Launceston produced almost a complete display in a crushing 70 point triumph over reigning premiers Glenorchy at Windsor Park, leapfrogging the southern Magpies on the ladder in the process but remaining in fourth place thanks to Lauderdale’s percentage boosting win against Burnie. Slick ball movement, manic pressure and excellent efficiency up forward were the hallmarks of the day. While the usual suspects performed once again for the Blues it was the youth who really stood up, with teenagers Brodie Palfreyman, Ryan Tyrrell and James Gillow in particular putting in stand out performances.
Rulla Kelly-Mansell, wearing number 67 for the day in recognition of the 50th anniversary of the 1967 referendum, once again got the Blues off to a hot start with two opening quarter goals and finished with three for the day. But it was youngster James Gillow who was the highlight up forward, slotting four majors to equal the tally kicked by Glenorchy’s entire team. Veterans Sonny Whiting, Joe Boyce and Nathan O’Donoghue were Launceston’s other multiple goalkickers, while swingman Jake Nunn had perhaps his best performance as a forward for the season with one goal, 8 marks and a season high 20 disposals.
Brodie Palfreyman is really hitting his stride as a midfielder after playing mainly up forward last season and had a season high 31 disposals against the premiers, as well as a team high 7 clearances. The prolific Jake Smith once again lead the team with 35 disposals, which was also a season high for him. While Jay Blackberry collected 30+ disposals for the third time in the last four games, along with team highs of 13 tackles and 10 inside 50s. Coach Sam Lonergan wasn’t quite as prolific as in the last couple of weeks but still had an impressive 21 disposals, 12 tackles and 6 clearances.
Fresh off being named among the best in the Tassie Mariners’ win over South Australia last weekend, Ryan Tyrrell carried that form into his return to senior TSL football with 25 touches and 8 marks across half back. Chris Savage, solo captain for the day in the absence of injured co-captain Sam Rundle, also impressed down back, snagging a team high 9 marks. It was a terrific team effort to keep the premiers to just four goals for the game, with contributions from the forwards’ pressure all the way through to the back six.
The Blues will once again host the Magpies at Windsor Park this weekend, but this time it will be the winless Devonport who were impressive in leading for three quarters against the Tigers on the weekend, in what is one of the longest away trips in the TSL. The last time Launceston faced Devonport was in round one at Devonport Oval, where the Blues came out on top by 34 points. A win on Saturday would see Launceston gain an eight point buffer over whichever team ends up sixth when Glenorchy host Hobart City Demons on Saturday night.
Launceston goals: Gillow 4, Kelly-Mansell 3, Boyce 2, O’Donoghue 2, Whiting 2, Blackberry, Donnellan, Nunn
Launceston best: Palfreyman, Blackberry, Nunn, Tyrrell, J. Smith, Gillow
By Josh Giblin