SOUTH 21.11 (137)
LAUNCESTON 11.7 (73)
A DOMINANT eight-goal final quarter yesterday earned South Launceston its first State League grand final berth as the Bulldogs proved too good for the Blues with a convincing 64-point victory in the second semi-final at Aurora Stadium.
South led by 15 points at quarter-time and maintained a three of four-goal buffer for most of the second and third quarters with the Blues doing enough to hang in the contest.
Launceston kicked the first goal of the final quarter through Jake Rice to get within 16 points and give it a sniff of a come-from-behind win - but the Bulldogs banged on the next eight unanswered goals in an impressive display to record a 21.11 (137) to 11.7 (73) victory.
South impressed with its run and its quick ball movement by hand and foot was superior to Launceston's.
The Bulldogs were better and cleaner at the clearances and stoppages and their ability to create options in space going forward and hit lead-up targets was outstanding - the Blues often reactive and lacking in accountability.
Alex Russell kicked four goals for South with coach Mitch Thorp able to fight off the effects of food poisoning to kick three with doubles to Beau Thorp, Clinton Drake, Bart McCulloch and Jobi Harper.
Eighteen-year-old Matt Hanson ran his heart out to finish with a game-high 34 possessions in a standout performance.
Jade Child was effective in a tagging role on Blues young talent Kade Kolodjashnij restricting him to eight possessions after he picked up 35 the week before against Burnie.
Will Hanson was good defensively on Jake Kolodjashnij, with Harper, Jay Blackberry and Beau Thorp all working hard.
``We pride ourselves on being tenacious and really having a crack at the footy and wearing our opposition down,'' Thorp said.
``We are hard workers and get to where the ball is - Jay Blackberry, Matt Hanson, Jobi Harper they run their backsides off.
``Jobi ran 15 kilometres today and that's an incredible work rate for a guy at this level of footy.
``For Matt Hanson, an 18-year-old kid to have 34 possessions in our biggest game for the year was really pleasing.''
Launceston coach Brennan Savage lamented his side's inability to be clean in their ball use.
Sam Rundle, Scott Stephens and Joe Boyce were among the best for Launceston which now must regroup for a preliminary final match-up against Burnie next week.