North Launceston are heading to their seventh Grand Final in a row, while Launceston are back in the big dance for the first time since 2012.
Hamish Spence runs through each Semi-Final and previews this week’s Grand Final.
Seventh Heaven: Northern Bombers blitz ‘Roos on route to another Grand Final
North Launceston are through to their seventh straight Grand Final, after smashing Clarence by 78 points at UTAS Stadium on Saturday.
The Northern Bombers went on a 14-goal run from midway through the second quarter, setting up their commanding 15.8 (98) to 3.2 (20) win.
The Roos were competitive early on, but were soon outclassed by the reigning premiers. Skipper Brady Jones also announced his retirement post-match, ending his stellar career at the club.
Clarence started strongly in the first by kicking two of the first three goals, with Noah Holmes providing the early highlight after launching a bomb from on 50.
A goal from the experienced Josh Green to start the second looked like it would continue the ‘Roos early momentum, but it ended there.
North Launceston piled on 14 unanswered goals to close out the game, with Clarence only managing one solitary behind in response.
A skilful snap from coach Taylor Whitford ignited the Northern Bombers, who went on to kick three more goals for the term, with two going to Tom Bennett, as they got on top in general play.
They led by 14 points at half-time and arguably should have been up by more.
North Launceston’s dominance continued in the second half as they kicked the last 10 goals of the game.
Daniel Withers was the chief destroy with four more majors, three of them coming in the final quarter.
With the result a fait accompli in the last, it allowed the home side and crowd to let the reality of a seventh straight Grand Final sink in.
Seasoned finals performers Josh Ponting (27 disposals, nine clearances and five tackles) and Bradley Cox-Goodyer (27 disposals, nine clearances, six tackles and one goal) showed why they keep getting the job done come finals time.
Withers (21 disposals and five goals) had a day out up forward.
The 2020 Richardson Medallist, Oliver Davis (18 disposals, three clearances and six tackles), didn’t look out of place on the big stage, Zac Buechner held up down back and coach Jeromey Webberley’s (20 disposals, seven tackles and four clearances) experience showed among his young players.
North Launceston: 1.0, 5.3, 8.5, 15.8 (98)
Clarence: 2.1, 3.1, 3.2, 3.2 (20)
Goal Kickers: D. Withers (5), T. Bennett (3), T. Whitford (2), M. Walsh, B. Cox-Goodyer, B. McCulloch, J. Laskey, J. Avent
Best Players: B. Cox-Goodyer, D. Withers, A. Richter-Salter, J. Avent, T. Donnelly, J. Rushton
Goal Kickers: N. Holmes, J. Green, D. Gardner
Best Players: Z. Buechner, O. Davis, D. Gardner, S. Lewis-Johnson, J. Holmes, B. Jones
Blue skies ahead: Launceston down Lauderdale to reach first Grand Final in eight years
Launceston got revenge for last year’s Preliminary Final and are finally heading back to the Grand Final, after defeating Lauderdale by 48 points at Windsor Park on Saturday.
Eight unanswered goals in the second quarter in front of a raucous home crowd set-up the Blues’ win, ultimately leaving as 17.3 (105) to 9.3 (57) victors.
The Southern Bombers gave themselves a slight chance after kicking five goals in a row to end the third, but couldn’t reach their fourth consecutive Grand Final.
The first term was fairly even, with two goals kick by either side.
While Lauderdale led by two points at quarter-time, it was a big win for the Blues who were kicking against the wind but still managed to restrict the Southern Bombers.
The advantage the wind provided was evident in the second quarter, as Launceston ran riot with eight unanswered goals to blow the game apart.
Spearheads Mitch Thorp and Dylan Riley kicked two each, as Launceston took a bumper 47-point lead into half-time.
Former skipper Jay Blackberry kept the ball rolling immediately after half-time, but the Southern Bombers managed to finish the quarter with the next five goals.
Tyler Martin was smart around goal with two for the term, as Lauderdale faced a tough, but achievable 23-point deficit at three-quarter time.
But the wind was a major factor once again, with Launceston kicking six goals to two in the final term.
The crowd matched their team’s intensity on the field, as Windsor Park started to celebrate with the result beyond doubt.
Coach Thorp fittingly kicked the final goal of the game with chants of “Thorpy” echoing around the ground.
Jake Hinds (22 disposals, five clearances, seven marks and two goals) had his second best on ground performance in a row, Blackberry (17 disposals, two clearances and two goals) impacted up forward and through the midfield and skipper Jobi Harper (25 disposals, 19 contested possessions and seven clearances) dominated at the coalface.
Sam Siggins (23 disposals, 18 hit outs, seven clearances and one goal) competed strongly in the ruck and through the middle, Josh McGuinness (16 disposals, seven tackles and two clearances) capped off a great season and Alex Hevey was crafty around goal with two.
Launceston: 2.0, 10.1, 11.2, 17.3 (105)
Lauderdale: 2.2, 2.2, 7.3, 9.3 (57)
Goal Kickers: J. Blackberry (3), M. Thorp (3), D. Riley (2), J. Hinds (2), J. Groenewegen (2), M. Musicka, C. Brown, F. Seymour, T. Jones, B. Taylor
Best Players: J. Hinds, M. Thorp, J. Harper, T. Jones, M. Hodge, J. Blackberry
Goal Kickers: H. Richmond (2), T. Martin (2), A. Hevey (2), B. Walsh, S. Burge, S. Siggins
Best Players: J. McGuinness, A. Hevey, S. Siggins, N. Baker, N. Oakes, S. Tilley