By Joseph Vasquez
Round five of the 2023 TSL season was an entertaining one, with the round made up of matches between North Launceston and Lauderdale, Clarence and Glenorchy, and Launceston and Kingborough.
First, it was the Battle of the Bombers at UTAS Stadium between North Launceston and Lauderdale. Lauderdale struck first blood, kicking three goals to North Launceston’s 1.2 in the opening quarter to take a ten-point lead into the first break.
However, the Northern Bombers struck back in the following term to level the scores at the half. North Launceston came out firing after the main interval, kicking 6.4 to Lauderdale’s 1.2 to lead by 32 at three-quarter-time. Despite an inaccurate final term kicking 2.6, North Launceston came out on top with a 11.17.83 to 5.6.36 win over Lauderdale.
Brandon Leary and Harvey Griffiths were lively up forward for the Northern Bombers and combined for six majors, and Alex Lee (eight inside-50s, nine one-percenters, 10 clearances, 11 contested possessions, 38 hit-outs, 18 disposals), Brad Cox-Goodyer (two goals, nine contested possessions, nine marks, 19 disposals), and Mitch Nicholas (seven marks, eight contested possessions, 24 disposals) were impactful in an important win for North Launceston.
For the Southern Bombers, Sam Siggins (five marks, six inside-50s, 15 clearances, 20 contested possessions, 40 disposals) and Rhys Sutton (five one-percenters, seven clearances, eight contested possessions, eight marks, 27 disposals) were the standouts in defeat.
Next, it was Clarence hosting Glenorchy at Bellerive Oval. Glenorchy made a solid start, kicking 2.1 to four Roos behinds in the first quarter to lead by nine points. The Magpies remained in front by four points at half-time as Clarence rued their missed opportunities in front of goal.
Clarence eked ahead by a point at the final break but continued to spray their shots on goal. However, they surged late, kicking 4.3 to the Pies’ 1.2 to be victorious, a final score of 6.19.55 to 5.5.35.
Bryce Alomes kicked three of Clarence’s six goals, and Sam Green (five one-percenters, seven inside-50s, seven clearances, 10 marks, 20 contested possessions, 31 hit-outs, 36 disposals), Keegan Ryan (one goal, seven marks, 14 contested possessions, 27 disposals), and Keegan Wylie (five rebound inside-50s, six contested possessions, 11 marks, 26 disposals) were key contributors in a scrappy win for Clarence.
Despite the narrow loss, Glenorchy’s Blake Waight (seven contested possessions, nine tackles, 11 one-percenters, 13 marks, 26 disposals), Matthew Joseph (six marks, eight rebound inside-50s, 31 disposals) and Josh Arnold (five marks, five clearances, seven one-percenters, eight contested possessions, 13 tackles, 17 disposals) were strong in the black and white.
Finally, it was the Grand Final replay at Windsor Park between Launceston and Kingborough. The Tigers took a lead of five points at quarter-time after kicking 3.5 to three straight Launceston goals. However, the Blues retook the lead in the following term and led by the same margin at the half.
The Tigers return served following half-time, retaking the lead and holding a nine-point lead over Launceston at three-quarter-time. It was an entertaining final quarter, but Kingborough came out on top, winning 9.13.67 to 8.3.51 and earning redemption for their poor performance in the 2022 season decider in their first win at Windsor Park.
Tyler Carter led the up forward for the Tigers with three majors, and Kieran Lovell (one goal, five marks, five inside-50s, five tackles, seven rebound inside-50s, 16 contested possessions, 18 clearances, 32 disposals), Lachlan Clifford (one goal, six tackles, seven marks, eight inside-50s, 10 clearances, 13 contested possessions, 30 disposals), and James Webb (five tackles, six inside-50s, seven marks, 10 contested possessions, 25 disposals) were all excellent in one of Kingborough’s finest wins in recent memory.
For Launceston, Jake Hinds (two goals, eight clearances, 12 contested possessions, 23 disposals), James Leake (five one-percenters, seven rebound inside-50s, nine marks, 15 contested possessions, 33 disposals) and Arie Schoenmaker (five marks, eight rebound inside-50s, 29 disposals) were prolific in navy blue despite a nail-biting loss.
This weekend, North Hobart returns from the bye to face Clarence at Blundstone Arena, Glenorchy hosts North Launceston at KGV Oval, and Lauderdale and Launceston face off at SkyBus Oval.