Bombers leave Launceston rivals black and blue

Mud flies as North’s Jack Avent is cleaned up by Launceston’s Josef Boyce.

Mud flies as North’s Jack Avent is cleaned up by Launceston’s Josef Boyce.

NORTH Launceston won its 10th game for the season and maintained fourth spot on the State League ladder with a comfortable 37-point victory over Launceston in their cross-town rivalry clash at Windsor Park yesterday.

The Blues matched it with the Northern Bombers in a low-scoring arm-wrestle in the first half, kicking five goals to four to lead by five points at half-time.

But North’s leaders stood up when it mattered in the second half as the Bombers broke the shackles and banged on nine goals to three to run out winners 13.9 (87) to 7.8 (50).

The premiership quarter saw North kick five goals to one including three straight late in the quarter to grab a three-goal buffer, and the Bombers went on with the job in the last kicking four goals to one.

Brad Cox-Goodyer was again a catalyst for the Bombers, kicking a game-high six goals in a best on ground performance to help his side to victory.

Bryton Mullins excelled in the heavy conditions and played one of his best games for the club, winning lots of contested ball and providing plenty of drive forward.

Andrew Cox-Goodyer was his usual solid self across half-back, Daniel Roozendaal gave another lion-hearted performance, rucking solo during the second half.

And defenders Corey Nankervis and Geoff Mohr played well to restrict Launceston’s key forwards in Rohan Sergeant and Brennan Savage to just one goal between them.

‘‘It was a really good result given that we had six forced changes from our side that beat Burnie, losing our four Mariners and Cal Young to work,’’ North Launceston coach Zane Littlejohn said.

‘‘They are where we were last year and we’re not where they have been yet — but they played tight man-on man footy and we were probably trying to be a bit too pretty too early.

‘‘At half-time we said we would go back to the basics and we got our hands on the footy and just got it moving and won some vital one-on-one contests.’’

Launceston coach Scott Stephens said his side had been hit hard by injuries and illness, and at important periods of the game they were unable to go with North.

‘‘Especially late in that third quarter when they got that three-goal buffer,’’ he said.

‘‘Their leaders stood up and won some crucial stoppages and they got the rewards from it.’’

Launceston lost ruckman Hamish Leedham to a shoulder injury and defender Tom Cleary late in the first term with a recurrence of an ankle injury while Joe Krushka was ill during the game.

Tom Holmes was hard at the contests and was the Blues’ best playing on Allan O’Sign, with Tom Claridge good in restricting Bombers’ captain Mitch Van Den Berg to one goal.

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