Photo: Solstice Digital

By Joseph Vasquez

Round nine of the 2024 TSL season delivered some enthralling football around the state, with matches played between North Launceston and Lauderdale, Launceston and Kingborough, and North Hobart and Glenorchy.

Kicking off the weekend’s proceedings was North Launceston and Lauderdale at UTAS Stadium in the Battle of the Bombers. The Northern Bombers made a strong start on their home deck, kicking 3.2 to Lauderdale’s 0.2. They maintained their handy buffer in the second quarter, in front by 25 points at half-time. Lauderdale challenged their northern rivals after the main break, however the latter held on to their lead. In the end, North Launceston were too strong, outlasting Lauderdale to win 10.14 (74) to 7.7 (49).

Harvey Griffiths was a strong presence up forward for the Northern Bombers with four majors, and Harry Bayles (five marks, six rebound inside-50s, 33 disposals) and Michael Stingel (seven clearances, 13 contested possessions, 28 disposals) were dominant for the home side. However, in his 250th TSL game, North Launceston’s Brad Cox-Goodyer was arguably the best player afield, kicking a goal and accruing 35 disposals.

Rhys Sutton (six marks, 12 contested possessions, 28 disposals), Ned Shaw (five marks, 12 contested possessions, 21 disposals) and Andrew Phillips (13 contested possessions, 49 hit-outs, 16 disposals) played with pride for the Southern Bombers.

Across the Tamar River, Launceston took on the Kingborough Tigers at Windsor Park. The Blues took a seven-point lead into the first break after kicking 3.3 to Kingborough’s 2.2. In the second quarter, Launceston remained in control of the contest and extended their lead to 18 points at the half. The Tigers struck back in the third term, reducing the margin to eight points heading into the last.

The fourth quarter was a thrilling encounter between the two sides, but when Ben Hyatt goaled for Launceston in the waning minutes of the match, an upset looked to be on the cards with the hosts 12 points ahead.

However, a Tyler Carter goal and a rushed behind for the Tigers reduced the Blues’ lead to five. And with mere seconds left in the game, Kingborough’s Ryan Bradburn steered one though from the pocket and the Tigers pinched a one-point victory.

Kieran Lovell (six clearances, 13 contested possessions, 33 disposals), Will Clifford (seven tackles, 18 contested possessions, 31 disposals) and Jack Tomkinson (two goals, 28 hit-outs, 24 disposals) were excellent for the Tigers, and Launceston’s Brodie Palfreyman (one goal, 14 contested possessions, 34 disposals), Isaac Hyatt (six clearances, 18 contested possessions, 30 disposals) and Dylan Riley (five goals, 10 disposals) were superb in a narrow defeat.

In the south, North Hobart welcomed Glenorchy to North Hobart Oval. The Demons took an early advantage on their home deck, kicking 2.2 to a single Magpies major in the first term. Glenorchy turned the tables in the following quarter, kicking three goals to one to lead by seven points at half-time. An arm-wrestle ensued between both teams in the third quarter, with North Hobart registering 4.1 and the Pies 3.6. With a lead of six points at the final interval, Glenorchy overcame the Dees in the final quarter and held on to win 10.14 (74) to 8.5 (53).

Jaye Bowden and Blake Waight kicked three goals apiece for the Pies, and Callum Thompson (two goals, eight clearances, 25 disposals) and Josh Arnold (nine tackles, 14 contested possessions, 18 disposals) were vital in black and white.

For the Dees, Thomas Liefhebber (one goal, 14 contested possessions, 29 disposals), Zach Barrow (five marks, 11 rebound inside-50s, 23 disposals) and Nathan Janes (10 contested possessions, 58 hit-outs, 15 disposals) held their ground against Glenorchy.

This weekend, Clarence returns from the bye to host Launceston at Blundstone Arena, Lauderdale faces off against Glenorchy at Lauderdale Oval, and North Hobart and North Launceston skirmish at North Hobart Oval.