The Glenorchy RSEA Magpies put on an early clinic of pressure against North Launceston in Saturday's much-anticipated clash at KGV, but ultimately the experience of the premiers proved too much.
Having lost Daniel Joseph, James Deegan and Zac Webster from the previous week's win over North Hobart, the hosts went in underdogs but had plenty of bite from the opening siren.
Cal Daly led the way for the Magpies, nailing 5 bone-crunching tackles in the opening quarter - his team laid 18 - to lock the ball in the forward half for most of the term.
Around the contest, Glenorchy's midfielders forced their highly-touted counterparts into repeated turnovers as they made an early stand in the absence of ruckman Deegan.
The only cross against the home side's effort was conversion, kicking just 1.3 and one out on the full while keeping the Northern Bombers scoreless.
In the second term, when the visitors pinched the momentum in the second half of the quarter, North Launceston booted 4.2 to take a 16-point lead into half-time.
The third term was a dour battle, both teams converting opportunities through pressure, but two Bomber goals in the final minute gave them a 34-point edge.
When torrential rain came moments into the final term the contest was done, the visitors extending their lead late with some key Magpies being rested as a precaution ahead of this week's crunch clash.
Tale of the tape
Captain Josh Arnold continued his remarkable season down back, amassing a career-high 29 possessions to go with 8 rebounds 50s, while Tom Cleary was also outstanding leading a young defensive unit.
In the midfield, Mitch Rainbird (19 possessions, 10 marks, 5 inside 50s), Ben Kamaric (18 possessions), and James Webb combined for 55 disposals and 32 pressure acts.
Up forward, Matthew Joseph snared two clever goals, while Daly and Callum Thompson combined for 22 pressure acts.
Glenorchy RSEA Magpies 3.5.23 def by North Launceston 11.10.76
Goals: M Joseph 2, Daly
Best: Arnold, Cleary, Daly, J Webb, Rainbird, Rundle
*The RSEA Magpies take on arch-rivals Clarence this Saturday at KGV. Tickets available by clicking here