Two players at opposite ends of the experience spectrum produced the most eye-catching performances in Launceston’s thrilling one-point win over Glenorchy.
In a game which the Blues nearly lost to a last-quarter Magpies’ comeback, several of Sam Lonergan’s emerging young team put in impressive performances.
Jay Blackberry, Dylan Riley and 31-year-old captain Chris Savage played pivotal roles, but it was another experienced campaigner who was judged best on ground.
Rulla Kelly-Mansell, who turns 26 in August, narrowly edged out 18-year-old Giacomo Millucci, who Lonergan said provides a tricky foil to established forward targets Mitch Thorp and Sonny Whiting, for top votes.
“Young Gia is an Ulverstone boy who played at Devonport last year,” Lonergan explained.
“He’s very fast, very evasive, good around goal and a genuine sneaky forward pocket.”
Taylor Whitford and Tom Bennett leapt up to joint second in the overall standings, one vote behind Glenorchy’s Daniel Joseph, following their starring roles in North’s crushing of Lauderdale.
Meanwhile, goals in the second, third and fourth quarters against the Magpies saw Thorp cement his place at the top of the goal-kicking charts.
The former Hawthorn full-forward is dominating the standings with 27 goals in seven rounds, 10 clear of the rest of the field.
Bennett (17) and Zach Burt (15) lead the chase after kicking six goals between them while fellow Bombers Dakota Bannister, Bart McCulloch and Brad Cox-Goodyer also feature in the top 10 with nine each.