It was a frustrating Sunday afternoon for Launceston as they were unable to put a decent score on the board in a low scoring affair against Clarence, going down in the end by 38 points. Some inaccuracy, particularly early in the game, didn’t help the Blues’ cause as they kicked five behinds before finally registering their first major for the day. It was third versus fourth heading into the clash and it remains that way, with Clarence remaining unbeaten as they stake their claim as a premiership hopeful, while Launceston move to 3-2 and maintain an eight point buffer over sixth placed Lauderdale.
Hamish Leedham showed why he was selected in the initial Tasmanian state squad during the week with an excellent display in the ruck. The 21 year old had 17 disposals, 40 hit outs and 7 inside 50s as he once again gave his midfielders first use but also showed off some spread from the contest of his own. His fellow state squad teammate Jay Blackberry was one of the main beneficiaries, collecting team highs of 30 disposals and 10 clearances. While Brodie Palfreyman played well once again with 21 disposals and 7 clearances to contribute to Launceston winning the clearance battle on the day.
Another teenager in Casey Brown earned a spot in the bests, showing his bravery to go back with the flight on several occasions in his first game of the season. 19 year old key defender Simon Vandervelde’s reading of the play was a feature as he hauled in 10 marks, many of them contested and direct from Clarence entries. Josef Boyce also showed his typical tenacity and the defence overall did well to hold Clarence to a reasonable score but unfortunately it wasn’t enough.
Brendan Taylor continued his fine start to the season with 18 disposals and a team high 10 tackles and was named in the best for the third consecutive game. Captain Sam Rundle was prolific out of the centre with 7 clearances, and the top ball winner for the Blues this season Jake Smith continued to accumulate with 29 disposals. Launceston would be frustrated to go down fairly convincingly on the scoreboard in the end despite having more of the ball, winning the clearances and only narrowly losing the inside 50 count.
With a home record now of 1-2 and an unbeaten start away from home, perhaps it may be a blessing in disguise that the Blues will remarkably now have to wait four weeks before their next home game. Next up is the bye before back to back Hobart trips to face Tigers and Hobart City Demons, then finally a return to Windsor Park on the 27th of May to host the premiers Glenorchy.
Launceston goals: Whiting 2. Blackberry, Gillow
Launceston best: Taylor, Blackberry, Leedham, Brown, Boyce, Lonergan
By Josh Giblin