BULLDOGS 15.15 (105)
LONGFORD 9.7 (61)
SOUTH Launceston got its NTFA division 1 premiership defence off to a winning start with a 44-point victory over Longford at Longford yesterday.
The Bulldogs started with a six-goal to two opening quarter kicking with the assistance of the strong breeze and led at every change to win 15.15 (105) to 9.7 (61).
Darren Crawford kicked six goals and Leigh Harding three for the Bulldogs with Clinton Black booting three to be the Tigers’ best goalkicker.
South coach Aaron Viney was happy with their first-up win but said they were scrappy in their first game of the season.
‘‘We went out there to get the job done today and came away with a 50-point win but we were very scrappy and it was obvious that it was our first hit-out for the year,’ he said.
‘‘We didn’t play clean footy at all but to Longford’s credit they really contested the footy and didn’t give us a chance to get our running game going as we would have liked.
‘‘But at the end of the day we came away with the win and 50 points is not a bad effort.’’
Jordan Tepper was best on ground for the Bulldogs in the midfield with Crawford good up forward kicking six but missing a few other shots and Steven Mayne and Brad Etchell strong down back, according to the coach.
Cameron Gard was Longford’s best along with Jackson Blair.
‘‘It was very windy and tough conditions today and we butchered the footy coming out of our defensive 50 and going into our forward 50 but we got the job done,’’ Viney said.
The Bulldogs are injury-free for next week’s grand final rematch against Deloraine, who had a 14-point win over Bridgenorth.
‘‘They are going to be coming in undefeated and seem to be on top of their game early in the season and it is going to be a tough test for us and they will be looking for a bit of vengeance back after last year’s grand final,’’ he said.
South Launceston’s Leigh Harding kicks the ball during the clash against Longford. Picture: PHILLIP BIGGS
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