By Joseph Vasquez
On Sunday afternoon, North Launceston and Clarence faced off at UTAS Stadium in an enthralling preliminary final, with both sides vying for a spot in the 2023 TSL Grand Final.
The Roos made a solid start against North Launceston, kicking 2.1 and holding the Northern Bombers scoreless for the opening term. The second quarter was another low-scoring arm-wrestle, with Clarence holding a lead of eight points at half-time. Following half-time, the Roos maintained their petite lead and led by 10 points with a quarter to play. In the last, the Northern Bombers were resurgent, kicking five unanswered goals and securing a Grand Final berth with a 7.8.50 to 4.6.30 win over Clarence.
For North Launceston, Ben Simpson (five inside-50s, five tackles, nine clearances, 16 contested possessions, 24 disposals), Fletcher Bennett (five one-percenters, six marks, eight contested possessions, 23 disposals), and Jack Avent (six inside-50s, nine clearances, 16 contested possessions, 23 disposals) were the stars of the show.
And for Clarence, Keegan Wylie (five marks, five inside-50s, eight rebound-50s, 22 disposals), Baxter Norton (five marks, five clearances, 10 contested possessions, 20 disposals), and Oscar Paprotny (one goal, seven clearances, 12 tackles, 13 contested possessions, 19 disposals) were excellent in a heartbreaking defeat.
This Saturday, North Launceston and the Kingborough Tigers will face off at North Hobart Oval in the 2023 TSL Grand Final.