By Joseph Vasquez
The penultimate round of the 2023 TSL season provided more exciting football from around the state, with matches between Glenorchy and North Launceston, Launceston and Lauderdale, and North Hobart and Clarence.
Kicking off the action on Saturday afternoon was Glenorchy and North Launceston doing battle at KGV Oval. North Launceston made a dominant start on the road, kicking 4.4 to one Glenorchy major in the first quarter. Though wayward in the following term, North Launceston took their lead out to 43 points at the main break. After half-time, the Northern Bombers put their foot on the gas, taking their lead in excess of ten goals. Ultimately, it was a dominant 19.19.133 to 5.1.31 win for the visitors, an important one for their hopes of the minor premiership.
Brad Cox-Goodyer and Nathan Pearce kicked four goals apiece for the Northern Bombers, with the former solidifying an unassailable lead in the race for the Hudson Medal with his performance. Additionally, Ben Simpson (one goal, seven marks, 11 clearances, 12 inside-50s, 14 contested possessions, 40 disposals), Brandon Leary (one goal, six inside-50s, 15 contested possessions, 32 disposals), and Jack Avent (eight clearances, 17 contested possessions, 30 disposals) were all outstanding in the red and black.
For the Pies, Braidy Simpson (five tackles, seven marks, 11 rebound-50s, 30 disposals), Nathan Blowfield (two goals, six marks, six one-percenters, seven tackles, 11 rebound-50s, 13 contested possessions, 27 disposals), and Blake Waight (seven one-percenters, 11 contested possessions, 13 marks, 26 disposals) were standouts for Glenorchy.
Next, Launceston and Lauderdale resume hostilities at Windsor Park. It was an entertaining first term with Lauderdale kicking 4.3 and the Blues 4.0 for the former to lead by three points at quarter-time. Scoring slowed in the second quarter but the Bombers held on to their lead, in front by four points at the half. Following the main interval, the Bombers kicked away to a 35-point lead after kicking 6.2 to Launceston’s 1.1. In the end, Lauderdale held on to win 12.11.83 to 9.3.57, finishing their 2023 campaign on a high in their first victory at Windsor Park since 2019.
Allen Christensen was a force up forward for the Bombers kicking three, and Sam Siggins (one goal, five marks, 10 inside-50s, 16 clearances, 23 contested possessions, 41 disposals), Nat Franklin (14 clearances, 17 contested possessions, 34 disposals), and Ned Shaw (two goals, five tackles, seven inside-50s, eight contested possessions, 25 disposals) were superb for Lauderdale.
For the Blues, Bailey Gillow (one goal, six marks, eight one-percenters, 10 clearances, 12 tackles, 17 contested possessions, 30 disposals), Samuel Foley (five marks, five one-percenters, six tackles, 10 contested possessions, 12 rebound-50s, 29 disposals), and Jake Hinds (one goal, six marks, six clearances, 13 contested possessions, 26 disposals) held their ground against the Bombers.
And finally, North Hobart and Clarence locked horns at North Hobart Oval. Clarence took a lead of 15 points into quarter-time after kicking 2.5 to the Demons’ 0.2. As the match progressed, the Roos gradually extended their lead to 27 at half-time and 45 at the final break. When it was all said and done, Clarence came out on top, winning 12.15.87 to 4.8.32.
Colin Garland and Noah Holmes kicked two goals each for the Roos, and Oscar Paprotny (six tackles, six clearances, seven marks, seven inside-50s, 13 contested possessions, 29 disposals), Baxter Norton (one goal, five inside-50s, five rebound-50s, five one-percenters, seven contested possessions, nine marks, 28 disposals), and Keegan Ryan (seven tackles, 13 contested possessions, 22 disposals) were key in Clarence’s victory.
And for North Hobart, Angus Norton (six rebound-50s, seven clearances, 16 contested possessions, 37 disposals), Ryan Edmondson (five one-percenters, five clearances, six rebound-50s, 11 contested possessions, 29 disposals), and Dominic White (five inside-50s, seven contested possessions, 10 marks, 28 disposals) were brave in defeat.
In the final round of the season, Launceston and Glenorchy face off at Windsor Park, Kingborough and Clarence skirmish at the Twin Ovals, and North Launceston hosts North Hobart at UTAS Stadium.