A superb first-quarter burst has propelled Glenorchy to a comprehensive 41-point win over its oldest rivals North Hobart in Saturday’s Heritage Game at KGV, which saw the green and gold jumper of New Town's early years return to state football.
A packed Heritage Dinner had heard from old Magpies-Demons rivals Gary Linton and Darryn Perry, and with one of the biggest KGV crowds in many years filing through the gates, the home side put on an early show to befit the occasion.
It was a physical start with numerous skirmishes in the opening minutes, but some Josh Arnold-triggered ball movement through the corridor ended with Aiden Grace five metres out and the Magpies were on the board.
Grace then applied a desperate chase-down tackle on Josh Clifford before finding Cal Daly on the edge of the goalsquare for the hosts’ second in as many minutes.
At the other end, Liam Smith went low and hard at the ball but was punished under the controversial ‘sliding’ rule and Brad Tilbury duly converted North Hobart’s opener.
Harrison Gunther got the immediate reply with a thumping 55-metre set shot, then a trademark Daniel Joseph intercept and bullet pass set up Grace’s second for outside the arc.
A Brayden Webb bomb on the quarter-time siren extended the margin to 24 points, and soon after the break Daly returned the favour to Grace, who slotted his third from an impossible angle in front of the packed Jack Rough Function Room balcony.
*Click here to purchase a Centennial Membership and go in the draw to win a day in the Glenorchy coach's box with Paul Kennedy
Glenorchy had their chances to blow the game out, but a number of missed opportunities left the door ajar and the Demons waltzed on through.
With Joseph heading to the showers early with a bruised knee the visitors seized the momentum with some slick fast-break play, goals to Tom Reeves, Oli Di Venuto, Jonty Barwick and Chris Ransom drawing the margin back to 15 points at the main change.
With the Magpies two rotations down, coach Paul Kennedy asked for a calculated second half and his team delivered, suffocating North Hobart to the tune of 4.6 to 0.4 in the final hour to grind their way to an impressive win.
The biggest standout was Ben Kamaric, who racked up his 31 possessions all over the ground, hounded the Demons with 14 pressure acts and 7 tackles, motored his way to 12 handball receives, picked up 6 clearances and then capped off the night with a goal on the final siren.
He once again had great support from Rhys Mott (28 possessions) and Cam Duffy (15 possessions, 11 marks, 32 hit-outs), who spearheaded a 33-19 clearance advantage, while John Geard and the Webb brothers were also quality contributors.
Down back, Gunther was simply dominant in the air as he collected 11 intercepts, while Arnold, Smith and Tim Butterworth also gave plenty of rebound, and Aaron Brennan closed down the dangerous Reeves.
Up forward, Grace was the star with 12 marks and a bag of 5.4, ably supported by the ever-dangerous Daly and Sam Reeves, who kicked his first major for the club.
Glenorchy 11.11.77 d North Hobart 5.6.36
Best: Kamaric, Mott, Grace, Duffy, Gunther, Bowden, Daly, Arnold
Goals: Grace 5, Bowden, Daly, Gunther, Kamaric, Reeves, B Webb
*The Magpies travel to Bellerive next Saturday (13 April) to take on Clarence at 2pm