Sluggish Bulldogs regain their bite

South Launceston's Patrick Lawrence avoids his opponent. Picture: Mark Jesser.

South Launceston's Patrick Lawrence avoids his opponent. Picture: Mark Jesser.

South Launceston's Joel Mountney and Deloraine's Jimmy Aganas.

South Launceston's Joel Mountney and Deloraine's Jimmy Aganas.

South Launceston's Darren Crawford collides with Deloraine's Jacob Wauchope.

South Launceston's Darren Crawford collides with Deloraine's Jacob Wauchope.

SOUTH Launceston earned itself an NTFA Division 1 grand final spot for season 2014 after accounting for Deloraine by 28 points in yesterday's second semi-final at Longford.

The Bulldogs were sluggish and inaccurate early, kicking 2.6 to 1.2 in the opening quarter, and the Roos took full advantage, grabbing control with six goals to two in the second to lead by nine points at half-time.

But whatever Bulldogs coach Aaron Viney said to his charges at half-time obviously worked, as South came out and responded in the second half by kicking ten goals to four to record a 15.9 (99) to 11.5 (71) victory.

Darren Crawford kicked three goals for South, with two each to Leigh Harding and Jake Laskey, as the only multiple goalkickers.

Jerome Whiteley was the Roos' best forward, finishing with four goals, with Andrew Gleeson booting three and Dylan Schnoor two.

"We were very slow out of the blocks and missed opportunities early in the first quarter and let them into the game," Viney said.

"They took the most of their opportunities and I think Crawf kicked a late goal in the second quarter to get us back to within nine points at half-time.

"We weren't switched on and were asleep in the first half, and I had a word to the boys at half-time about finals pressure and Deloraine were probably finals-hardened after a tough game last week against Bridgenorth.

"We adapted to the pressure and pace of the game in the third quarter and kicked seven goals to one, which really turned the game for us. They kicked the first two goals of the last quarter to get back within 20 points and we settled again and Leigh Harding kicked a couple of goals, and we were lucky enough to hold on."

Viney said the game mirrored their last meeting at Deloraine when the Roos controlled the first half and the Bulldogs fought back in the second, but said their slow starts remained a worry.

"We've got another week off now and Deloraine will have to battle it out in another tough game against Bridgenorth or Hillwood, so that will do us good again," he said.

Viney praised the games of Joel Mountney, who started at centre half-forward, and Steven Mayne and Dave Patten in the backline.

"We've got a couple of weeks to tinker with a few things and rest up some sore bodies and be good to go in two weeks' time," he said.

Jacob Wauchope was the Roos' best, with Brad Crowden, Matthew Mitchell, Scott Field, Ryland Coombe and Shaun James other good players.

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