It was a disappointing evening at UTAS Stadium on Saturday, a 48-point loss compounded by some key injuries, but there were also some positive signs for the Magpies in both games.
Following injuries to captain Brayden Webb (knee) and vice-captain Josh Arnold (chest) in the second quarter, North Launceston pounced, booting the final five goals of the term to take a match-winning 39-point lead into the long break.
The extent of Webb’s knee injury will be known following a scan early this week, while after initial fears of a fractured sternum for Arnold, it appears his condition is now less serious, with more to be known in the coming days.
Fortis ad finem
With superstar Jaye Bowden also on ice for much of the second half as a precaution, it was a young and undermanned Magpie group left to battle the reigning premiers, but they fought gamely to only be outscored by nine points in the final hour of the game.
Positive signs included the best games in black and white for recruits Sam Rundle and Sam Reeves, the continued impressive form of Harrison Gunther and the team’s ability to apply pressure until the final siren despite being down to one fit man on the bench.
The Bombers kicked six goals to five after intermission, Aiden Grace, James Webb and Ben Kamaric stepping up strongly for the visitors as the game wore on.
Nth Launceston 14.12.96 d Glenorchy 7.6.48
Goals: Grace 3, Bowden, Daly, Kamaric, Reeves
Best: Gunther, Grace, Rundle, Reeves, Kamaric, J Webb
Development Pies make statement
The best news from the day was an impressive 31-point development league win over the previously-undefeated Bombers. In another sign of the squad’s ability to run out games, Glenorchy booted 5.9 to 0.4 after half-time to run out convincing winners.
Tyler Bowden continued his return to fitness with a three-goal haul and a strong marking display, while at the other end Sam Hall marshalled the backline with his usual aplomb to claim best-afield honours.
Trad Duggan and Zac Webster provided excellent rebound from the defensive half, while Giacomo Millucci and Josh Whitford were again strong performers in the midfield.
Glenorchy 7.13.55 d Nth Launceston 3.6.24
Goals: T Bowden 3, Bester, R Dilger, Richards, Rowbottom
Best: Hall, Millucci, Webster, Duggan, T Bowden, Whitford
*The Magpies return to KGV this Saturday at 2pm to take on first-placed Lauderdale