NORTH Launceston has stormed into a fourth consecutive TSL grand final after a dominant display.
THE TSL’s most consistent club has stormed into a fourth consecutive grand final on the back of one of the most dominant finals displays in Launceston yesterday.
North Launceston, looking to return to the top of the tree after winning back-to-back flags in 2014-15 before losing to Glenorchy 12 months ago, dismantled challenger Lauderdale at UTAS Stadium in a rampaging 94-point hiding.
The 18.21 (129) to 4.11 (35) rout installed the home side as raging flag favourites in a fortnight, with the southern Bombers left to lick their wounds ahead of a preliminary final showdown against Launceston next Saturday.
As poor as the visitors were the hosts were on song from the outset, dominating at the coal face to set the wheels in motion early.
The loss of No.1 ruckman Alex Lee to hamstring tightness before the bounce left Lewis Hollmer to carry the load and the big man produced his best performance of the season to provide silver service to his midfielders.
North kicked the opening seven goals of the game to open up a 41-point lead by halftime before killing off the contest by ramming home the first five majors of the second half.
They iced the cake by keeping Lauderdale scoreless in the last term and peppering their own goal with 4.8.
Skipper Taylor Whitford (4.3) was electric through the middle and up forward with three first-half goals, Jake Pearce provided ample support and a watertight back six was led by Arion Richter-Salter.
Hollmer and Bart McCulloch each booted three majors while Brad Cox-Goodyer and coach Tom Couch finished with two.
“I think we have played well at certain stages but maybe in front of a bigger crowd and in a
bigger game it might be a bit more noticeable,” Couch said when asked if his men had played better in 2017.
“The boys have been getting better every week. To answer your question perhaps, but there are still areas we need to improve.
“It is about continuing to improve, you have to get better individually and within the lines working together as well. Probably just little things people watching don’t notice.
“You have to work hard, we mentioned at three quartertime about our last quarters. It is something we really pride ourselves on, we had to run out the game.
“It is tempting when you are up by a certain margin to take your foot off the gas.”
Lauderdale had few winners on the night, with Toutai Havea battling manfully in the ruck while Nat Franklin was the best of a midfield which was well down on usual output.