Tag: launceston football club

TSL Development League Grand Final: Roos run rampant to claim flag

THE Clarence Roos proved too good for the Launceston Blues in the Tasmanian State League grand final, taking down the reigning premiers to the tune of 14 points at the University of Tasmania Stadium on Sunday afternoon. The Blues entered the match in search of back-to-back flags, but Clarence showed that they were the superior side, storming home in the final term to put the nail in the coffin and hop on the bus back to Hobart with premiership cup in hand.

The Blues had control of the game early, generating plenty of scoring opportunities in the first half of the first quarter, but couldn’t convert their hard work into scoreboard pressure, and it was their opponents who made them pay. The Roos booted the first major of the game through Jacob Young, with the goal set up by a blistering run from Jacques Barwick. Clarence shortly followed this up with another goal through Bryce Alomes and suddenly, the Blues found themselves on the back foot. It took some composure from the Blues backline to steady the ship, as speedy defender Jake Rice find teammate Jett Moloney to put Launceston on the board. Clarence entered the second term with a two-point advantage, and this looked to extend with a miraculous major from Wade Wall, but it was deemed touched. The Roos looked to break away again, with Alomes booting his second, but Blue Grant Holt brought his side back into the contest. The Blues finally hit the front with Moloney converting his second, and tempers began to flare. Launceston extended their lead with another major, but Alomes took control of the game, kicking his side’s next two (which was also four in a row for him), and the sides went into the main break all square.

The third term saw Alomes boot his fifth of the contest and the Roos start to build and hold a two-goal lead. Things looked to be one-way traffic, but Blue Colby McKercher booted a goal late in the term for his side, to bring the margin back down, and give Launceston a chance at consecutive flags. The fourth quarter saw scoring dry up, as the Blues missed their chance to reduce the margin to less than a goal, and neither side could gain an advantage. A strong contested mark from Roo Oliver Preshaw, who saw plenty of experience at senior level this year, thwarted a Launceston attack, and then it was Barwick who booted two goals in a minute to hand his side a match-winning lead, and the 2021 premiership cup.

For the victors, Luke Swinton claimed the medal for the player judged best afield, with his excellent work both at stoppages and on the open wing catching the eye of voters. Five-goal forward Alomes was also dominant, with the Blues backline seemingly having no answers for his play at times, while Barwick was also extremely damaging. For the Blues, McKercher’s third term was electric and kept his side right in the hunt.

Photo credit: Craig George

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

Crooks loving the football journey

TASMANIAN talent, Aprille Crooks “definitely would take it with two hands” if presented with an opportunity in the AFL Women’s competition, but her main goal for football is to just have fun and push herself to be the best player she can be.

The Launceston Football Club talent is into her second year at the Tasmania Devils, having played Australian rules football for four seasons now. With a family heavily invested in the sport, it was only a matter of time before the midfielder decided to follow her father and sister into the oblong-ball code.

“I watched my dad play football all through my life so for 17 years I watched him play,” Crooks said. “I watched my sister get into it, and I left my dancing and netball to play football. “I’ve had amazing opportunities with it and everything playing at Launceston Football Club and this is my second year here at Devils.”

Crooks played both of the Devils’ games last year before the NAB League Girls season was cut, running through the midfield. Averaging 5.5 disposals a game, Crooks showed off her unbelievable defensive strengths, laying a whopping eight tackles per match, including a game-high nine tackles against Eastern Ranges.

It it then little surprise to hear that the defensively-minded Crooks “loves to lay a good tackle”. She also rates her speed as a strength, and combined with her tackling pressure, helps her be aggressive towards the ball both to win it, and win it back from the opposition.

“I really want to improve hitting my targets in my kicks and everything,” Crooks said of what she hoped to build on in 2021. “Looking for my best option and really getting in there when there’s a stoppage.”

Crooks thrives on getting in and under through an onball role, but she is equally able to play off a wing, a role she has a familiar understanding of from when she first started her football journey.

“I am a midfielder, it’s a good role and everything, I do love to play the wing as well,” Crooks said. “Generally because that’s what I played my very first year of football and that’s what I got drilled into me, is how to play that role. “But coming into the middle I love it, and it’s a really good time.”

Having come through the pathway over the past four years, Crooks immediately noticed the step up when she took on Oakleigh Chargers and Eastern Ranges in the NAB League Girls.

“It’s definitely such a step up from Launceston to Devils, the work rate and the intensity and the talent from all these girls here is just incredible,” Crooks said. “I had a really good transition through my football. “My dad was my coach and he really pushed me and everything, I had good connections through Devils and everything, it was really smooth but definitely a step up from your club football.”

While the journey itself has been enjoyable, it is the social connections that have kept Crooks around.

“Definitely all the girls I’ve met through the sport (are what’s kept me around),” Crooks said. “Having my dad as motivation as well, he’s really pushed me to go with my football, and it’s just so much fun, why wouldn’t you want to come back?”

Crooks said her father was “definitely” her greatest inspiration in the sport.

“Yeah he is my idol in football, what he’s done and everything is absolutely incredible and I aspire to be like him,” she said.

As for her goals this season and long-term, Crooks said she “honestly just wants to play football” after such an interrupted 2020 season.

“I really just want to get out there and play as many games as possible with Devils and really show them what we’ve got,” she said. “Just go as far as I can, I’m not necessarily striving for AFLW or anything, but if that was an opportunity, definitely would take it with two hands and go for it, but just to have fun with it, really push myself and go out there.”