TSL Round 1: Glenorchy v Clarence

In Hobart again for Easter, I’m flipping through the Saturday Mercury in Banjo’s at Eastlands. The TSL round 1 reports are in, and it looks like the league has decided to kick things off with a rivalry round: North Launceston vs Launceston, Burnie vs Devonport, Tigers vs Hobart City, and one to come to finish the round: Glenorchy vs Clarence.

I hesitantly mention to She Who Must Be Obeyed a little while later while we’re running some errands that I wouldn’t mind checking out the game. It’s a twilight game and going to be tough to fit in around the various pickups, dropoffs and vigil mass, but to my great surprise she’s enthusiastic. “That’s a great idea! Of course you should go. Against Clarence too, the mortal enemies. Should be a good game.” She spent many Saturdays as a youngster at Glenorchy games with her Grandad, paying more attention to the musk sticks than the football I suspect, but the attachment lingers. She tries to convince me that since Grandfather never had a car, the full nostalgic experience can only be had by taking the bus, but I’m having none of that. I’ll borrow the car and find a way to fit in around the pickups, dropoffs and vigil mass.

In Hobart terms Glenorchy is clear out the far side of town, but it’s only about a 10 minute drive from where we are, 12 if you misread the directions and accidentally make a wrong turn to do a lap of the trotting track on the way. Approaching King George V Oval (the KGV) reminds me a bit of going to Moorabbin for the reserves games when that was Sunday football. Come up the side street with the oval up ahead on the left, and cars parking wherever they can in the residential streets all around. $8 to get in is probably about the same price as those reserves games too.

Through the gate and the canteen’s on the left. The line moves slowly; everyone’s a regular and the canteen ladies are on for a chat. By the time I get my National pie (“Meet the meat, first bite!”) it’s a goal apiece. It was tempting to go a hot dog — big fat saveloys dredged out of a barrel and split lengthwise so the sauce can go in the middle, wrapped in a slice of Wonder White — but I’m under strict instructions to have a National pie. It doesn’t disappoint.

Nor does the footy in the first quarter. I’m strictly neutral but will no doubt find myself in one corner or the other. Will it be Glenorchy, the in-laws’ team, Ben Brown’s last Tasmanian stop before Victoria, or Clarence, the team of the Eastern Shore where the Mother-in-law now lives, where North have been doing well at Bellerive, and the TSL’s Kangaroos? In the end I find it just a bit too hard to barrack for Magpies in any league, so Clarence it is.

The two highlights of the first quarter came right in front of me on the flank, and both from Clarence: A bomb in to a one-out contest where the Clarence forward had the perfect sit (ruined it a bit by playing on to a flat-footed teammate); and a very neat dribbled goal from deep in the right forward pocket. Apart from those two, and despite the run of play being pretty even, Glenorchy made more of their opportunities and went into the first break up 6.2 to 3.1. I asked the old bloke next to me how this one had been expected to go, and he said he wasn’t sure since this was only round one. Fair enough. He did volunteer though that Clarence were missing half a dozen of their best 22 and would be up against it today.

In the second, Clarence’s composure and footskills deserted them, and Glenorchy were able to extend the lead to 9.6 to 4.1. Should probably have been more the way they dominated possession and territory. Unfortunately at this point, pickups dropoffs and vigil mass intervened, and I couldn’t stay for the second half. The following day’s paper screamed “Pies make mincemeat of embarrassing Roos”, and the final score of 17.17 (119) to 8.4 (52) suggests that not much changed after half time.

In all, it was pretty entertaining footy. Despite Tasmanian state football having a habit of imploding every few years, I like the idea that it’s not distorted by AFL reserves teams like the other state leagues, and nobody’s artificially putting development ahead of results. When I got home, SWMBO asked “Did you have a good time? I would have gone with you if it was at North Hobart, but I’m not going all the way out to Glenorchy. Eurgh.”

You can take the girl out of Hobart …



  1. E.regnans says

    Well played Rob.
    Excellent call to duck along.

  2. Luke Reynolds says

    Great stuff Rob. Love visiting Hobart, wish I had relatives there! Been to one game there, at North Hobart Oval, saw the home team play Devonport. Great atmosphere, great footy. KGV is the goal next time…

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