Launceston has collected its biggest scalp of the Mitch Thorp era by overthrowing premiership fancies Lauderdale in a 44-point boilover at Windsor Park.
An evenly-matched first half was split open in the third term when Launceston piled on six unanswered goals with the potent Thorp (seven majors) and young gun James Gillow (three) teaming up expertly.
The Blues kicked the first three of the last term to stretch the lead to 55 points before four late goals from the visitors saved some blushes.
Thorp was chuffed, if level-headed, about his side's 17.10 (112) to 10.8 (68) win.
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"We are a developing side - a side that's got a lot of young guys who now have some confidence that what we're doing is working," he said.
"We just need to keep head down, bum up and not get carried away - like I said post-game in the rooms, it's just a win.
"It's not a final, it's not anything other than a little landmark that we've now beaten the best side in the competition and we just need to keep getting better as the season progresses."
Three late changes saw Lauderdale enter the clash without VFL forward Nick Dodge and ex-AFL duo Jacob Gillbee and Josh McGuinness, yet the visitors were hardly short of class.
Haydn Smith and Sam Siggins had looked ominous in the first quarter, the former proving an extra midfielder at stoppages and the latter dobbing a wind-assisted goal from 75 metres.
But the Blues midfield rose to another level in the second quarter.
With Tim Bristow and Jobi Harper at his side, Fletcher Seymour picked up two goals and 30-plus disposals in a display of relentless running and contested ball-winning.
Young defender Jack Tuthill's pressure efforts were singled out by his coach post-game, while fellow youngster Jacob Boyd also showed promise.
"We absorbed a bit of pressure early in the game - they kicked with a slight breeze to start with and I thought we absorbed a few of their attacking forays forward," Thorp said.
"We kicked away late but we set up the game in the first half."
BLUES MAKE A STATEMENT!— Bupa TSL (@TasStateLeague) July 20, 2019
🔵🔵 @LauncestonFC 17.10 (112)
Thorp 7, Gillow 3, Harper 2, Seymour 2, Blackberry, Palfreyman, Riley
🔴⚫️ @LauderdaleFC 10.8 (68)
Wiggins 2, Anderton, Burge, Kerinaiua, Saunders, Siggins, Smith, Walsh, Whish-Wilson#BUPATSLpic.twitter.com/AIVM5gX1bY
Given the "bad blood" described by Lauderdale's coaching team on multiple occasions this year, it was perhaps unsurprising when tempers threatened to spill over on several occasions.
A bone-crunching Seymour tackle in front of the home supporters sparked a brief scuffle, while Nat Franklin's late spoiling attempt on Brendan Taylor in the same pocket led to a 50m penalty and Thorp's sixth goal.
"There was a bit of heat in the game," Thorp said.
"Both teams don't like each other but that's just football at the top level - both teams are very competitive and I'm sure we'll meet them again and it'll be equally competitive."
- Launceston 2.2, 6.3, 12.6, 17.10 (112)
- Lauderdale 4.2, 6.4, 6.7, 10.8 (68)
- GOALS, Launceston : M. Thorp 7, J. Gillow 3, J. Harper 2, F. Seymour 2, D. Riley 1, B. Palfreyman 1, J. Blackberry 1
- Lauderdale : R. Wiggins 2, H. Kerinaiua 1, S. Siggins 1, A. Saunders 1, H. Smith 1, S. Burge 1, M. Anderton 1, E. Whish-Wilson 1, B. Walsh 1
- BEST, Launceston : M. Thorp, F. Seymour, J. Harper, T. Bristow, J. Tuthill, B. Palfreyman
- Lauderdale : M. Anderton, E. Trupp, N. Raglione, H. Smith, S. Burge
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