Tag: jay blackberry

TSL Grand Final wrap: Blitzing Blues go back-to-back

FOR the second consecutive year, the Launceston Blues have defeated the North Launceston Bombers in the Tasmanian State League (TSL) grand final. The Blues were on top all day, and were able to hold off a number of Bomber charges to claim the 2021 premiership. The best side of the home-and-away season, the Blues displayed their class and fitness to run out with an impressive and deserved win.

Blues playing-coach Mitch Thorp booted two goals in the first term to start his side’s day in excellent fashion. Former Hawk Thorp was the only inclusion for the Blues following their preliminary finals win over Clarence, replacing his brother Cody, who was handed a suspension. The Blues would add to their tally through forward Brendan Taylor and it suddenly looked ominous for North Launceston. The Bombers shortly after began to find their attacking mojo, but were continuously interrupted by the Blues’ backline, before finally slotting their first through Brandon Leary. The siren sounded on an entertaining quarter with the Blues up by a single goal, before tempers flared between Blue Jack Tuthil and Bomber Judah Edmunds, which sparked a cross-town melee.

The second quarter saw an injury to 2021 Rodney Eade medallist and Bombers captain-coach Brad Cox-Goodyer, who was forced to spend the rest of the game forward of the ball, but still found plenty of ways to impact the game, including an impressive volley goal out of mid-air. The Blues entered the second half four points up, and thanks to some handy conversion, were able to extend and hold on to the lead. A final quarter hanger from Jake Smith proved a highlight and was shortly followed by the sealing goal for the Blues, courtesy of Zach Morris, which saw the Blues run out victors to the tune of 34 points.

For the Blues, veteran ruckman Joe Groenewegen was awarded the Darrel Baldock Medal for the player judged best afield in the match. He fought hard in the ruck against Bomber Alex Lee, and was able to float forward to boot two goals despite rucking solo for most of the day. He was well-aided by teammates Jay Blackberry and Jobi Harper, who set up plenty of scoring for the Blues, while Alec Wright and Jayden Hinds did excellent jobs in the backline. For the Bombers, Mark Walsh battled all day in a commendable performance.

The Blues became just the third side to win consecutive flags in the rebooted TSL competition.

Image Credit: The Examiner

TSL Grand Final Match Preview

DESPITE many leagues falling victim to a COVID-interrupted season, the Tasmanian State League (TSL) has managed to avoid these hurdles, and have reached their final match of the season. The grand final will take place at the University of Tasmania Stadium on Sunday afternoon, with the Launceston Blues and the North Launceston Bombers set to lock horns and resume their rivalry in what should be a heated contest.

Launceston defeated North Launceston in last year’s grand final, and were the dominant team throughout the home-and-away season, so many expected them to cruise to a second consecutive flag. This all changed when the Bombers sent shockwaves across the league by upsetting the reigning premiers in the semi-finals, booking their ticket straight to the big dance, while causing some nerves amongst Blues fans. Launceston were forced to take the long route to the grand final, taking on Clarence in a preliminary final, a side who had proved too much at times during the season. The class of the Blues was able to shine through as they took the Roos apart, storming away with a 52-point win, setting up a rematch of last year’s grand final.

Given the cross-town rivalry between the two sides, there is sure to be plenty of fireworks at various stages of the match. Last year’s decider saw an all-in melee on the quarter time siren, and there is a strong possibility of similar scenes in this match.

North Launceston will be benefited by the services of 2021 Alistair Lynch medallist Brad Cox-Goodyer, who has proved time and time again, he can lead by example and drag his side to crucial victories. His ability to not only find the ball, but kick bags of goals is unparalleled across the league, and Launceston would be wise to put some time into curving his influence. Another dangerous weapon for this side is midfielder Jay Foon, who has had some impressive outings against the Blues, including 28 disposals, nine clearances and two goals in Round 8 of this season. One of the league’s premier extractors, Foon could play a big role in driving his side to a flag.

Launceston will welcome playing-coach Mitch Thorp back into the team, replacing suspended brother Cody, and the ex-Hawk will need to play a crucial role ahead of the ball as a leading target. Jay Blackberry can also wreak havoc across the half-forward line, and was voted the best player of the season by the media, so he should feature prominently for the Blues, while Jake Hinds has the ability to not only find plenty of the ball, but seriously hurt the opposition when he uses it. Hinds is one of the league’s star midfielders, so there’s a strong chance the Bombers will pay close attention to him.

For fans of the sport and the league, this is a mouth-watering clash. A rematch of last year’s decider between two traditional rivals and the league’s two best sides, this match could go either way and should prove necessary viewing on Sunday afternoon.

 

Picture credit: Craig George

State leagues wrap: Two left in Tassie as finals matchups are decided across the country

IT was a massive round of footy action with Launceston booking their place in the TSL Grand Final, Maroochydore setting up a meeting with Labrador in a QAFL preliminary final, and the home-and-away seasons wrapping up in South Australia and Western Australia. We recap all the action and big performances of the round in this week’s state leagues wrap.

 

South Australia (SANFL):

Glenelg has fallen short of a spectacular 18-0 season after Port Adelaide came out six-goal winners in its final game of the season. Magpies forward Dylan Williams kicked three goals for the match, while Cam Sutcliffe and Boyd Woodcock had 27 disposals each. For the Tigers, Matthew Snook led all comers with 32 touches.

Sturt and Woodville-West Torrens both had big wins, with the Double Blues defeating the Roosters by 70 points, and the Eagles winning by 104 points against Central District. Tyson Stengle (four goals), Jack Hayes (four goals) and Kobe Mutch (three goals) were potent up forward for the Eagles, with Kai Pudney (31 disposals) racking up the most touches on the ground. Meanwhile, Sturt duo Abaina Davis (five goals) and James Battersby (36 disposals) were in fine form against the Roosters.

Elsewhere, Bryce Gibbs continued his form with another 32 disposals in the Panthers’ 12.17 (89) to 7.4 (46) win over the Bloods. Teammates Hayden Sampson (31 disposals) and Liam Fitt (four goals, 20 touches) were also dominant, while the highly touted Jason Horne-Francis (24 disposals, seven tackles) was impressive.

At Cooper Stadium, Norwood ended Adelaide’s season with a 43-point deficit as the Redlegs moved into third place and secured a double chance in the finals. Tristan Binder and Cole Gerloff both booted three majors for the home side, while Lachlan Gollant (2.5) had plenty of looks at goal for the Crows.

 

Tasmania (TSL):

Launceston will face North Launceston in the big dance for the second year in a row after they were too strong for Clarence defeating them 13.11 (89) to 5.7 (37) in Sunday’s preliminary final. Cody Thorp (three goals) and Jay Blackberry (two goals) were multiple goal kickers for the Blues, while Jacques Barwick kicked two of his own for the Roos. The Blues have set up a mouth-watering final game of the TSL season, as the Northern Bombers will be seeking revenge after they went down in last season’s decider.

 

Queensland (QAFL):

Broadbeach’s Jordan Moncrieff booted four goals as his side progressed straight into the QAFL Grand Final after a nail-biting contest with minor premiers Labrador. The two sides were separated by no more than 10 points at every break as the Tigers took a three-point advantage into three quarter time. It was the Cats who had the last laugh though, after Joshua Searl booted his first goal of the season in the final minutes to put Broadbeach ahead, before they held on to win by four points.

In the other match, Maroochydore’s dream finals run continues following their victory over Morningside. The game was evenly poised after the Roos shook off a four-point quarter time deficit to lead by seven points at half time. After kicking the final five goals of the match, the Roos stormed home to win 11.14 (80) to 6.10 (46) on the Panthers’ home turf. Roos forward Mitchell Scholard hit the scoreboard again with two goals, alongside teammate Lochie Laing who also kicked two. Benjamin Warren kicked two majors for the Panthers, but they were unable to stop the Roos who will now face Labrador for a chance to meet the Cats in the season decider.

 

Western Australia (WAFL):

The final round of the WAFL wrapped up with Subiaco claiming the minor premiership following their four-point win over Peel. The Thunder gave the league ladders a final term scare kicking four goals to one, but Subiaco managed to hold on. Leigh Kitchin, Gregory Clark, Ben Sokol, Brandon Matera, and Bailey Matera all kicked two goals for Subiaco, with Peel’s Jack Sears kicking three goals for the match.

Jye Bolton (32 disposals) and Bailey Rogers (30 disposals) found plenty of the footy for Claremont in their 22-point win over Swan Districts. Jack Buller and Alexander Manuel each booted three goals for the Tigers, while Christopher Jones kicked three majors for the Swans.

Elsewhere, Cody Ninyette kicked four goals for South Fremantle as West Coast’s season came to an end. The Bulldogs were too good for the Eagles coming out 45-point winners. Brayden Ainsworth finished his strong season with another 30 touches for the Eagles, while Nicholas Suban had 25 touches and 10 marks for the Bulldogs.

West Perth also looked strong heading into the finals series after they defeated Perth by 50 points. Trent Manzone (34 disposals) and Aaron Black (33 disposals) were ball magnets, while Sasha Kernutt led all comers with four goals. Perth’s Brady Grey had 26 disposals for the match with all of them coming off his boot.

 

Picture credit: WAFL Twitter

State leagues wrap: Some seasons are over, others are fighting for finals glory

IT was another week without VFL and QAFL action, but there were still plenty of big performances and exciting finishes across the SANFL, final round of the TSL, and the WAFL. We take a look at everything that happened in this week’s state league wrap.

 

South Australia (SANFL):

There were just two games of SANFL action over the weekend with Port Adelaide keeping the finals door open after defeating fifth placed South Adelaide by 13 points, while Central District was too strong for Adelaide, winning by 33 points.

At Alberton Oval, Port Adelaide were in control early leading by four goals at the first break, but a big second term meant South Adelaide trailed by just two points at half time. The Magpies extended their lead to three goals at the final change, before the Panthers came out firing to begin the last quarter kicking four straight majors to take the lead. Jake Weidemann took control soon after, kicking three goals, as Ollie Lord booted the sealer with just a couple of minutes remaining, leading the Magpies to a 15.7 (97) to 13.6 (84) victory.

Boyd Woodcock certainly put his hand for the AFL finals after amassing 43 disposals, 13 marks, seven clearances and one goal. AFL fringe players Tom Clurey (23 touches and seven marks) and Sam Powell-Pepper (21 disposals and one goal) will also be hoping for a recall, while Dylan Williams booted three goals for the Magpies.

For the Panthers, Liam Fitt (four goals) and Eamon Wilkinson (three goals) were potent up forward, while Bryce Gibbs (31 disposals) and Matthew Broadbent (29 disposals) continued to win the footy.

Adelaide’s trip to play Central District did not go to plan, with the Crows on the back foot from the beginning of the match. The Bulldogs kicked four goals in the first and second quarters on their way to a 33-point half-time advantage, and the Crows never troubled them in the second half as they won the contest, 11.9 (75) to 6.6 (42).

Nicholas Lange (three goals), Fraser Fort (three goals) and Aiden Grace (two goals) were all multiple goal kickers for Central District, while Kyle Presbury (25 disposals) and Dylan Morton (22 disposals) were the major ball winners. The Crows had six individual goal kickers, as Jay Boyle (25 disposals), James Borlase (23 disposals), Lachlan Sholl (21 disposals) and Oliver Davis (20 disposals) all recorded 20 plus touches for the match.

 

Tasmania (TSL):

The TSL season concluded with finals teams Launceston, North Launceston, and Clarence all recording big victories, while the Tigers had a bye in round 21, but will finish in fourth spot.

Jay Blackberry booted four goals, as teammates Jack Donnellan and Brendan Taylor kicked three apiece in Launceston’s 17.15 (117) to 5.4 (34) demolition of Lauderdale. A seven goals to one first half set up the big win as the Bombers could not keep up with the minor premiers. Brodie Palfreyman, Blackberry and Donnellan were among the best for the Blues, while ex-Lion and Cat Allen Christensen was impressive for the Bombers.

Meanwhile, North Launceston’s 10-goal first half saw them lead by 51 points at half-time as they went on to defeat Glenorchy 15.17 (107) to 5.6 (36). Magpies’ player Harrison Gunther was among the best on ground, booting four of his side’s five goals, while Brandon Leary (three goals) led a group of five multiple goal scorers for the Northern Bombers.

In the other match, six goals from Colin Garland led Clarence to 35-point win over wooden spooners North Hobart. A tight first half saw the Roos lead by one straight kick at the main break, before they hit their straps with a six goal to two second half. Connor Smith and Callum Kilpatrick were amongst the best in the Demons’ final game of the year, while Garland, Darcy Gardner and Oscar Paprotny had strong outings ahead of the Roos’ finals series.

 

Western Australia (WAFL):

There were close games all round in the WAFL this weekend, with a combined margin of just 11 points across the three games played.

A top-five battle between West Perth and South Fremantle went down to the wire, with the Falcons kicking the final two goals of the game to win by one goal. Tyler Keitel had another great game kicking four goals, while teammates Rudy Riddoch (three goals) and Conal Lynch (two goals) were also multiple goal kickers. Aaron Black continues to dominate across the middle of the ground racking up another 40 touches, with Shane Nelson (32 touches) also winning plenty of it again.

The Bulldogs were led by Jake Florenca and Tom Blechynden who both had 29 disposals, and Mason Shaw, Zachary Storm, Haiden Schloithe who each kicked two majors.

At Leederville Oval, it was the hosts who came charging home with a six-goal to three final term, however it was not enough as East Perth went down to East Fremantle by two points. Matthew Young was massive for the Royals slotting five goals, while teammate Edward Simpson booted three. Hugh Dixon and Dillon O’Reilly each had three majors for the Sharks, while Royals duo Rohan Kerr and Angus Scott led all comers with 30 disposals each.

Meanwhile, it was a battle of the two AFL affiliated clubs as Peel got the better of West Coast in another nail-biting contest. The Thunder kicked four goals to one in the final term to defeat the Eagles 10.16 (76) to 11.8 (74). Michael Randall was dominant collecting 36 touches and kicking two goals for Peel, while Stefan Giro (26 disposals), Tyrone Thorne (25 disposals, two goals) and Benjamin Hancock (24 disposals, one goals) were also impressive for the home team. Xavier O’Neill (32 disposals) and Brayden Ainsworth (31 disposals) were the major ball winners for the Eagles, while Bailey Williams was commanding with 58 hit outs and two goals.

 

Victoria/New South Wales/ Queensland (VFL):

The league was forced to cancel yet another round due to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak across Victoria and New South Wales. On Monday, the AFL announced the final round of the season will be cancelled and the top eight teams (by percentage of matches won from games played) will hopefully be able to take part in a unique elimination finals format scheduled to start on the weekend of September 4.

 

Queensland (QAFL):

Following its own lockdown and restrictions, the QAFL finals series is set to begin this weekend with the top six teams facing off for premiership glory.

 

Picture credit: David Mariuz / SANFL

State leagues wrap: Minor premiers crowned as regular seasons wind down

LOCKDOWN saw yet another round of VFL football postponed, but there was still plenty of state league action for football fans to enjoy around the nation. Minor premiers were officially crowned in South Australia and Tasmania as regular season fixtures wind down, while an established top five still has some shaking up to do over in Western Australia. We recap all the results and big performances in this week’s state league wrap.

South Australia (SANFL):

Glenelg found its way out of another tight spot on Saturday, overturning a 17-point deficit at the final break to surge past Norwood and claim the SANFL League minor premiership. The Bays made better on their chances having trailed at the first three breaks, enacting a seven-goal final term blitz to secure the 10-point victory.

Matthew Snook was again instrumental for Glenelg in midfield, leading all comers with 28 disposals and 10 clearances, while spearhead Liam McBean snagged three goals. Draft prospect Nasiah Wanganeen-Milera made an impact in his second senior outing, with his first League goal proving the sealer. For Norwood, Richard Douglas did all he could with 23 disposals and two goals.

The race for fifth spot is heating up, with Sturt applying plenty of pressure to current placeholder, Norwood after a statement-making victory. The Doubles Blues kept West Adelaide goalless in a 76-point drubbing on the road, putting them just a game behind the Redlegs in sixth but with superior percentage. In Sturt’s win, James Battersby and Casey Voss topped the disposal charts with 32-apiece, while Steven Slimming led a trio of Blues who booted two goals each.

Port Adelaide was the side Sturt snuck ahead of in sixth, after the Magpies suffered a 13-point Showdown loss at the hands of Adelaide. Up-and-coming senior players Lachlan Gollant and Dylan Williams snared four goals for their respective sides in a game which was lead by the Crows from the first goal. Bigman Billy Frampton was an ominous figure with 30 disposals and 13 marks, as James Rowe returned to the grade and snared a pair of majors, while Sam Mayes (35 disposals) had 15 more touches than any other Port player.

Back in the top half of the table, North Adelaide secured an important three-goal win over the second placed Woodville-West Torrens, strengthening the Roosters’ hold on third spot with the remaining chance to jump into second. The victors booted six goals to two after half time, with Aaron Young (29 disposals, six clearances, one goal) and Campbell Combe (27 disposals, eight clearances, one goal) instrumental in the result, while Daniel and Troy Menzel each snared two goals for the Eagles.

Pick one contender Jason Horne starred in South Adelaide’s 52-point victory over Central District, which keeps the Panthers a game clear in fourth. With his side trailing at the first break, Horne turned it on in term two with three goals to help gain the ascendancy. South never looked back from there, cruising to its ninth win of the season with finals less than a month away.

Tasmania (TSL):

A pair of thrillers were offset by Launceston’s ruthless 146-point belting of Glenorchy in Round 19 of the TSL, a result which saw the Blues officially claim this year’s minor premiership. Usual Tasmania Devils defender Zach Morris dominated with a swing to the front half, booting nine goals in a brilliant best afield performance. Brendan Taylor (four goals), Jake Hinds (three), Jay Blackberry and Jobi Harper (both two) also claimed multiple majors among the Blues’ 13 individual goalkickers in the 28.13 (181) to 5.5 (35) romp.

While North Launceston had the bye, fellow top four sides Tigers and Clarence locked horns on Saturday to spice up the race for third. After trailing at every break, Tigers slotted three goals to one in the final quarter to take home a crucial five-point win and jump Clarence into third spot via superior percentage. Marcus Davies was the victors’ sole multiple goalkicker in a brigade of eight scorers, as Zach Adams was named their best. Josh Green snared three goals for the Roos, but it was Sam Green who took home the coaches votes in a tight loss.

The round’s other close contest saw Lauderdale work back from a 33-point half time deficit to defeat wooden spooner North Hobart by two points, securing the result with seven goals to two after the main break. Allen Christensen was typically terrific for the Bombers in their remarkable win, while a bunch of Tasmania Devils prospects fared well for North Hobart. Will Splann (two goals), Dom White and Jye Menzie all found the big sticks, while Tyler McGinniss was named among the Devils’ best players.

Western Australia (WAFL):

The WAFL League top five remains unchanged after Round 18’s results, with East Perth the only side to climb the ladder on a four-game weekend of West Australian football. The Royals extended Perth’s losing streak with a 25-point triumph, having lead at every break on home turf to jump into sixth over East Fremantle. Aidan Lynch (32 disposals, 10 marks, one goal) led all comers, while Royals teammate Thomas Edwards-Baldwin was the game’s lone multiple goalkicker with three.

Arguably the weekend’s best and most important game saw Subiaco strengthen its standing atop the table with a five-point comeback win over fellow finals contender, Claremont. The Lions were jumped in the first term but worked back to within striking distance at 17 points adrift come the final break, before pouncing with four goals to one in the fourth quarter. Greg Clark was the only player to tick up to 30 disposals, while Ben Sokol booted six goals and Lachlan Delahunty (23 disposals, 25 hitouts) also proved instrumental in the win.

With the Tigers going down, reigning premier South Fremantle went a game clear in second after defeating East Fremantle by 61 points. The Bulldogs broke the game open after half time, running out the game with 11 goals to three in a ruthless showing of their firepower. Brandon Donaldson (five goals) and Mason Shaw (four) lead a strong core of eight goal kickers in the win, as Tom Blechynden notched a game-high 25 touches.

Meanwhile, Swan Districts remains three games clear of the finals drop in fifth after a kicking away from Peel Thunder in a 52-point win. The Swans were served well by Aidan Clarke (32 disposals, two goals) and Frank Anderson (30 and two), with all of their top seven ball winners also hitting the scoreboard. Tyrone Thorne saw the most ball though, registering 33 touches and nine tackles for Peel in their fourth-straight loss. West Perth and West Coast each have a game in hand after sitting out this weekend.

Image Credit: @WAFLOfficial via Twitter

TSL Player Focus: Zach Morris (Launceston)

WITH the Tasmania Devils players quickly having to change their weekend plans due to the Victorian lockdown, the top teenagers in the state headed back to the Tasmanian State League (TSL) competition. There, Draft Central took a focus on one particular player who set the game alight on the weekend in Launceston’s Zach Morris who stunned the TSL with a whopping nine goals in his first game up forward.

ZacH Morris
28/01/2003 | Medium Defender
188cm | 88kg

The Tasmania Devils medium defender has been a consistent player over the past four rounds played, lifting his game to record five or more rebound 50s in three of those games, while amassing 16 or more touches in each. What stands out in his game is his strong hands, good read of the ball in flight, and great body positioning and preparation for the mark which helps him win one-on-one contests with ease. Having not played forward all season – including for Launceston – Morris was thrown up the opposite end by coach Mitch Thorp to trial how he would go.

THE MATCH:

Launceston is the premier team of the Tasmanian State League (TSL) and the Blues flexed their muscles with a mind-boggling 28.13 (181) 5.5 (35) victory over Glenorchy. Whilst the Magpies are by no means a premiership contender, they had picked up the four wins coming into the match, whilst the Blues were a dominant 14-1 on top of the table. After a relatively even start in the first 18 minutes with only a few points separating the sides, the Blues piled on 26 of the next 29 goals in a complete shellacking – including leading the Magpies by 116 points at the final break.

PLAYER FOCUS:

Morris played forward the entire match, predominantly deep forward, though he did rotate up to half-forward in order to give teammates a rest closer to goal. Along with his own individual stat line, Morris set up a couple of goals with cleverly weighted passes inside 50.

Q1:

Stats: 3 kicks, 1 handball, 3 disposals, 2 marks, 1 goal

The first quarter started off perfectly for Morris in his new role, by nudging his opponent under the ball in a terrific one-on-one just 52 seconds into the match. He took the contested grab and nailed the set shot from 15m out, an omen for the rest of the contest. Surprisingly, Morris did not kick another goal for the first quarter, but still remained involved. He was caught behind a pack of pack of players when trying to lead out a few minutes later, and then did well to get front position on the lead, but the ball went over his head. His lead did drag his opponent out of the goalsquare which enabled a one-on-one for his teammate to go.

After Glenorchy predominantly had the ball in its forward half for the next 10 minutes, Morris pushed up the ground to mark at half-back with a good vertical leap and cut the kick inboard to try and move it through the corridor. In the 18th minute, Morris did well running back towards goal in space, keeping it in play close to the line and having the composure and vision to put it to a teammate’s advantage. Whilst his teammate did not pull down the mark, the execution was spot on. In his only real one-on-one loss in a marking contest, he was beaten by VFL-experienced utility Harrison Gunther who grabbed front position and could not be moved, rushing the ball through for a behind in the goalsquare.

Q2:

Stats: 4 kicks, 4 disposals, 4 marks, 3 goals, 1 inside 50

Once again Morris had an outstanding start to the quarter, just one minute and 27 seconds in taking a terrific mark on the lead with strong hands. He converted the set shot from about 50m into the breeze in what was a powerful kick to sail home for his second goal. Just three minutes later, Morris was at it again with his one-on-one ability, outsmarting the experienced Josh Arnold in the goalsquare to mark and then convert the set shot easily. His third goal – at the 11-minute mark – was his first gift, marking about 60m out and then when Gunther ran over the mark, was handed a 50m penalty, which Morris easily converted.

After a relatively quiet next 10 minutes, Morris got involved late in the term, but this time he was pinged for throwing the ball after trying to win the handball at the top of the goalsquare, but could not dispose of it correctly. He took a great mark 55m out late in the term, playing on immediately and swinging onto the right to weight it well to Jay Blackberry for a goal assist, closing out the half with eight disposals, six marks and four goals in an already eye-catching effort.

Q3:

Stats: 3 kicks, 3 disposals, 1 mark, 2 goals, 1 behind

Morris’ third quarter was definitely more of a deep forward’s stat line with the three kicks for three scores, though one was off the ground and not often counted in official statistics. He worked hard early positioning himself closest to goal and almost got one over the back with a bouncing shot on goal hitting the skiddy ground and bouncing through for a behind. He kicked his second gift of the day 30 seconds later, when an opponent kicked into the man on the mark and Morris pounced on the handball receive to run into a vacant goalsquare and kick his fifth.

He did not have to wait long for his sixth, with just two more minutes amassing on the clock, and this time it came from a nice lead out from goal, beating his opponent on reading the play and moving to clunk the grab and convert the set shot from a 45-degree angle. He almost looked like he had clunked another mark on the boundary 60m out sliding in, but it was not paid, and then in the dying moments, had a chance on the goalline against multiple opponents but the kick inside 50 did not favour him and he was rushed in getting boot to ball to soccer it into the behind post as he was dragged down.

Q4:

Stats: 6 kicks, 1 handball, 7 disposals, 4 marks, 1 inside 50, 3 goals

Morris saved his best until last and came with a flurry in the second half of the quarter. He found the going tough inside 50 in the first 13 minutes, leading out but not able to half volley it off the slippery deck, and then having a loose defender chop off a kick inside 50 towards him. He marked at half-forward and kicked deep inside 50 at one stage, but then turned it on for the last 15 minutes. Morris soccered the ball off the ground in the mud in the 14th minute, finding the opportunity amongst a pack of players, then just two minutes later, used early body work to push his opponent off the ball, read the flight and mark at the top of the goalsquare which he slotted easily again for number eight.

In the 19th minute, Morris snapped off the deck quickly under pressure to try and go for number nine but it held up in the breeze and was cleared by the defence back in numbers. His strong hands were on show not long after though, clunking a grab in the 22nd minute, reading the flight and pulling it down to again give himself an easy set shot from 15m out which he slotted. In an attempt to try and get Morris his tenth goal, the Launceston players were looking for him forward in the last five minutes, as Morris marked outside 50, but handballed it off, received it back then kicked cleverly under pressure to Casey Brown who slotted the goal instead on the run.

TOTAL STATS: 16 kicks, 2 handballs, 18 disposals, 11 marks, 2 inside 50s, 9 goals, 1 behind

QUOTES:

“I think there were a few outs so I think Thorpey (Launceston coach Mitch Thorpe) thought ‘why not?’ and put me forward. Credit to the boys with the delivery as well, I don’t think I would have kicked as many as I did without their delivery,” Morris told City Park Radio’s Rob Saward post-match.

When asked about learning his craft, Morris had this to say:

“Yeah I did a bit of craft stuff the last three weeks just working on it and I haven’t really played with Launnie in a while, and Thorpey sent me a message a couple of weeks ago saying he’d like to see me play forward so it was definitely swing forward and kick a couple of snags and help the team win.”

SUMMARY:

Overall Morris had an outstanding game as a forward. There are plenty of angles to take from this, with many no doubt arguing that in this large of a win it certainly favoured any forward inside 50 for the Blues. Without a doubt the delivery inside 50 was frequent and helpful for Morris, but he still had to put in the work to convert the goals. Only a couple were from long-range, but his set shot routine was consistent, and the reason he was able to take shots from so close to goal is due to his bodywork, reading of the play and preparation for the mark. It will be interesting to see if this game potentially sees him forward for the Devils in future NAB League contests, or indeed if he stays inside 50 for the Blues against a higher touted TSL outfit.

Picture credit: The Examiner

State leagues preview: SANFL returns as VFL put on ice again

VICTORIA and Queensland will go without state league matches in the VFL and QAFL respectively due to lockdowns, as South Australia’s SANFL returns to join the WAFL and TSL as other state leagues in action this weekend.

South Australia:

Round 16 takes off with the SANFL Showdown the highlight of the round in terms of rivalries, as Adelaide and Port Adelaide lock horns as part of a double-header with the respective AFL sides at Adelaide Oval. The Crows will welcome back James Rowe and Lachlan Sholl to SANFL level with Brayden Cook called up for his AFL debut, and the likes of Jackson Hately, Billy Frampton and Shane McAdam also out of the side. For the Magpies, captain Cam Sutcliffe returns for the huge Showdown, while AFL-listed ruck Sam Hayes and defender Jarrod Lienert will also come into the side.

Finals hopefuls Norwood will have a crack at the undefeated Glenelg when the SANFL returns tomorrow in a blockbuster weekend of action. The Redlegs travel to ACH Group Stadium to tackle the ladder-leading Bays, with Norwood having the opportunity to put some separation on the bottom five sides. Nasiah Wanganeen-Milera has been named in Glenelg’s extended squad with the eye-catching teenager one to watch if he is named in the final squad. Norwood has lost ex-AFL talent Dom Barry to a knee injury, though the likes of Cole Gerloff and Henry Nelligan both return for the Redlegs.

The game of the round from a ladder perspective has to be North Adelaide up against Woodville-West Torrens Eagles, with the latter able to secure a top two spot with a win, whilst the Roosters can draw within two points if they topple their foes. North Adelaide has the strongest inclusions of any side this weekend, bringing back two ex-AFL talents in Aaron Young and Billy Hartung, as well as promising tall Dyson Hilder and reliable defender Tanner Smith all in. The Eagles also have a key inclusion, with ex-Adelaide midfielder Riley Knight back into the side, joining key forward Jake Von Bertouch back in the lineup.

Meanwhile South Adelaide take on bottom two side Central District, fully able to grab third spot if the Roosters fall to the Eagles. Leek Aleer and Wyatt Patterson return to the defence, with youngster Lachlan Grubb named on a wing to utilise his speed, and captain Luke Habel returning on the other wing. The inclusions are a huge plus for the Bulldogs, who can overtake Adelaide providing Central District wins and the Crows lose. South Adelaide might have other ideas, with Luke Bogle and Tyson Brown among the inclusions to the side.

A bottom four clash between Sturt and West Adelaide rounds out the League matches for the weekend. The last placed Westies have welcomed in Sam Davidson from Port Adelaide Magpies who could be in line for his debut, along with the likes of Nathan Batley and Kevin Karpany who have also been named in the side, with Harry Lemmey returning to school football. Youngsters Josh Shute and Mani Liddy have joined fellow former State Under 18s representatives in Riley Grundy (potential League debut) and Oliver Grivell in being named on an extended bench.

Western Australia:

West Perth and West Coast have the byes in Round 18 of the WAFL competition, with four games played across the weekend. A top three clash between Subiaco (first) and Claremont (third) is one of a number of mouth-watering contests, with the Tigers able to draw level with the Lions at home with a win. With five games remaining, the hunt is well and truly on for top spot, though second placed South Fremantle will be expected to win too, so three sides could all be on 44 points at the end of the weekend. Claremont has some big inclusions to the side, led by Kane Mitchell and Logan Guelfi who have been added to an extended bench. Jack Mayo and Lachlan Delahunty provide some extra firepower up forward for the ladder-leading Lions, while Hayden Kennedy slots into half-back.

South Fremantle can officially put a line through East Fremantle with a win on the weekend if Swan Districts also get up, with the Bulldogs and Sharks locking horns in the last game of the weekend. Jesse Motlop is out of the Bulldogs side, though the home team has added six players to an extended bench including Travis Abbott and Kye Barker. East Fremantle have also added players to an extended bench such as Corey Holmes and Reuben McGuire.

The Battle of Perth takes place at Leederville Oval with the seventh placed Royals hosting the ninth placed Bombers. If Perth causes an upset it can draw level with its eastern counterpart, though has struggled of late. Doulton Langlands coming out of the side will not help, though full-back Zach Hill is back into the lineup as part of an extended side including Jye Clark. The Royals have not made any official changes, with Stanley Wright and Ben McGuire among the inclusions on an extended bench.

In the other game, Swan Districts hosts Peel Thunder, with the Swans able to potentially lock up a finals spot with a win and losses to the teams directly below them. They take on a Peel side that has lost three on the trot but can leapfrog East Perth again – following the Royals’ win last weekend – and even eat Fremantle if as expected the Sharks fall. Tarir Bayok and Thomas Edwards are among five inclusions into the Swans’ outfit, while Tyler Nesbitt has returned to the Thunder, named to play at half-back on the dangerous Lewis Jetta.

Tasmania:

After a weekend of blowouts in the TSL last weekend, Round 19 hopes to provide at least a couple of tighter games, with the pick of the bunch being a top four clash between Clarence and Tigers. Fresh off a bye, the Roos host Tigers with third spot up for grabs. Both sides have already secured their finals spots given the five-game gap to the bottom three teams, but a Tigers win would see Kingborough leapfrog Clarence into third, whereas a Roos win would increase their own gap to eight points, and draw within four points of second placed North Launceston.

Tasmania Devils’ game being cancelled helps the Roos, with the likes of Sam Banks, Noah Holmes, Darcy Gardner and Baker Smith all eligible to play for the home team. Jerome Webberley is a key out for the Roos, but dangerous forward Josh Green also returns. Tigers have not made any changes to its lineup following its massive win last weekend, with Riley Ashlin and Lachlan Gadomski some of the rising talents, and Sam Duigan and Max Collidge damaging inside 50.

Top of the table Launceston could do a number on the bottom two Glenorchy, with the Blues welcoming back Jay Blackberry into the mix. The star will slot straight back into the forward pocket, with the premiership favourites also naming teenagers Jayden Hinds, Sam Foley and Tony Aganas among the available Devils if need be. The Magpies welcome back young gun Callum Thompson, with Isaac Manson named at half-back.

Meanwhile Lauderdale will look to move past its disappointing defeat last week by inflicting another big win over North Hobart. The Demons were completely dismantled by Launceston and will want to put in a better showing to grab their second win of the season. Lauderdale can move another win clear of Glenorchy if they pick up the four points here. Alex Hevey and Bodhi Kingston return for the red and black in the must-win clash, with Fergus Kenny and Luke Hodoniczky out of the team. After dominating the Tasmania Devils intraclub game, Jye Menzie and Will Splann are both in line to return to the Demons’ outfit. Jack Sandric returns as well, while Sam Banks-Smith is another young gun already stepping up at league level this season, with North Hobart wheeling at least six changes, with more predicted now the Devils players are available.

State Leagues wrap: Youngsters press claims for senior call-ups

A BUNCH of up-and-coming talents pressed their claims for senior selection across the state leagues this past weekend, with finals time drawing closer in the top tier. The West Australian Football League (WAFL) made its return after a week away due to lockdown, while it was business as usual around the nation with just over a month of home-and-away action left to play out. We run you through all the results from around the nation and what they mean moving forward in this week’s state leagues wrap.

NSW-ACT / Queensland / Victoria (VFL):

The Battle of Bell Street headlined Round 13’s action in the VFL, with the Northern Bullants holding on to win by a single point against traditional local rival, Coburg. Players did justice to the resumption of this long-standing rivalry, though the Lions’ last ditch surge was not enough to snatch victory at Piranha Park. Bullants big man Daniel Hughes took home the inaugural Harold Martin Medal as best afield, having finished with 18 disposals and 35 hitouts.

While the Bullants picked up their third-consecutive win, Footscray avoided a major boilover to remain undefeated in 2021, defeating Sydney by seven points on the back of a six-goal final term. The Bulldogs twice trailed by as many as six goals throughout the contest, but did enough to power past the plucky Swans outfit. Patrick Lipinski‘s claims for a recall remain strong after 36 disposals and a goal, while tall Sydney pair Logan McDonald (14 marks, four goals) and Patrick McCartin (27 disposals, 11 marks) dominated the airways.

Collingwood and Geelong remain fixed in the top eight after earning their own closely contested victories, downing 2019 grand finalists Richmond and Williamstown respectively. The Cats lead at every break in their 12-point triumph, while senior-listed midfielder Charlie Constable (30 disposals, seven tackles, one goal) continuing his ominous form, while young forwards Jack Ginnivan (four goals) and Noah Cumberland (five) were sensational in the Magpies’ five-point salute on enemy territory.

While Port Melbourne was thumped by 95 points in Frankston on Friday, the Borough’s home deck was used on Saturday to field the clash between Greater Western Sydney (GWS) and Gold Coast. The Giants, who had a handy mix of AFL-listed players and academy products, ran out 40-point winners with Zach Sproule (five goals), Matt De Boer (35 disposals, three goals), and senior skipper Stephen Coniglio (36 disposals, eight tackles) proving a class above.

Casey and Sandringham were the other Victorian sides to register premiership points in Round 13, while Southport returned to the fray with a resounding 109-point romping of Brisbane. The result sees the Sharks sit a win clear in second, still an equal amount of points away from current frontrunner Footscray. The Round 14 fixture has also been announced, with both Sydney teams having the bye while Queensland travel is set to resume for a trio of Victorian clubs.

South Australia (SANFL):

Ladder position counted for plenty in Round 14 of the SANFL, as all of the top five sides registered wins against their bottom five counterparts. The handful of fixtures took part on a super Saturday of state league action, which did little to really shake up the order of things ranking-wise.

Reigning premier Woodville-West Torrens opened proceedings with a 19-point win over the bottom-placed West Adelaide, despite managing just nine goals from 30 scoring shots. Westies tidied up the margin with three final term consolation goals, but the Eagles’ scoring power was all too much in the end. Jack Hayes had a day to remember for the victors, clunking 20 marks (seven contested) and booting two goals, while prolific small forward Tyson Stengle managed 3.4 from eight touches.

Competition frontrunner Glenelg pushed its undefeated streak out to 13 games with a 30-point win over Sturt, kicking away in a five-goal to one third term. Bays spearhead Liam McBean booted six goals in a commanding display, as Lachie Wilsdon snared eight in North Adelaide’s 48-point salute over Central District. The likes of Harrison Wigg (42 disposals, nine clearances), Samuel McInerney (24 disposals, five goals), and Campbell Combe (29 disposals, two goals) were among the Roosters’ other outstanding individual performers.

North’s win opened up a gap to Port Adelaide in sixth, after the Magpies went down to Norwood by 36 points. The usual suspects were amongst it for the Redlegs, with Mitch Grigg (31 disposals, seven clearances, one goal), Richard Douglas (30 disposals, eight clearances), and Brad McKenzie (24 disposals, two goals) all in the thick of things. South Adelaide was the weekend’s other winner, with pick one contender Jason Horne (19 disposals, one goal) again catching plenty of eyes as his Panthers got the better of Adelaide.

Tasmania (TSL):

Launceston took out a crucial TSL top-of-the-table clash on Saturday, downing North Launceston by 53 points to strength its spot as the league leader. The Blues now boast a two-game gap to their closest rival, and consolidated their latest victory with five goals to nil in the final quarter. Brayden Pitcher booted six majors to spearhead the Blues’ win, Jake Hinds and competition stalwart Jay Blackberry took out votes as the best two players afield.

Fellow top four sides Tigers and Clarence also picked up wins against the bottom two teams, in North Hobart and Lauderdale respectively. The Tigers accelerated during a five-goal second term to end up 40-point victors on the road, while Colin Garland snared another bag of six goals as his Roos wrapped up a 49-point win on home turf. Both sides remain locked on 32 points, with Clarence ahead in third by 0.23 per cent.

Western Australia (WAFL):

The WAFL returned after last week’s lockdown with crowds enjoying five fixtures across a stacked Saturday of state league football. The home sides won out in four of those games, while Subiaco shot back to the top of the table as the race for minor premiership honours heats up.

Claremont’s one-point loss to South Fremantle opened the door for Subiaco to reclaim top spot on percentage, though all three teams now sit level on eight wins with a two-pronged chasing pack ready to pounce at just one game adrift. The top five looks relatively set, with a three-game gap now opened up between Swan Districts in fifth and Peel Thunder in sixth.

Swans scraped past the ever-improving West Coast by two points to remain in the hunt with West Perth, as the Falcons had a much easier time defeating East Perth by 30 points. Geelong champion Harry Taylor returned to East Fremantle and booted four goals as Corey Warner, the brother of Chad made his League debut, but their efforts were not enough to help overcome the Thunder in a 26-point loss.

Image Credit: Martin Keep/AFL Photos

State Leagues wrap: Full-time action resumes

FULL-TIME fixtures were back in the South and West Australian state leagues, where a raft of upsets shook up proceedings, while Victorian fans were treated to nine games and it was business as usual down in Tasmania. We run you through all the results from around the nation and what they mean in this week’s state leagues wrap.

NSW-ACT / Queensland / Victoria (VFL):

One fixture was cancelled, but the show rolled on in the VFL as Round 11 came around. Geelong emphatically returned to the winners list on Friday night, opening proceedings with a 118-point trouncing of the Brisbane Lions in the Sunshine State. Three of the Cats’ 12 individual goalkickers booted four goals as their AFL-listed brigade took full toll, including Charlie Constable (44 disposals, nine marks, one goal) in the engine room.

All of the round’s remaining fixtures took place in Victoria amid interstate Covid chaos, with a new ladder leader crowned. The undefeated Footscray Bulldogs are that side after easing past Coburg by 32 points, with Patrick Lipinski (29 disposals) among those pushing for a senior call-up. Bulldogs father-son prospect Ewan Macpherson booted two goals from 11 touches after being overlooked for Under 19 Vic Metro honours, while another Northern Knights product in Marcus Lentini racked up 43 disposals for Coburg.

North Melbourne’s positive run of form continued as the Roos knocked off Werribee by under a goal, with the top eight squeeze getting ever-tighter. Collingwood snuck in with a win over Frankston, pushing the Dolphins out in the process, while Box Hill solidified its spot after blitzing Aspley after half time, and Sandringham compounded the hurt of a poor weekend for Richmond fans, getting up by five goals over the Tigers.

A memorable quartet of Sunday games was kicked off at Casey Fields, as the home side improved to 6-0 after beating Essendon to the tune of 48 points. Familiar faces in Ben Brown (five goals) and Nathan Jones (36 disposals) staked their claims for senior action, with the Demons flying at both levels in 2021. The Northern Bullants’ journey came full circle as they defeated Carlton by 32 points at Preston City Oval, making for a fitting first win on the season at their traditional home.

A heated derby clash between Williamstown and Port Melbourne resulted in the Seagulls claiming a 37-point win, with plenty of fines to be handed out after an all-in brawl at quarter time. The round was seen out by another derby, of the Sydney variety, as Greater Western Sydney defeated the Swans by 38 points. The game was played in Melbourne and a host of top-up players were fielded across either side, allowing a bunch of NAB Leaguers to gain some valuable state league experience.

South Australia (SANFL):

Full competition resumed in the SANFL for Round 12, with the weekend’s proceedings extended back out to five fixtures after last week’s two-game set. North Adelaide opened the show on Saturday by dislodging Port Adelaide from the top five, taking the Magpies’ spot with a 76-point beating. Harrison Wigg was excellent for the victors, claiming 30 disposals and two goals, while former Port midfielders Aaron Young and Andrew Moore combined for 49 disposals and 15 clearances. Keenan Ramsey was also key in establishing the Roosters’ ascendancy, finishing with 3.2 from 15 touches and 12 marks.

Norwood solidified its spot in the top five with a five-goal win over Central District, helping the Redlegs draw level on points with the two other sides chasing Glenelg. South Adelaide is one of those teams, but the Panthers faltered on Saturday in an upset loss to Sturt. Inaccuracy cost the top five side dearly, though it meant the Double Blues would send off premiership player Mark Evans off on the right note. In Sunday’s lone fixture, Glenelg stretched its unbeaten run to 11 games, downing reigning premier Woodville-West Torrens by 19 points to only further their flag credentials.

Tasmania (TSL):

TSL frontrunner Launceston flexed its muscle on Saturday, thumping fourth-placed Clarence by 69 points on home turf to stay clear in top spot. The Blues were again spearheaded by competition leading goalkicker Dylan Riley, who booted six majors, while games record holder Jay Blackberry was named best afield. Colin Garland got the votes for Clarence, who still sit two games clear in fourth.

Fresh off a bye, North Launceston kept touch with the Blues after beating Tigers by an even six goals, setting up a two-game buffer to their weekend rivals in the process. A three-goal haul from Northern Bombers player-coach Bradley Cox-Goodyer saw him earn best afield honours. Glenorchy chalked up a fourth win in the round’s other game, beating last-placed North Hobart by 25 points as five-goal hauls to Harrison Gunther and Nathan Hardy headlined either sides’ efforts.

Western Australia (WAFL):

South Fremantle was the only team to beat a side below it on the ladder in Round 12 of the WAFL, amid a weekend littered with upsets. The Bulldogs accounted for Perth with a 34-point win, proving too strong and drawing within a game of top spot. Competition frontrunners Claremont remain clear in first despite a 14-point loss to West Perth, as the Falcons were led by usual suspects Aaron Black (34 disposals, 12 tackles) and Tyler Keitel (12 disposals, five marks, 3.2)

Swan Districts knocked off the other top two side, Subiaco, holding off the Lions despite some goalkicking inaccuracy. Jesse Palmer was a key culprit with one goal and six behinds, though it mattered little as his side got the job done to keep its two-game buffer inside the top five. Looking to close on Swans is East Fremantle, though the Sharks went down by 51 points to West Coast, in the Eagles’ second win on the season.

West Coast remains in bottom spot despite the result, after East Perth also notched its second-straight victory by shaking down the Peel Thunder. The Royals trailed at the first three breaks but enacted a terrific comeback effort after half time, ending up seven points to the good and drawing level on premiership points with their weekend adversaries.

Image Credit: Jonathan Di Maggio/AFL Photos

State Leagues wrap: Dramatic grand final replay headlines Victorian return

POST-SIREN drama capped off a memorable Grand Final rematch in the VFL this weekend, as Victorian sides returned to the fold. While South and West Australian fans took in slightly condensed fixtures, it was business as usual in Tasmania as a new all-time games record was achieved. We run you through all the results and outstanding performances in this week’s state league wrap.

NSW-ACT / Queensland / Victoria (VFL):

A draw in Sunday’s 2019 Grand Final replay between Richmond and Williamstown highlighted Round 10’s action, with post-siren drama ensuring the rulebook was given a workout. Gun Seagull Mitch Hibberd sent a 50m free kick to the line which was initially slapped down by Richmond’s Garrett McDonough, only for Williamstown captain Adam Marcon to punch it back through the behinds. But given the final siren had sounded, Marcon’s touch was void and scored were left locked at 74 points apiece.

There were two other games decided by a goal or less, both occurring on Saturday. North Melbourne snared its second win of the season in a three-point thriller against Coburg, doing just enough in term four after scores were tied at three-quarter time. Ben Speight‘s fourth major came with just over two minutes left, putting the Roos back ahead for the game’s decisive lead change.

Gold Coast claimed victory in the day’s second thriller, coming back from 41 points down at half time to edge Aspley by one straight kick in a Graham Road Oval shootout. Competition leading goalkicker Matthew Hammelmann snared another six majors for the Hornets, while Josh Corbett (five goals) and Ben Ainsworth (four) proved impactful for the Suns. Table topper, Southport also won out on Saturday, thumping the Brisbane Lions by 107 points as Billy Gowers took full toll of the Sharks’ midfield domination with eight goals.

In the round’s sole top four clash, Footscray kept its perfect record in tact with a 33-point triumph over Geelong on the road. The Bulldogs were spearheaded by Josh Schache‘s six goals, with Patrick Lipinski (36 disposals, three goals) was also dominant. Frankston snuck into the top eight with a 29-point win over Northern Bullants, with Mitch Cox (28 disposals, five goals) and Josh Begley (25 and three) waxing nicely. Carlton, Werribee, Box Hill were the other sides to register Round 10 wins, with the latter two sitting clear in the top eight.

South Australia (SANFL):

Only two games were played in Round 11 of the SANFL, with Central District and Sturt kicking out to wins which see them move clear of the ladder’s bottom rung. Nicholas Gillard stepped up to boot half of Centrals’ goals (five) in their win over West Adelaide on Saturday, with the Bulldogs maintaining a three-goal buffer at each of the final three breaks. Travis and Jarrod Schiller combined for 52 disposals in red, white and blue, while Shay Linke notched 12 touches on his League debut. Elliot Dunkin racked up a game-high 35 touches for Westies, aided well by the reliable Kaine Stevens (31 disposals, one goal) and Thomas Keough (21 and two).

Meanwhile, Sturt snapped a four-game losing run to also claim its third win of the season, downing Port Adelaide by 41 points on Sunday. Senior-listed forward Dylan Williams booted six of Port’s seven goals in the loss, with skipper Cam Sutcliffe bagging the other major on his return. Joshua Hone snagged three for the Double Blues, who had a much more even spread of 11 individual goalkickers. Tom Lewis topped their disposal charts, collecting 26 en route to victory – only outdone by Port’s Sam Mayes (27).

Tasmania (TSL):

Launceston marked a record-breaking weekend of TSL football in style, thumping Glenorchy by 113 points on Saturday to move clear atop the table. The Blues were celebrating Jay Blackberry taking over the league’s games record, running out for the 213th time to move past former Magpies stalwart, Jaye Bowden. Blackberry marked the occasion with two goals, while competition leader Dylan Riley bagged five in another standout forward display.

Tigers also picked up a significant win among the top four picture, setting up a handy buffer to weekend opponent, Clarence on Saturday. The result was all but wrapped up by half time as Tigers led by 45 points on the back of nine goals to Clarence’s two, before the Roos claimed some consolation scores to see the final margin sit at 31 points. Marcus Gardner was adjudged best afield for the victors, contributing a game-high three goals.

Lauderdale was another side to create some separation in terms of ladder position, leaving North Hobart on the bottom rung after beating the Demons by 67 points away from home. The Bombers’ two wins in 2021 have both come against North Hobart, with this one set up by the goalkicking combination of Edward Stanley (five goals) and Harry Richmond (four). Full of confidence, Lauderdale will have to wait to perform again with its bye coming in Round 13.

Western Australia (WAFL):

Another condensed round of WAFL action saw three games played on Saturday, with away sides West Coast, West Perth, and East Fremantle all picking up valuable victories. The most remarkable of the lot went to West Coast, as the Eagles notched their first win for the season and spurned Subiaco’s quest to reclaim top spot in the process. Mark Hutchings (32 disposals, one goal) and Nathan Vardy (17 disposals, 26 hitouts, two goals) were terrific for the unlikely six-point victors, while Ben Sokol piled on six goals in an attempt to drag Subiaco over the line.

West Perth moved above Swan Districts with a 46-point win at Steel Blue Oval, in which the Falcons lead at every break. While the pair still sits clear among the top five, both East Fremantle and Perth are not far behind. The Sharks moved to within a game of the finals spots with their 26-point win over the Demons, overtaking their weekend rivals in the process. The race for finals qualification looms as a tight one with just under half of the regular season left to play.

Image Credit: Michael Willson/AFL Photos