By Paige Thompson
Clarence won the 2021 Development League Grand Final on Sunday, bringing their best to UTAS Stadium to defeat the 2020 premiers, Launceston.
It was a tight contest, with the teams rarely separated by more than a goal in an excellent display of talent and skill.
The Roos got the early lead, kicking the first two goals of the game while Launceston struggled to capitalise on their opportunities in front of goal. Jett Maloney was finally able to get Launceston on the board, escaping his opponent to mark and goal, however the Blues trailed by two points at quarter time.
Maloney was once again able to capitalise on a scoring opportunity, slotting a goal midway through the second term to put Launceston in the lead, while a snap from James Dowling extended their lead to nine points. Bryce Alomes, however, was unstoppable up forward for the Roos, and a three-goal haul in the second quarter meant that scores were even at halftime.
Launceston was quick to hit the scoreboard in the third quarter with Sam Foley kicking a goal in the opening couple of minutes of the second half, however there was a significant shift in momentum and suddenly it was Clarence that was dominating the third quarter – fittingly nicknamed the premiership quarter.
Alomes kicked his fifth goal of the day, before Wade Wall took a spectacular contested mark just a few metres out from Clarence’s goal. Dylan Howlett extended the Roos’ lead to 12-points with a booming kick on the run.
Ronan Filgate was able to get another goal for the Blues, but the Roos were truly unstoppable as Jacques Barwick joined the Clarence goalkicking party.
The final quarter was much quieter (scoring wise) than the third, as the margin hovered around three to four points, representative of the overall contest. Barwick was finally able to break the goal drought halfway through the final term and then replicated it a few minutes later, kicking his third goal of the day to also push Clarence to a game high 15-point lead.
Liam Howard extended Clarence’s lead to 21-points with 7 minutes to go which ultimately proved to be too big of a margin for the inaccurate Blues to overcome as the Roos ran out the match 14-point winners.
Best on Ground: Luke Swinton (Clarence).
Swinton was named best afield, starring for the ‘Roos with his toughness around the contest.
Clarence 2.0, 5.2, 9.2, 12.2 (74)
Launceston 1.4, 4.8, 7.9, 8.12 (60)
Clarence : B. Alomes 5, J. Barwick 3, W. Wall 1, D. Howlett 1, L. Howard 1, J. Young 1
Launceston : S. Foley 2, J. Maloney 2, R. Filgate 1, C. McKercher 1, J. Dowling 1, G. Holt 1
Clarence : B. Alomes, O. Preshaw, L. Swinton , J. Barwick, D. Howlett, L. Howard
Launceston : J. Dowling, T. Miller, T. McShane, D. Mclean, C. McKercher, H. Leedham