Experience a crucial factor for Dockers

THE Burnie Dockers won their first game at home and moved a rung up the ladder with yesterday's 47-point victory over Launceston.

West Park has been regarded as a fortress for the Dockers in the past, but so far this season they have dropped games against North Launceston, Glenorchy and Western Storm before breaking through yesterday.

"It was an important win for us and we received good leadership from some of our older and more experienced heads," co-coach Andrew Hering said.

Hering praised the efforts of Kade Munday, Jason Laycock and Nick McKenna and was particularly pleased with forward Andrew Lee.

The former Tasmanian captain had an interrupted preseason because of a family illness but has gradually worked his way into full fitness, according to Hering.

"He's been among our best player awards two out of the last three weeks, and today he was able to take some strong contested marks," Hering said.

Lee provided the Dockers with four first-half goals, which set the foundation for his team's win.

The Dockers withstood a spirited challenge from Launceston to lead by 26 points at half-time and went on to dominate the third quarter, kicking 5.2 to 1.1.

It was a good all-round effort from the Dockers as they spread the workload with 12 individual goalkickers.

The win was the Dockers' second in a row and it has lifted them above Devonport into sixth place on the State League ladder.

Hering said the win kept his team in touch with the others who were chasing finals spots.

"With the exception of Clarence, it is a very even roster," he said.

Next weekend the Dockers have the chance to advance another rung when they play Lauderdale at Lauderdale.

Unlike the previous week, when Launceston capitulated in the second half against Devonport, yesterday was a much more committed effort.

The Blues matched it goal-for-goal with the Dockers in the last quarter, with coach Scott Stephens and ruck-rover Sam Rundle moving forward to kick five goals between them.

The loss leaves Launceston struggling near the bottom of the ladder but there was enough to take out of yesterday's performance to give Stephens some encouragement for the second half of the season.

Once again Tom Claridge, Josef Boyce and Jake Rice played well, while ruckman Joe Groenewegen had a good battle with Jason Laycock.

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