After a three month delay, the 2020 BUPA TSL season finally kicked off on Saturday.
Despite a lot changing in 2020, the status quo was maintained as the top three teams from last year all returned to the winners’ list.
Hamish Spence runs through each game and previews this week’s clashes.
Blues shut out ‘Pies with dominant second half
North Launceston made a strong to their season, with a 26-point win over Glenorchy at KGV Oval on Saturday.
The game was shaping as an enthralling contest, with just a goal in it at half-time, but the Blues went on to hold Glenorchy goalless after half-time to leave as 7.13 (55) to 4.5 (29) winners.
The Magpies started the day on top, with last year’s Hudson medallist, Aiden Grace, picking up where he left off, kicking the first goal of the match and the 2020 season.
Launceston clicked into gear after a sluggish start and got on top in the latter half of term, taking in a three point lead at quarter-time thanks to Jobi Harper goal from outside 50.
The second term saw the contest see-saw with both teams exchanging blows with three goals apiece. In an entertaining arm wrestle, the lead changed hands five times during the term, with Brendan Taylor’s late set-shot goal ensuring that Launceston would take a one goal lead into half-time.
The Blues took over in the second half to win comfortably, keeping Glenorchy goalless while kicking three goals of their own. Harper kicked his second, while Jake Hinds was dangerous on his TSL return and gun Dylan Riley also found the middle of the big sticks.
If not for some wayward kicking in front of goal it could have been a greater margin with the Blues kicking 13 behinds. Despite that, Launceston certainly signalled themselves as a threat in 2020 and looked to have only improved from the 2019 version.
For Glenorchy, Saturday’s loss bore some uncomfortable similarities to the 60-point drubbing by Launceston in last year’s Semi-Final. With the ‘Pies held to only four goals and beaten on their home deck, again.
Jobi Harper (24 disposals) and Brodie Palfreyman (six clearances) were dominant on the inside for Launceston and kicked two goals a-piece.
Mitch Rainbird was good in defeat and Brady Williams impressed in his first game for Glenorchy by keeping Mitch Thorp goalless.
Glenorchy: 1.1, 4.1, 4.1, 4.5 (29)
Launceston: 1.3, 4.7, 5.10, 7.13 (55)
Glenorchy: A. Grace, A. Roberts, M. Rainbird, R. Banks-Smith
Launceston: B. Palfreyman (2), J. Harper, T. Miller, D. Riley, J. Hinds, B. Taylor
Glenorchy: A. Roberts, M. Rainbird, J. Deegan, B. Williams, J. Arnold, J. Webb
Launceston: J. Smith, J. House, J. Donnellan, G. Holt, B. Palfreyman, J. Harper
Southern Bombers down ‘Roos to claim SPEAK UP Stay ChatTY Cup
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Lauderdale were as hungry as ever, taking home the SPEAK UP Stay ChatTY Cup and beating fierce rival Clarence by 41 points at Skybus Oval, on Saturday.
The Southern Bombers dominated the first half of the game, with a punishing five goal to one second term setting up their 11.10 (76) to 5.5 (35) win.
Lauderdale were in complete control from the first bounce, but took time to capitalise on the scoreboard.
They kept the ‘Roos goalless in the first term, but only kicked two late goals of their own through Toutai Havea and Tyler Martin. Havea was imposing on return to the Bombers’ forward line.
An early goal in the second quarter from Clarence coach Jeromey Webberley opened the ‘Roos account, but it wasn’t a preview of things to come.
Lauderdale clicked into gear and piled on the remaining five goals of the term to take a commanding 38-point lead into half-time and effectively seal the game, with Jake Dance, Alex Hevey, Martin and Havea all getting in on the action.
Clarence managed to stem the bleeding after half-time, with the only two goals of the third quarter and the first of the last through Webberley, Samuel Banks and Ethan Jackson. Any hopes of a miracle comeback were quickly dashed, as Josh McGuinness and Dance put the finishing touches on the Southern Bombers’ victory. McGuinness’ rare foray forward was an exclamation point on the victory, faking his opponent before drilling a beauty from the boundary.
Despite falling at the final hurdle in 2019, Lauderdale looks as determined as ever to take the next step in 2020. McGuinness was clearly best on ground for his 27 disposals and one goal and was recognised as such with the Stay Chatty medal.
Lauderdale’s new forward line also impressed with four multiple goal scorers, with Toutai Havea leading all comers with three. Clarence captain Brady Jones was impressive as always and young draft hopeful and on-ball bull Oliver Davis worked hard all day.
Lauderdale: 2.4, 7.4, 7.9, 11.10 (76)
Clarence: 0.1, 1.2, 3.2, 5.5 (35)
Lauderdale: T. Havea (3), A. Hevey (2), T. Martin (2), J. Dance (2), J. McGuinness, A. Kalcovski
Clarence: J. Webberley (2), E. Jackson, O. Preshaw, S. Banks
Lauderdale: W. Poland, J. McGuinness, H. Smith, P. Bellchambers, A. Kalcovski, T. Havea
Clarence: J. Harper, B. Jones, O. Davis, S. Banks, H. Burgess, E. Jackson
Northern Bombers hold on against fast-finishing ‘Dees
North Launceston started their premiership defence with a 10-point win over North Hobart at UTAS Stadium on Saturday, but it didn’t come without a fright, with North Hobart surging home in the last quarter.
The young ‘Dees stormed home with four unanswered goals in the final quarter, but a 33-point three-quarter time deficit was too great to overcome, with North Launceston leaving as 7.7 (49) to 6.3 (39) winners.
The first four goals of the game were split between North Launceston coach Taylor Whitford and Demon Jacob Steele, with scores tied early in the second quarter.
From there the Northern Bombers experience and class came to fore, as they kicked the next five goals of the match.
Skipper Bradley Cox-Goodyer, 100th game milestone man Matt Walsh and dynamic young forward, Jackson Callow, were in all involved in the action. With Callow’s a tremendous contested mark and long-bomb.
The result looked like a fait accompli at three-quarter time, with North Hobart trailing by 33 points, but they refused to die.
The comeback was driven by their youth, with Tassie Devils’ Jye Menzie (two) and Thomas Reeves hitting the scoreboard, while recruit Jeffrey Fisher kicked a terrific running goal. Despite only kicking two goals in three quarters, the Demons added a further four majors to test the reigning Premiers. Time wasn’t on North Hobart’s side though, with too much left to do in the final quarter.
The comeback also included a jaw dropping grab from Callum Kilpatrick on the wing, climbing over Jay Foon in the Demons run of goals.
North Launceston led at all stages, with experienced campaigners Taylor Whitford, Josh Ponting and Mark Walsh all playing to their usual high standards.
North Hobart will take plenty from this honourable loss, Hugh (Nj) Williams’ experience was a calming and stabilising presence down back and Baxter Norton was the game’s leading disposal getter with 30 touches.
North Launceston: 2.0, 5.3, 7.6, 7.7 (49)
North Hobart: 1.0, 2.2, 2.3, 6.3 (39)
North Launceston: T. Whitford (2), W. Edmunds, L. Cocker, M. Walsh, B. Cox-Goodyer, J. Callow
North Hobart: J. Steele (2), J. Menzie (2), T. Reeves, J. Fisher
North Launceston: T. Whitford, J. Ponting, M. Walsh, W. Edmunds, B. van Buuren, C. Nankervis
North Hobart: H. Williams, H. Williams, B. Norton, T. Cunliffe, P. Walker, J. Sandric
Up Next: Round 2
Tigers vs North Hobart, 2:00pm Saturday 18/07/2020, Kingston Twin Ovals:
One of the league’s newest rivalries is set to continue on Saturday, when the Tigers and Demons meet for the first time this season.
North Hobart will be buoyed after their last quarter run against North Launceston and go into this game believing that they can take a scalp.
Kingbrough will look to launch their 2020 campaign in style and build on what they established last season, after making the finals for the first time.
Lauderdale vs Glenorchy, 2:00pm Saturday 18/07/2020, Lauderdale Oval:
Glenorchy and Lauderdale will meet for the first time since their epic Qualifying Final last year, which saw the Bombers prevail by just one goal.
Glenorchy has a chance to get revenge and kickstart their season, while Lauderdale will look to continue their strong momentum from Round 1.
Launceston vs North Launceston, 2:00pm Saturday 18/07/2020, Windsor Park
The game that divides a city, this battle between arch-rivals looms as the match of the round.
While North Launceston came away with the win in Round One, Taylor Whitford’s men will need a full four-quarter performance to knock off Launceston.
The Blues haven’t beaten their cross-town rivals since Round Two in 2014. A victory on Saturday would not only get rid of this unwanted record, but show how they measure up against the benchmark of the competition in 2020.
Clarence has the bye.