With regular captain Jobi Harper training to become a firefighter it was left to Jake Hinds to run hot as Launceston completed a 55-point round-one derby win.
Seizing the chance to lead the seniors he first represented as a 15-year-old, Hinds dominated in Friday's defeat of North Launceston.
The 21-year-old midfielder shone under the lights at UTAS Stadium, collecting three votes to kick off the State League player of the year award.
After returning to the Blues from NEAFL club Southport, Hinds played all 14 games in 2020 and has chalked up 70 senior games for the club.
Reliable young gun Jacob Boyd continued his emergence by polling two votes with Dylan Riley missing out despite claiming the Adam Sanders Medal on the night.
One vote for Brad Cox-Goodyer was scant consolation for the Bombers' player-coach.
Round 1 votes
North Launceston v Launceston
3. Jake Hinds (Launceston)
2. Jacob Boyd (Launceston)
1. Brad Cox-Goodyer (North Launceston)
North Hobart v Tigers
3. Zach Adams (Tigers)
2. Jack Sandric (North Hobart)
1. Will Campbell (Tigers)
Lauderdale v Clarence
3. Nat Franklin (Lauderdale)
2. Oliver Davis (Clarence)
1. Allen Christensen (Lauderdale)
3 votes: Zach Adams (Tigers), Nat Franklin (Lauderdale), Jake Hinds (Launceston)
2 votes: Jack Sandric (North Hobart), Oliver Davis (Clarence), Jacob Boyd (Launceston)
1 vote: Will Campbell (Tigers), Allen Christensen (Lauderdale), Brad Cox-Goodyer (North Launceston)
Former Essendon and Richmond midfielder Tom Hislop played his first game of football for 18 months in Burnie's 77-point NWFL win on Saturday.
Hislop, who started his Coastal football campaign at full-forward, nabbed four goals in the victory over Ulverstone as the Dockers began their quest for a fourth consecutive flag.
"I was relatively happy with my game; I was probably a bit rusty being 18 months since I've played a game of footy with COVID," Hislop said.
"And hopefully the cobwebs have gone now.
"I wasn't too sure what the standard would be like but I was pleasantly surprised and the delivery from the midfield was fantastic.
"Really it's just about continuing to improve with the rest of the team."
Hislop only had his first training session with the Dockers on Thursday before the game.
Coach Brent Plant was delighted with the partnership between Hislop and fellow forward Harry Walters, who also bagged four goals.
"What I was most impressed about was how he and Harry worked well in tandem; when you have two key forwards, one tends to be more of a focal point," Plant said.
"They've got a truck load of experience between them and know when to go.
"So, I was rapt with his performance - he's more team orientated and happy with a good output."
As an athlete who typically plays out of the midfield, Plant said he'd explore the opportunities to push Hislop back into the middle.
"It depends on what the game wants at the time; if that means we have to put him in the midfield to give us a spark, we'll do that."