Bomber hero Taylor Whitford upstages Blues star Dylan Riley

UP FOR A BLUE: Former Devonport star Dylan Riley showed his teeth in Launceston's challenge to North Launceston in a best-on-ground performance. Picture: Scott Gelston
UP FOR A BLUE: Former Devonport star Dylan Riley showed his teeth in Launceston's challenge to North Launceston in a best-on-ground performance. Picture: Scott Gelston

Another strong burst from Taylor Whitford has overshadowed rival Dylan Riley’s standout match in Friday night’s nailbiting derby.

Midfielder Riley almost lifted Launceston home in a best afield performance against North Launceston to earn the three votes in the TSL Player of the Year award.

But the Bombers coach’s two votes in his side’s dramatic comeback at UTAS Stadium has Whitford within one of a share of the lead.

North Launceston fought tenaciously from a late deficit to cling onto a one-point win in the crosstown clash.

“There was a bit of resilience there – a bit of camaraderie as well,” Whitford said.

“The group was quite happy after the game. Not at the result, but their ability to come out after three-quarter time and actually come from three goals down.” 

The 26-year-old has closed on prolific Glenorchy half-back Daniel Joseph towards winning his second honour for the best player in the state.

The pair are in a battle for the award six rounds out, well clear of Clarence ruckman Ryan Bailey and Glenorchy forward Jaye Bowden. 

One-time Carlton draftee Mitch Carter polled three votes in Tigers’ battle against North Hobart on Saturday.

The Kingborough side always held sway over the Demons to edge ahead and win each of the four quarters towards a 25-point victory.

Lauderdale speedster Tim Mosquito was named best on ground on Saturday for the winners against Clarence.

The exciting Northern Territorian had kicked three goals in a 47-point upset for the Southern Bombers that included starring roles from teammates Hayden Smith and a refreshed Thor Boscott.

The match review panel also cited three frustrated Clarence players in the loss.

But half-back Brady Jones was later cleared of striking Lauderdale onballer Phil Bellchambers after contact was not sufficient enough to be reportable offence.

No further action was taken against Launceston-raised Fletcher Seymour for making high contact on Lauderdale’s Corey Laoumtzis.

But Clarence teammate James Brenner was referred over his high contact on gun Bomber Josh McGuinness.

The MRP determined the hit to be careless and low impact to the head. Brenner took an early guilty plea to accept a reprimand and will be free to play against North Hobart after the Roos’ bye. 

ROUND 14 VOTES

North Launceston

v Launceston

  • 3 – Dylan Riley (Laun)
  • 2 – Taylor Whitford (NL)
  • 1 – Bart McCulloch (NL)

Clarence v Lauderdale

  • 3 – Tim Mosquito (Laud)
  • 2 – Haydn Smith (Laud)
  • 1 – Thor Boscott (Laud)

North Hobart v Tigers

  • 3 – Mitch Carter (Tig)
  • 2 – Luke Graham (Tig)
  • 1 – Baxter Norton (NH)

LEADERBOARD

  • 14 – Daniel Joseph (Glen)
  • 13 – Taylor Whitford (NL)
  • 10 – Ryan Bailey (Clar)
  • 9 – Jaye Bowden (Glen)
  • 8 – Phil Bellchambers (Laud), Jake Cox (Clar), Troy Cunliffe (Clar), Sherrin Egger (NL)