Launceston had one of its biggest tests in weeks before rounding out the first block of fixtures with a 15.13 (103) to 8.7 (55) win over Lauderdale.
After a fortnight when their Southern opposition managed just three first-half goals combined, it almost came as a shock when Fergus Kenny converted from a strong contested grab in the opening two minutes.
The Southern Bombers went into the first huddle four goals down but had a number of good patches throughout the game, kicking three consecutive goals in the third term.
But Launceston always had the answers as stand-in captain Jake Hinds (35 disposals) registered a fourth-straight best-on-ground performance.
"It was a sound win - we were challenged today which was really good," Launceston coach Mitch Thorp said.
"We needed to work through some scenarios that we hadn't had to face in the last couple of weeks and Lauderdale, to their credit, were really competitive and back to the Lauderdale that we know.
"They've had a really rugged start to the year with some stuff off the field, but I'm really confident in their coach [Daniel Willing] - I think he's a really good person first and foremost and I believe Lauderdale will return to being one of the premier sides quite quickly."
The loss marked Lauderdale's fifth in a row but there were plenty of positives despite a late injury to Tyler Martin (two goals).
Sam Tilley was lively through the middle and took a soaring mark outside the away changerooms, while Luke Hodoniczky threaded a beautiful goal from the same pocket.
Meanwhile, a Launceston side already missing a handful of its best 22 was happy to secure a routine win without rested pair Brodie Palfreyman and James Dowling.
Colby McKercher added to his growing highlight reel with a rampaging goal off the wing in the third term, while in defence, prolific pair Jamieson House and Alec Wright struck the perfect balance between shutting down their opponents and getting up the ground.
"We were a little bit lighter-on than usual, but it was just a good game," Thorp said.
"It was a game where we didn't have it all our own way, we had to swing some momentum back our way when they kicked a few goals in a row and we had to share the goalkickers but that's all healthy.
"We want games where we've got to fight it out to the end and we certainly had to do that today and we know Friday night against North Launny we're absolutely going to have to do that."
Friday's game will be Launceston's last before the round nine bye, after which Thorp, Fletcher Seymour and Jobi Harper are expected to make their returns.
"We've started really well but like every club we're going to have our challenges," Thorp said.
"The middle of winter, when the depth is tested, [we need to make] sure that we stand resolute and like today find a way to win."
Launceston 5.1, 7.7, 11.9, 15.13 (103)
Lauderdale 1.1, 3.2, 7.5, 8.7 (55)
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