Unfortunately it wasn’t the result the Blues were after in their top of the table clash against North Launceston, with the Northern Bombers once again running out comfortable winners in the local derby. Launceston were unable to take full advantage of the breeze in the opening term despite being on top for most of the quarter, kicking 1 goal 6. North then took full advantage of the conditions in the second term and despite an even second half, the game was already over. The Blues also lost Jay Blackberry to a knee injury in the second quarter.
Jobi Harper made his long awaited return to senior TSL football after more than 18 months out, making his senior debut for Launceston in the process after being eased back gradually through the Mercury Cup this season. He was the Blues’ biggest ball winner on the day, with the imposing midfielder collecting 26 disposals and 8 marks to be named the Blues’ best. Jared Dakin also made his senior debut, with the youngster one of three of the all conquering Mariners side to be inserted into the lineup this week, the other two being Miller Hodge and Jamieson House.
Other major ball winners aside from Harper included Dylan Riley with 22 disposals, Sam Rundle with 19 disposals and 5 clearances, Jack Donnellan with 18 disposals, a team high 6 clearances and 7 tackles, and James Gillow with 16 disposals, 8 tackles and 2 goals. Jamieson House has now lead the team in tackles in both of his games for the Blues this season, with the burly key forward once again recording 10 tackles just as he did in his debut. Mitch Thorp kicked three goals to extend his lead in the race for the Peter Hudson Medal and take his total to 30 for the season.
Next week Launceston will head south for the first time since round 5 as they travel to North Hobart Oval to take on the Demons. After a rough start to the season, North Hobart will be in high spirits having beaten Tigers at the Twin Ovals on the weekend to record their first victory of the season. The last time these two sides met was in round 2 when the Blues defeated the Demons by 131 points at Windsor Park.
North Launceston 15.13.103
Launceston goals: Thorp 3, Gillow 2, Palfreyman, Whiting
Launceston best: Harper, Whiting, Brown, Donnellan, Rushton, Palfreyman
By Josh Giblin