By Joseph Vasquez
The final round of the 2023 TSL season dished up some fantastic football around the state, with matches played between Launceston and Glenorchy, Kingborough and Clarence, and North Launceston and North Hobart.
To kick off the action on Saturday afternoon, Launceston and Glenorchy faced off at Windsor Park. It was a tight contest early, with the Blues kicking 3.1 and Glenorchy kicking 2.2 in the first quarter. However, in the following term Launceston kicked away to a lead of 44 at half-time after kicking 7.4 to the Magpies’ 1.1. From half-time onwards, the Blues went into cruise control, maintaining an iron grip on the lead and extending the margin as the match progressed. In the end, it was a resounding 22.14.146 to 6.6.42 victory for Launceston.
Liam Jones and Isaac Hyatt combined for 12 of Launceston’s 22 goals, and Jake Hinds (three goals, eight marks, nine inside-50s, 11 clearances, 17 contested possessions, 42 disposals), Jamieson House (one goal, seven marks, nine inside-50s, 11 clearances, 13 contested possessions, 14 tackles, 32 disposals) were enormous for the hosts.
For the Pies, Luke Nicholson (eight tackles, nine contested possessions, 10 marks, 31 disposals), Braidy Simpson (six rebound-50s, 28 disposals), and Josh Arnold (one goal, eight contested possessions, nine marks, nine tackles, 22 disposals) held their ground in a tough defeat.
At the Twin Ovals, the Kingborough Tigers and Clarence battled for the Gadomski-Riewoldt Trophy. The Roos took a slim two-point lead at quarter-time after kicking 2.3 to Kingborough’s 2.1. In the second quarter scoring was scarce, but Clarence held on to the lead, in front by five points at half-time. The arm-wrestle between the two sides continued after half-time, but the Roos did not relent. With a quarter to play, Clarence led by 12 points. In the end, the Roos were too good, winning 9.13.67 to 7.4.46 and jeopardising the Tigers’ chances of clinching the minor premiership.
Jack Preshaw and William Busch kicked two goals apiece for the Roos, and Baxter Norton (seven marks, seven inside-50s, 11 contested possessions, 31 disposals), Oscar Paprotny (five clearances, six inside-50s, 14 contested possessions, 28 disposals), and Jarrod Harper (five marks, five clearances, 14 contested possessions, 26 disposals) were influential in red and white.
For the Tigers, Jack Tomkinson was the standout in yellow and black, kicking three majors and amassing 18 disposals. Elijah Reardon (six contested possessions, six rebound-50s, six tackles, 19 disposals) and Lachie Clifford (five marks, six tackles, eight clearances, 10 contested possessions, 18 disposals) were also notable contributors for Kingborough.
And finally, North Launceston and North Hobart skirmished at UTAS Stadium. North Hobart made a strong start on the road, in front by a goal at the first break after kicking 3.2 to the Bombers’ 2.2. North Launceston were resurgent after quarter-time, kicking 4.4 to 1.1 to lead by 15 points at the half. In the third quarter, North Launceston held the Dees goalless and kicked away to a lead of 57 points. Ultimately, it was a comfortable 15.17.107 to 5.4.34 victory for North Launceston. Despite their win, the Bombers were unable to dislodge Kingborough from top spot, the latter finishing the season as minor premiers on percentage.
Brad Cox-Goodyer sealed the 2023 Peter Hudson Medal with a four-goal performance against North Hobart, and Jack Avent (one goal, seven clearances, eight inside-50s, 17 contested possessions, 32 disposals), Ben Simpson (14 clearances, 20 contested possessions, 30 disposals), and William Manshanden (one goal, 13 contested possessions, 29 disposals) were brilliant for the Bombers.
And for the Demons, Harrison McLeod (nine clearances, 10 contested possessions, 29 disposals), Dominic White (one goal, five tackles, six marks, nine contested possessions, 28 disposals), and Jack Sandric (six tackles, 11 clearances, 15 contested possessions, 25 disposals) were resolute in red and blue.
The 2023 TSL Finals Series kicks off this Saturday with a Qualifying Final between Kingborough and North Launceston at the Twin Ovals, and an Elimination Final between Clarence and Launceston at Blundstone Arena.