Tag: melissa smith

TSL Women’s Grand Final preview: Launceston vs. Glenorchy

GRAND Final day is finally here and it is an old fashioned north against south clash in the Tasmanian State League (TSL) Women’s when minor premiers Launceston come up against second placed Glenorchy in the decider. It is a different finals series to what these sides are used to, with just the two semi-finals and grand final to determine the premier for season 2020.

LAST SEASON:

These two teams again finished first and second, and clearly too. Launceston (15-0) went undefeated in season 2020, and even won the first final to earn a spot in the decider. Glenorchy (12-3) bowed out in straight sets as a raging Clarence (8-7) came through and trumped both to win the premiership in stunning circumstances.

THIS SEASON:

Launceston (6-2) has earned its place in the 2020 TSL Women’s Grand Final following a strong victory over North Launceston (2-6), whilst Glenorchy (6-2) came from behind in a thriller to edge out Clarence (6-2) and exact revenge on their 2019 finals conquerors.

HEAD-TO-HEAD:

While Launceston did finish on top of the table, they only did so by percentage, with a whopping 307.41 per cent to Glenorchy’s 264.24 per cent, a hair ahead of Clarence (264.08 per cent). It was a strange old season with the Roos defeating Glenorchy twice yet finishing below the Magpies, whilst the Magpies actually defeated Launceston twice, the Blues’ only two losses for the year.

In the first match back in Round 4, Glenorchy booted four second half goals, whilst keeping the Blues scoreless in three quarters to get up and win, 5.3 (33) to 1.1 (7). Eventual competition leading goalkicker, Sarah Skinner booted two majors in the victory, whilst Libby Haines and Kira Maass were the Magpies’ best in the win. For Launceston, Makenna Hillier was the only goalkicker in a rare disappointing scoring effort from the Blues, though Kelsie Hill joined the experienced duo of Daria Bannister and Mia King in the bests.

Four weeks later, Glenorchy repeated the dose, but in a tighter contest. The Magpies trailed by seven pints at quarter time before booting three goals in the second term, and four for the rest of the match, to Launceston’s one, to win 5.2 (32) to 3.4 (22). Skinner was again amongst hte bests despite just slotting the one goal this time, as Molly Mitchell (two) goals was prominent, as was Jemma Webster and Holly Ryan. Bannister was best-on for the Blues with a two-goal effort, whilst Hill and Melissa Smith were also amongst Launceston’s best.

FORM:

Since that loss, Launceston has won its past two games, though in a weird season, the Blues have had three byes in that time. So since the September 5 clash between the sides, the Blues have played just two matches, whilst the Magpies have played one extra game alongside two byes. They come into the game off some hot-form, defeating every team in the competition the past four matches, with their most recent loss coming in Round 7 against Clarence, but knocked off the Roos in the semi-finals last weekend.

KEY PLAYMAKERS:

Sarah Skinner (Glenorchy)

It is hard not to have Skinner high up on the players to stop for Launceston, booting 18 goals in nine games, including two hauls of four goals against Tigers, and a haul of three against North Launceston a couple of weeks ago. Skinner did not hit the scoreboard last week against the Roos, the first time she has done so all season, but her team still got the job done which was important. She has booted three goals in two games against the Blues this season.

Zoie Crawford (Glenorchy)

The former Clarence captain returned to TSL Women’s in a big way this season, switching the red and white for the black and white, and she has certainly been a standout performer. Playing in all nine games, she has been in the best seven times and even booted two goals. Given her ability to beat an opponent one-on-one, and be a reliable player week-in, week-out, she is one that can really create things for the Magpies from the back half of the ground.

Daria Bannister (Launceston)

The experienced Roo at AFL Women’s level has been a class above this season, not too far behind Skinner with 13 goals in nine games. With multiple goals in five games and the versatility to slot in anywhere, she is a terrific player to have in the side, and one that is ultra consistent – having slotted 38 goals in 15 games last season for the Blues. Against Glenorchy she failed to hit the scoreboard in Round 4 but was still impressive, then bobbed up with a best-on effort in Round 8, slotting two goals.

Brooke Brown (Launceston)

Judging from her five-goal haul last week against North Launceston, it does not look like being drafted into the AFL Women’s competition has phased her. The former Launceston Tornadoes basketball player who is in her first TSL Women’s season with the Blues, has been in red-hot form of late. Having booted fur goals in her first six games, Brown booted one goal but was second best-on in the Blues’ win over Clarence a few weeks back, then slammed home five goals in a best on ground performance against the Bombers. The in-form player of the competition.

Others: Haines has been a reliable player all season for the Magpies, showing why she was drafted into the AFL Women’s. Alongside her, Webster and Elise Barwick are always consistent workers, with Mitchell (10 goals) leading Barwick and Tiarna Ford (both nine) in those stakes. For the Blues, King is one of the standout players in the competition, while the likes of Angela Dickson, Hill and Camilla Taylor have been consistent week-in, week-out.

WHO WINS?

This is too tough to call. Glenorchy have found the way to win against the Blues the past two matches, but Launceston have shown to be the best team in the competition. That did not matter last year in the decider, but they did beat the Magpies in the first week of finals in 2019, so will hope to repeat the dose here. Glenorchy are favoured in a tight one, but could go either way.

Picture: Solstice Digital & Photography

TSL Women’s weekend wrap: Semi-finals – Glenorchy win thriller to face Launceston in final

GLENORCHY booked its spot in the Tasmanian State League (TSL) Women’s Grand Final with a thrilling four-point victory over Clarence. The tight second and third semi-final lived up to the hype, whilst minor premiers Launceston got the job done in the other semi-final, defeating fourth placed North Launceston by 43 points.

It was a seesawing clash between the Magpies and Roos with Clarence taking a quarter time lead by six points. In what would become a titanic struggle, the Magpies booted the only goal of the second term to draw within one point, before the Roos kicked the only score of the third quarter – a behind – to lead by two points at the final break. Both teams hit the scoreboard in the final term, with Glenorchy’s two goals to one seeing the Magpies home in a four-point thriller, 4.1 (25) to 3.3 (21).

Tiarna Ford booted two goals and was amongst the best for the Magpies, as Molly Mitchell and Elise Barwick also converted majors. Macklyn Sutcliffe, Perri King and Rebecca Clifton were named amongst the best to send their team into the grand final. For the reigning premiers, Rachel Archer and Natalie Pearce both booted a goal and were named amongst the best as young gun Amy Prokopiec also kicked a major. Megan Harper and Nicole Bresnehan were among the most influential players on the ground for the Roos despite going down in a narrow defeat.

In the other semi-final, Launceston was too good for North Launceston, starting strongly and not looking back. The Blues booted three goals to one in the opening term, before piling on 4.4 to 1.0 to race away to a 34-point advantage at the main break. To North Launceston’s credit, the Bombers actually won the third term by a point as they kicked 1.2 to 1.1, but it would only reduce the deficit to 33 points. Holding their opponents scoreless in the last term, Launceston went on to boot a somewhat inaccurate 1.4, but got up 9.9 (63) to 3.2 (20).

New Roo, Brooke Brown kicked five goals in a best on ground performance for the Blues, as Molly Clark (three goals) and Meg Sinclair (one) were also named amongst the best. Melissa Smith, Georgia Hill and Mia King also stood out in the win as Launceston looked the goods against their northern rivals. For the Bombers, Maggie Cuthbertson and Ella Maurer both kicked goals and were named among the best, as Sophie Farrow also kicked a major. Kartley Broad and India Viney stood out as the top players for North Launceston with the Bombers’ season coming to a close.

Next week Glenorchy will try and make it three consecutive wins against Launceston this season, whilst the Blues will hope it is a case of third time lucky when the teams face off in the 2020 TSL Women’s Grand Final.

Picture: Solstice Digital & Photography

TSL Women’s weekly wrap: Magpies find a way to give Launceston the Blues with 10-point win

THEY are the only side to have done it in the Tasmanian State League (TSL) Women’s competition. Now, just to show it was not a fluke the first time, Glenorchy has doubled down on its ability to knock off top of the table Launceston with a second victory in the 2020 season. The third placed Magpies came from seven points down at quarter time to post a memorable 10-point win, in what was an arm-wrestle for the most part, finding a formula to knock off the team no other side can.

In the match, Launceston got away to a strong start, booting two goals to one in the opening term to lead by seven points at quarter time. The Magpies then produced one of the quarters of the season, kicking three goals against the Blues – a rarity against the top of the table outfit – to lead by 10 points at the main break. From there, they maintained that lead at the final two breaks as both sides kicked a goal in the third term, and only one behind apiece in the fourth, leading the Magpies to celebrate a 5.2 (32) to 3.4 (22) victory.

Molly Mitchell booted two goals for the Magpies as Zoie Crawford, Sarah Skinner and Elise Barwick all snagged one apiece. For the Blues, Daria Bannister stood tall again with a best-on appearance for the Blues with the two majors, as Meg Sinclair kicked the one goal. Alongside Bannister, Kelsie Hill and Melissa Smith were also strong in the defeat, whilst for the winners, Jemma Webster, Skinner and Holly Ryan were outstanding leading their side to victory.

Football can often be a strange game, and whilst the Magpies have lost twice to second placed Clarence this season, they have defeated the Blues on both encounters and will head into finals full of confidence. This win was vital for the Magpies, who know they have the two remaining games in the last four weeks – two byes in between – and they are against bottom two sides, Tigers and North Launceston which the Magpies would be expected to win well.

Interestingly enough with the fixture, Launceston just have one game in the next month – against Clarence in Round 11 – prior to finals, whilst Glenorchy have the chance to steal top spot with three games – against the other three sides aforementioned in Launceston, Tigers and North Launceston. Even with a loss to Launceston, Clarence could draw level with the Blues, and the percentage is a massive question mark – the Blues are 87 per cent ahead – but two big wins over the bottom two sides would not put Clarence out of contention for top spot.

What makes the Round 8 victory so important for Glenorchy is, if Clarence can overtake Launceston at the top, then the Blues will face the Magpies in the semi-final with some doubt (a 0-2 record in the regular season) while the Roos will have an easier match against North Launceston in the other semi. There is a lot to play out, but the Magpies win was crucial for confidence now locking up a finals spot with no chance of dropping out of the top three.

TSL WOMEN’S ROUND 8 RESULTS:

Launceston 3.4 (22) defeated by Glenorchy 5.2 (32)

Picture: Solstice Digital & Photography

TSL Women’s weekly wrap: Round 5 – Blues reclaim top spot as Bombers celebrate first win

LAUNCESTON reminded the Tasmanian State League (TSL) Women’s competition just what it is capable of thanks to a 29-point triumph over the previously undefeated Clarence side at Windsor Park on Saturday. Meanwhile at UTAS Stadium, North Launceston won its first points of the year with an impressive 30-point victory over fellow winless side, Tigers.

The Blues went down in their first loss of the season last weekend to Glenorchy and were keen to make amends against the undefeated Roos. The Blues got off to a strong start, booting the only goal of the first term and then three goals to one by the main break to lead by 14 at halt-time. Controlling the game in the second half, the Blues – led by new Magpie Abbey Green – booted the only three goals of the half to run out 6.5 (41) to 1.6 (12).

The Launceston key forward/ruck made her move from North Melbourne to Victoria Park over the AFL Women’s Trade Period, and certainly impressed for the Blues in the 29-point victory, kicking three goals in a best on ground performance, leading the way inside 50. Camilla Taylor, Daria Bannister and Sian Beeton booted the other goals for the Blues, while Jessie Williams kicked the sole second quarter goal for the Roos. Abbie Hoiberg-Cox, Melissa Smith and Dearne Taylor were also among the best for the winners, while Louisa Marmion, Bronte Scott and Nicole Bresnehan impressed to step up in a losing outfit.

In the other TSL Women’s match, North Launceston got up in a five-goal victory over Tigers to ensure they moved four points clear from the bottom of the table. Both sides were level at quarter time with a goal apiece on the board, but it was the second term where the home side kicked away at UTAS Stadium, booting three goals to zero and holding a 21-point advantage at the half. A tighter second half ensured with the only goal of the half going to the Bombers, helping them to a 5.8 (38) to 1.2 (8) victory, their first of the season.

Maggie Cuthbertson and Hayley Breward both booted two goals and were named among the Bombers best in the win, as Sophie Townsend kicked a sole major for the home team. Jodie Clifford and Sophie Farrow also stood out for North Launceston, while Hailee Baldwin and Mikayla Absolom were strong for Tigers. Priscilla Odwogo kicked the solitary goal for the losers, as Mimosa Middleton Miller and Ruby Shinkfield also stood tall in defeat.

TSL WOMEN’S ROUND 5 RESULTS:

Launceston 6.5 (41) defeated Clarence 1.6 (12)
North Launceston 5.8 (38) defeated Tigers 1.2 (8)