Blues fall flat in last game of season

Launceston’s Gary Shipton played his last game for the Blues. Picture: SCOTT GELSTON
Launceston’s Gary Shipton played his last game for the Blues. Picture: SCOTT GELSTON

Burnie  14.13 (97) d Launceston 6.8 (44)

A LONG, hard season caught up with a tired, young Launceston outfit at Windsor Park yesterday as the Blues went down to the Burnie Dockers by 53 points in their final game of the season.

The Dockers, led by their battle-hardened veterans in Jason Laycock, Luke Shackleton, Nick McKenna, Kade Munday and Harry and Nick Walters, had all the answers and showed they were unlucky to miss out on finals as they ran out easy winners 14.13 (97) to 6.8 (44).

The Blues were gallant in pushing Western Storm all the way the previous week, but could not back up from that effort, and finished the season with a flat performance.

‘‘The boys didn’t come up after last week and it’s been a bit of a theme for us during the year – up one week and down the next,’’ Launceston coach Scott Stephens said.

‘‘Burnie controlled the game in the first half without doing too much damage to us and kicked away in the second half as they should have.

‘‘The boys had a good last quarter but at the end of the day the damage was done and we weren’t quite up for it today – they were pretty tired after a long season.’’

Launceston struggled to find avenues to goal, kicking just 2.5 for the first half as the Dockers’ defence mopped up the Blues’ forays forward and rebounded into attack.

Rohan Sergeant kicked four goals up forward to be Launceston’s best player with veteran Gary Shipton impressing in his last game for the club in defence before being moved forward and kicking a goal late in the game.

Corey Sheppard battled hard in an onballer role as did Stephens and Jack Dyer to be other good players.

‘‘It was a bit unknown how they [the Dockers] would come out today with their season over but their older guys are competitors and that’s why they’ve been in finals consistently over the journey,’’ Stephens said.

Stephens praised Shipton’s effort in his final game, saying the veteran was in everything and gave his all despite not having played for three or four months.

‘‘It was a fitting tribute for him to be chaired off being a guy who has given his heart and soul to the footy club over a long period of time.’’