By Simon Andrews
This weekend will see three TSL games played on Good Friday, with all three matches presenting intriguing match ups for both the teams involved and onlookers alike.
The always exciting Launceston rivalry will take place at the Windsor Park – the first time the two northern sides will meet since last year’s Grand Final. There will be a heated battle on the eastern shore as Clarence travel down to Skybus Oval to face Lauderdale, and the always fiery Tigers and Demons game promises to be as fascinating as any game this season.
Launceston vs North Launceston
Windsor Park @ 2:00pm
The Blues and Bombers have had contrasting starts to 2022. As is expected, Launceston are flying high, with three wins in a row and a booming percentage of 262.8. They will also be enjoying home field advantage and a small amount of player changes compared to their opposition. Their most notable out being 2021 Baldock medalist Joe Groenewegan. Despite this, they will welcome back in the always reliable Michael Musicka and in a major moost, reigning Hudson Medallist Dylan Riley.
For the Northern Bombers, it hasn’t been the perfect start to 2022. Despite sitting third on the ladder it was a close call in round two against Lauderdale. They scraped by with a two-point win at Skybus Oval and just last week, were served a big wake up call as Clarence got the better of them at home. North will also have to contend with a plethora of outs in round four. In total, there are six changes to the Bombers side, with the losses of 2021 Richardson Medalist Michael Stingel and player/coach Brad Cox-Goodyer big blows ahead of this crosstown rivalry.
The Blues and Northern Bombers will contend for the Phil Edwards Cup, named in honour of the late Examiner Sports Journalist, with the U18s, Development League and Senior aggregate score to determine the winner. Best on ground in the senior match will win the Adam Sanders Medal, in honour of Adam Sanders who played for both clubs.
Lauderdale vs Clarence
Skybus Oval @ 2:00pm
Lauderdale will head into round 4 with the strong feeling that they could have two wins already on the board. With a narrow loss to North Launceston and fourth quarter drop off against the Tigers, they will be hoping to once again make Skybus Oval a fortress and notch their first win of the year against their fiercest rival.
The Roos will bounce into this clash with plenty of confidence, having accounted for North Launceston last weekend and entering this game with the return of Mitch Rainbird.
This matchup proves to be an important one for both teams, Clarence will want to prove their win in Launceston wasn’t just a flash in the pan, while Lauderdale will be desperate to avoid an 0-3 start at home.
Kingborough vs North Hobart
Twin Ovals @ 2:30pm
Kicking off at 2:30pm the rivalry between the Tigers and Demons will enter a new chapter when the two sides meet at the Twin Ovals. The Tigers will enter the game heavy favourites; however, the Demons have shown true character and growth this season, and look to capitalise if underestimated.
The Tigers head into round 4 largely unchanged, but will welcome goalsneak Luke Graham into the fold for the injured George O’Neill. The Tigers, despite last weekend’s loss to Launceston, look to be one of the sides to beat in 2022 and will look to extend this to a 3-1 start.
North Hobart enter round 4 with an even 1-1 record. This week looms as their toughest test yet and will give a clear indication as to where they sit in the pecking order. With Clinton French and Jack Sandric entering the side North Hobart will be boosted, but will have to work hard to match the pace and physicality of the Tigers midfield.