TIGERS have remained in the finals hunt with a third consecutive win, this time over fourth placed Clarence in a crucial result. The Tigers were on the bottom a couple of weeks ago but now sit just percentage outside the four, and level on points with the Roos. Other winners were top two sides, North Launceston and Launceston, with Glenorchy having a game in hand in sixth and only four points off the Roos and Tigers.
Tigers vs. Clarence
By: Peter Williams
Tigers’ revival continued on the weekend with a huge three-point victory over Clarence. Both sides had their chances in the final term with some monumental efforts, but for the most past, both sides missed a number of easy goalscoring opportunities. With nine goals on the board midway through the second term it looked to be a shootout, but instead, just five more were kicked in the next 50 minutes with Tigers getting up 7.15 (57) to Clarence’s 7.12 (54).
Elijah Reardon was the clear standout booting two goals in a best afield effort, with experienced midfield dynamo Kieren Lovell again strong. Lochie Griggs and Lachlan Gadomski also stood out from a Tigers perspective. For the Roos, it was the young guns in Oliver Davis, Darcy Gardner and Baker Smith who impressed, as well as Luke Swinton who slotted two goals and Keegan Wylie who racked up a whopping 16 rebounds from 27 touches.
#4 Riley Ashlin
In his second game for the Tigers, the top-age player moved well in the forward half, spreading well across the ground. He made a few mistakes in his 11 touches, but was able to find space create an option and move it between the arcs with four marks, two inside 50s and two rebounds.
#31 Lachlan Gadomski
Not a huge possession winner, but it was easy to see how he made his way into this team’s bests. He was settled and composed in the back 50, as he showed in the second term with a handball late to a free teammate whilst under pressure. He also produced a crucial spoil midway through the final term as Clarence was attacking. He finished with the six disposals, three marks, two rebounds and only the one tackle, but six one percenters indicating his pressure.
#20 Oliver Davis
Backing up from his title with Guilford Young College during the week, Davis showed no signs of fatigue with a dazzling performance. He produced a strong four-quarter performance with a massive third term that would have yielded the bulk of his match-high 27 disposals. His cleanliness at ground level and vision by hand is superb and he is rarely phased, even getting stuck into the more experienced Lovell at one stage when Davis gave away a free kick. He reads the play well and can chop off passes, as well as set up scoring opportunities. His disposal by foot when under pressure can be rushed and unfortunately a missed target late in the third term saw the ball turned over and Tigers kicked a goal, but on his overall performance, Davis was sublime. He finished with the 27 disposals, five marks, six clearances, six inside 50s and five rebounds and was outstanding.
#34 Noah Holmes
After a five-goal effort for Guilford Young, Holmes did not quite have the same freedom or strength over his opponent who on this occasion was often Blake McCulloch. He looked to have a good start to the day with a one-on-one contested mark at the top of the square for an early goal 10 minutes into the first term, but could not add to the total after that. He continued to present and took a number of strong marks, and then in the last term launched a shot from 60m but it was just touched in the marking contest on the goalline and rushed across. Holmes had the eight disposals, seven marks – three contested – two inside 50s and a goal.
#39 Darcy Gardner
The bottom-ager has some really nice developing traits and is one to watch out for next year. There is not a lot of him, but his cleanliness at ground level and vision by hand is often akin to Davis in many regards. One aspect that also stand out is his ability to turn on a time, as he did late in the third term where he was able to cleanly pick the ball up and then look to spin one way, then spun the other, wrong-footing his opponent to get clear and kick forward. He capped off a really impressive day with a ripping long goal from outside 50 that drew the Tigers within two points in what was the last goal of the day. His athleticism is something that sets him aside from a number of other inside midfielders is his speed and athleticism. A lot of the talk next year will be about Sam Banks and rightly so, but Clarence – and Tasmania – have another top talent to watch here. Gardner sizzled with a 77 per cent efficiency to his 18 disposals, as well as six clearances, three inside 50s and a goal.
#46 Baker Smith
Was a rock in defence with clean hands and good defensive pressure. He did not win a lot of touches like usual, but he just puts pressure on his opponent and makes life difficult for them. He was once caught behind in a marking contest which he lost, but nine times out of 10 he reads the ball well in flight and is able to get front position, such as when Tigers kicked low and deep early in the third term to punch it away. He took a great intercept in defence one minute into the final term as well to settle the side ahead of a tense final quarter. Smith had seven disposals, two marks, four one percenters, one tackle and one rebound.
North Launceston vs. Lauderdale
By: Fraser Stewart
North Launceston overcame a four-point deficit at the main break to beat Lauderdale 10.14 (77) to 9.7 (61).
Jakob Laskey was influential for North Launceston as he booted three goals, along with Bart Mcculloch (two goals), Daniel Withers (one goal), Zachary Burt (one goal), Taylor Whitford (one goal), Sherrin Egger (one goal), Bradley Cox-Goodyer (one goal) were all vital along with Baynen Lowe getting plenty of the ball in the side’s 10-point win.
There were also impressive performances from Lauderdale such as Nick Baker, Harry Richmond (three goals), Sam Tilley (two goals), Samuel Siggins (one goal), Luke Nelson (one goal), Jake Dance (one goal), Alex Hevey (one goal) and Toutai Havea (one goal) showing promising signs in the narrow defeat.
#16 Ollie Sanders
Was pretty quiet in the opening term but found his rhythm as the game went on. His position awareness around the ground was superb and he even had an eye to slow the game down and look for a man into space. He linked up well with fellow teammate Lowe which set up a goal. He was around the contests for much of the day, but couldn’t really impact the game, he got more possessions in the fourth quarter.
#64 Baynen Lowe
Much like his teammate Sanders, he felt more comfortable as the game went on. Was quiet in the opening term but still showed a glimpse of what was to come as he took a one-handed mark that wasn’t paid by the umpire. Linked up well with Sanders as he provided a nice service to a teammate as he kicked a set shot. Showed more confidence in the second quarter as he proved to be a really good marking target in their forward 50. His fourth quarter was probably his best as he got most of the ball and even ran on the wing to set up a scintillating ball inside 50 as his teammate kicked the set shot.
#17 Nick Baker
Despite being relatively quiet in the opening term he was pretty solid all day. In the first quarter, he made a few spoils here and there as well as getting his hands on the footy. At the start of the second quarter, he moved up the ground to help spark a Lauderdale attack and this was evident when he took a mark just outside Lauderdale’s forward 50 and decided to play on as he wanted to set up a teammate in the half-forward pocket. Showed his class in the third and fourth quarter especially when North Launceston were attacking as he was calm and collected taking a few intercept marks to help stop the North Launceston onslaught. However, his greatest piece of play came in the dying stages of the game where he smothered a North Launceston set shot and then made another spoil.
Launceston vs. North Hobart
By: Peter Williams
In a game that neither side will realistically be reaching for the highlights any time soon, it was Launceston that just stepped up when the Blues needed too. They booted seven consecutive goals from early in the third term until midway through the last, with a couple of consolation majors for North Hobart cutting the final margin to 40 points, as the top two side won 10.12 (72) to 4.8 (32).
Dylan Riley was unstoppable up forward with five goals in a starring role, whilst Jacob Boyd was named best-on by the Blues in the scrappy win. In his 200th game, Jay Blackberry kicked 2.3 from 18 touches and eight marks up forward, whilst Jake Hinds (21 disposals), Fletcher Seymour (21) and Jobi Harper (20) found enough of the ball. For the Demons, Callum Kilpatrick was named his side’s best kicking a goal and looking composed out of defence, whilst Baxter Norton and Hugh Williams Jnr were also strong. Bailey Walker finished with a match-high 25 disposals and eight rebounds.
#20 Jared Dakin
It was far from his biggest outing, but Dakin still did some nice things for the Blues. He was willing to open the game up coming out of defence and looked for that short, direct kick down the middle, and when he did make a mistake, would rush over to provide assistance for his teammate. Dakin covered the ground well and showed that off late in the third term by winning the ball in the centre square, kicking to defence then pushing wide to the wing to win the ball again. He kept cracking in and finished with 13 touches, two marks and five tackles, with his defensive pressure being the highlight in this game.
#30 Isaac Chugg
The athletic runner was similar to Dakin in the sense that he had some moments without being overly damaging. He was always trying to create his trademark run, but got caught trying to fend off an opponent late in the first term at half-forward. His ability to read the ball in flight was strong, taking a great intercept mark at half-back, and then again on the wing a quarter later in the third. His effort on the day was mostly mopping up for teammates, providing an extra number at the contest and was impressive with his one percenters. Chugg ended the game with 13 disposals, five marks, two tackles, five one percenters, one inside 50 and two rebounds.
#37 Sam Collins
Had a mixed day with some lovely plays, and some errors, but overall was a solid contributor. He loves to move the ball in transition and his vision is very good, spotting free teammates in space. It can just be his execution that lets himself down sometimes, with a nice gather but kick out on the full under some pressure late in the third term as an example. He is generally clean at ground level, and he presses up to even have a couple of shots on goal, including one off the handball receive later in the first term, but missed to the right. He had another snap late in the game but that also missed. His raking boot and metres gained would have been high, with his disposal when running hard and space in front of him quite good. He finished with 15 disposals, two marks, two inside 50s, four rebounds and two behinds on the day.
#46 Jye Menzie
Had a few lively moments when pushing up to a wing, but was ultimately restricted from what he could do. Kicked one of the behinds of the year when he won it defensive side of the wing, took half a dozen bounces, probably covered 50m but then ran out of gas with a kick that drifted to the right. Aside from missing out on goal of the year, Menzie still showed clean hands and an ability to turn his opponent inside out. He took a number of good marks uncontested due to his ability to create space between himself and his opponent. Not his most consistent four-quarter performance, but in terms of highlights, it is hard not to notice him, finishing with nine disposals, four marks and two inside 50s.
Picture: Solstice Digital & Photography