It was all about progress for Launceston on Friday night at UTAS Stadium as the Blues showed a marked improvement over the last time they faced off against North Launceston, with the margin this time ten goals less than their round three encounter at Windsor Park. Launceston matched the Northern Bombers goal for goal in three of the four quarters, with the third quarter proving decisive as last year’s losing grand finalists kicked four goals to one before eventually going on to win by 21 points.
Jack Donnellan impressed down back and also drifted forward to slot a running goal from just inside the arc, Jimmy Aganas showed the composure of a much more experienced player in just his second TSL game and in a finals-like atmosphere with one of the biggest rivalries in the state, collecting 15 disposals and moving well through traffic, while Ryan Tyrrell provided some rebound out of the backline with his 20 disposals. The defence overall, held up well and set things up at times for the Blues.
Brodie Palfreyman is quickly starting to establish himself as one of the top midfielders in the state this season and his 29 disposal, 8 clearance effort against North, was the sixth game in a row where he has had over 20 disposals, making him the only Launceston player to achieve that feat this season. Tom Sheppard had his most productive game of the year with 21 disposals, co-captain Sam Rundle kicked two goals for the second week in a row while also collecting 21 disposals and 6 clearances, Jay Blackberry (26 disposals, 9 tackles) and Jake Smith (22 disposals) both had plenty of the ball, while Joe Boyce cracked in with a team high 12 tackles.
Up forward Brendan Taylor had 17 disposals, 8 tackles and snapped a goal from the left hand pocket, while Sonny Whiting provided some excitement with his two goals including a snap from a near impossible angle in the opposite pocket which got the crowd out of their seats. Coach Sam Lonergan was the other multiple goal kicker for the Blues and has now kicked five goals in the last two weeks since returning to the side.
This weekend Launceston host fifth placed Lauderdale at Windsor Park on Saturday at 1pm in what could prove to be an important encounter as far as the make up of the top five goes. The Southern Bombers are coming off an 18 point loss at home to arch rivals Clarence, however that was their first defeat since way back in round 4 when Launceston beat them in a thriller at Lauderdale Oval. If this weekend can live up to the last time these two sides met then the spectators are in for a treat.
North Launceston 12.13.85
Launceston goals: Lonergan 2, Rundle 2, Whiting 2, Donnellan, Kelly-Mansell, Taylor
Launceston best: Donnellan, Aganas, R. Tyrrell, Palfreyman, T. Sheppard, Taylor