OVER the weekend, the Clarence Roos were able to defeat the Launceston Blues in the Tasmanian State League (TSL) Development League grand final at UTAS Stadium. The Roos had plenty of standout performers, including forward Bryce Alomes, who starred up forward with five goals. His dominance forward of the ball allowed his team to gain and maintain a match-winning lead, and will be a key performance of reference for AFL scouts in the next few years as his draft hopes increase. Alomes has shown in the past that he has the ability to find the ball around the ground, but a bag of five in a grand final demonstrates how dynamic he is across the ground.
The first quarter saw the Blues get off to an inaccurate start while the Roos made the most of their chances, and Alomes was a part of this. Teammate Oliver Preshaw cut off an errant kick from the Launceston defence, and found Alomes on a strong lead 35m out from goal on a fair angle. It looked a tough task, given the windy conditions at time, but the number 58 was up to the challenge. Alomes booted the ball as straight as an arrow, with the goal umpire barely moving thanks to a beautiful kicking action. After putting his side two goals clear, Alomes spent much of the remainder of the term as a deep forward, with the Roos understanding of his strong leading presence despite his 189cm height, with skill and IQ make him just as big a threat as a key marking forward. A kick to his lead inside-50 fell just short, but the Launceston rebound didn’t last long with Alomes nearly taking a huge pack mark from a long ball deep into the forward line. He wasn’t able to reel in the mark, but was able to bring the ball to ground. History repeated itself, when only minutes later, he nearly reeled in another massive clunk, but despite controlling the ball for much of the journey, the mark was not paid.
Alomes started the second quarter still in the thick of the action, booting the opening goal of the term, marking the ball uncontested 20m out from goal with no angle, and the kick was no problem for the 17-year-old. Alomes remained a deep forward, which was the smart move given how dangerous he had proved to be so far in the contest. With the Blues booting goals down the other end to take the lead, it was Alomes who provided the spark for his side. Taking a mark 30m out in the left pocket, the forward once again was cool and calm in his approach, and booted his third goal of the match, proving to be a massive headache for Launceston coach Kane Sanders. Remarkably, he was yet to produce his best work, kicking an outstanding goal late in the second term. Alomes gathered a miskick from a teammate hard against the boundary line in the forward pocket, spun off a defender and booted an incredible goal from the tightest of angles. It showed not only skill, but composure to deliver under pressure, booting his fourth consecutive goal for his side.
Given his first-half dominance, the Blues changed things around at the main break in an attempt to make life difficult for Alomes, often leaving a second defender nearby to counteract his aerial prowess. This wouldn’t stop the red-hot forward, who booted his fifth goal after gathering the ball 25m out from goal and snapping around his body to truly claim the contest as his own. The remainder of the contest was unfortunately quieter with Launceston putting a lot of work into curbing his influence, but there is no doubt Alomes was a crucial factor in leading his side to the 2021 TSL Development League flag.
Picture credit: Solstice Digital