Glenorchy are the 2016 State League premiers after dethroning dual reigning premier North Launceston by 20 points in a low-scoring and high pressure grand final at Aurora Stadium.
In a tight arm-wrestle the Magpies led by four points at quarter time and the Northern Bombers by six at half-time with both teams managing only three goals apiece for the first half.
But the third term lived up to its reputation as the premiership quarter with Glenorchy grabbing the momentum in the game and banging on five goals to one to take a 20-point lead at the final change.
No one would ever write North Launceston off under coach Zane Littlejohn but with only one goal apiece kicked in the final quarter the Northern Bombers were unable to find the goals they needed to stage a fightback eventually surrendering the premiership cup in a 9.6 (60) to 5.10 (40) defeat.
The Southern Magpies were the better team in the second half kicking six goals to North’s two and deserved their grand final victory and their revenge for an eight-point loss in the 2015 decider.
It was Glenorchy’s first flag since 2008 in the SFL and broke a 17-year statewide drought with their last premiership coming in 1999.
Clinton French kicked four goals in a best on ground performance to claim the Darrel Baldock Medal just pipping teammate Ben Reynolds who was outstanding in defence all day.
The Pies had more contributors when it counted with Mitch Rainbird, Brayden Webb, Jaye Bowden, Tom Cleary and Mitch Hills other good players.
“North Launceston missed a few opportunities which kept us in the game and we hadn’t played our brand of footy and we spoke about it at half-time not having any passengers and guys attacking their tackles and they certainly lifted in the second half,” Glenorchy coach Aaron Cornelius said.
“French was fantastic and Benny Reynolds was tremendous and I thought Benny and Jaye kept us in the game – in the end I knew it would take 22 players to beat North Launceston and I think that certainly happened in the second half.”
North Launceston captain Taylor Whitford led from the front and was outstanding for North with Tarryn Thomas and defenders Jay Foon and Corey Nankervis other good players.
“Same amount of scoring shots but probably early in the game we didn’t capitalise on opportunities and put the score on the board,” Littlejohn said.
“Our effort and intensity at the contest early was good but we didn’t grab it went we needed to grab it and didn’t have enough contributors in the second half to be able to get the game.”