Tasmanian State League: only the Grand Final remains

Like many tens of thousands of others, I was lucky enough to spend last week in Hobart. Runs around the Derwent estuary at dawn, a sprinkling of snow on Mt Wellington on the Thursday, Eggs Benedict in Battery Point on the Friday (no skinny latte)… What follows, though, is an account of the TSL finals results to date, regrettably lacking in first hand experience. As such, I seek only to raise collective awareness.

All that now remains of the TSL season is the Grand Final. At the end of the home and away, the ladder was tight:

  1. Clarence (13 wins – 5 losses)
  2. Western Storm* (13-5)
  3. North Launceston (13-5)
  4. Lauderdale (12-5-1)
  5. Glenorchy (11-7)

* i.e. West Launceston.

Sadly, Hobart City (a.k.a. North Hobart), about which I wrote a little story earlier in the year, missed the finals. Finals in Tasmanian State League follow the old VFL/AFL Top-5 format.

FINALS WEEK 1  – 30 August

Qualifying Final at York Park (Aurora Stadium) Launceston

2-Western Storm 6.6.42

d by 3-North Launceston 19.10.124

For all of these finals, the highest placed qualifier gets a home game (even the Grand Final). In this case, both teams play out of Launceston, so there was no real advantage to either side. Second placed Western Storm were jumped by cross-town rivals, North Launceston. New recruit for North Launceston, Chris Tarrant, kicked 6. A surprisingly emphatic result.

Elimination Final at North Hobart Oval, Hobart

4-Lauderdale 17.8.110

d 5-Glenorchy 11.11.77

No surprise really; fifth placed qualifier eliminated at the picturesque North Hobart Oval.

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FINALS WEEK 2 – 6 September

1st Semi Final at York Park (Aurora Stadium) Launceston

2-Western Storm 13.14.92

d 4-Lauderdale 13.7.85

Lauderdale led early in the last, scores were level after 12 minutes, but Western Storm kicked the last to win it. Went close to blowing it through inaccuracy. Lauderdale eliminated; left to rue a missed opportunity.

2nd Semi Final at Bellerive Oval (Blundstone Arena) Hobart

1-Clarence                   10.11.71

d by 3-North Launceston  11.10.76

Played in the south, top-of-the-table Clarence, with a week off, looked to have this sewn up.

But Brett Stubbs writing in the Hobart Mercury wrote: “IT was the miracle at Blundstone Arena as North Launceston pinched the unwinnable.

When veteran Ollie Di Venuto drilled a goal on the run from 45m, the Roos (Clarence) had one paw in the grand final with a 20-point lead half way through the last quarter.

But from nowhere, like it has done all season, North Launceston surged, kicking the last four goals to steal victory by five points.”

“Trailing by a point, Josh Ponting – nephew of Tassie cricket great Ricky Ponting – marked 55m out, only for all the Roos defenders to run deep into defence, allowing Ponting to stroll to 35m and nail the winning goal.”

New recruit Chris Tarrant reported for rough conduct.

 

So 1-Clarence would face 2-Western Storm in Hobart, for a spot in the Grand Final.

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FINALS WEEK 3 – 13 September

Preliminary Final at Bellerive Oval (Blundstone Arena) Hobart

1-Clarence 15.14.104

d by 2- Western Storm 16.10.106

James Bresnehan in the Hobart Mecury:

“CLARENCE has become the first TSL team to finish on top of the ladder and exit the State League finals in straight sets.

Clarence and Storm played a contest worthy of a grand final, and arguably the game of the year, watched by a crowd of 1834.

The pace was frenetic, the physical contests bone-jarring and the skills exemplary from the teams that finish first and second on the ladder.

None were better that Clarence forward Standen, who set the game on fire in the opening term with a burst of four goals and went on to kick a TSL finals record nine for the match.

Even that couldn’t save the Roos, who controlled the game for most of the day but were sunk by the Storm’s ability to kick a cluster of goals in rapid succession.

The Roos jumped out to a 37-13 lead in the opening term but Storm came back hard, kicking five out of the next six goals, all in time on, to lock the score at 43-all at the first change.

Clarence then led by 10 points 18 minutes into the third term and again Storm blew in late, kicking five unanswered goals, four of them in red time, to set up a 20 point lead at the last change.

Clarence kicked the only three goals scored in the final term.

When Roo Jake Cox eluded four tackles in the brilliant 40m run late in the game, he almost kicked goal of the year to put Clarence in front — but it hit the post and the Roos fell short.”

 

So the top placed Clarence Kangaroos were out.

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FINALS WEEK 4 – 20 September

Grand Final at York Park (Aurora Stadium), Launceston

3-North Launceston

v 2-Western Storm

An all-Launceston Grand Final at York Park. Chris Tarrant had his rough conduct charge from the semi final thrown out at the tribunal, so he’s free to play for North.

It’s a re-match of the Qualifying Final, in which North Launceston won by 13 goals. They should be confident. But then again, funny things happen in Grand Finals…

 

About David Wilson

David Wilson is a writer, editor, flood forecaster and former school teacher. He writes under the name “E.regnans” at The Footy Almanac and has stories in several books. One of his stories was judged as a finalist in the Tasmanian Writers’ Prize 2021. He is married and has two daughters and the four of them all live together with their dog, Pip. He finds playing the guitar a little tricky, but seems to have found a kindred instrument with the ukulele. Favourite tree: Eucalyptus regnans.

Comments

  1. I know nothing of Tasmanian football – but I really enjoyed reading that and following the progression of the finals. Clarence out in straight sets! I will be looking for the results this weekend.

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