heated, physical affair but expect the Northerners to pull away late. This could potentially be another Grand Final preview.
This match will be available to stream LIVE via the Tasmanian State League Facebook page and AFLTAS YouTube Channel with commentary from Dave Mohr and the City Park Radio team. The radio broadcast will also be available on City Park Radio 103.7 and 96.5 FM and online here.