They say cometh the hour, cometh the man, and when Clarence threatened a boilover in Friday night’s Centennial Game, plenty of Magpie men both old and new stood tall to deliver a stunning 70-point win.
Two of the club’s modern greats in Jaye Bowden and Rhys Mott – who played his 150th game to achieve Life Membership – were amongst those answering the call, putting on typically brilliant displays to lead the charge.
Glenorchy started the game with grunt, precision and run, dazzling the large night-time crowd – which included Peter Hudson and the 1999 premiership team – with six goals to one in the opening term.
When 2016 premiership hero Matt Dilger capped his long-awaited return to the senior side with a snap midway through the second term, the Magpies led by 39 points and appeared set for a percentage booster.
But Roos veterans Jeromey Webberley and Brady Jones made a stand in the midfield, driving quick ball repeatedly to their side’s forwards who capitalised to boot four of the final five goals of the half.
Suddenly the visitors could smell an upset, and when Oscar Paprotny and Chris Nield slotted back-to-back majors to open the third term the margin was just 10 points and it was game on.
Unfortunately for Clarence, however, that just meant it was Jaye time.
Arguably the club’s most decorated player in 100 years of football, Bowden showed why, stopping the rot with a classy left-foot snap before feeding milestone man Mott for another major seconds later.
Not content with his team being only 22 points in front, The Prince then produced a mercurial snap under pressure, making the near-impossible look easy.
Next up, the TSL’s greatest forward produced one for the ages, charging back into a pack with the flight of the ball, clunking an improbable mark over two Clarence defenders and then coolly converting.
When the dust settled from the Bowden onslaught he had four for the term, the Magpies led by 41 points at the final break and the only question remaining was how many Bowden would finish with.
The answer was eight, his seventh courtesy of some brilliant Sam Hall handiwork.
The veteran defender, recently returned from two knee reconstructions, rolled off his man into the corridor to spoil, recovered his own ball and then drove it long to Bowden, who took another stunning, contested mark against two opponents.
Hall was a key figure in the second-half dominance, along with Cal Daly (3 goals) and Sam Rundle, who swung the midfield battle back in Glenorchy’s favour.
As per usual, Daly thrilled the KGV crowd with his incredible finishing from tight angles.
Sam Reeves also booted three majors and gave good service in the ruck, while Mott, Ben Kamaric, John Geard and James Webb all worked tirelessly throughout the day.
Kamaric’s pinpoint handball set up two excellent running goals for Daly and Webb in the final term to cap a memorable Centennial Game celebration.
Down back Trad Duggan and Aaron Brennan were also rock solid, while Harrison Gunther and Nield engaged in a cracking one-on-one duel.
The Magpies have two weeks off thanks to back-to-back competition and roster byes, with their next contest away against Lauderdale on Saturday, 22 June.
Glenorchy 22.8.140 d Clarence 11.4.70
Goals: Bowden 8, Daly 3, Reeves 3, French 2, Mott 2, Dilger, Webb
Best: Bowden, Daly, Hall, Rundle, Mott, Reeves, Kamaric, Duggan, Dilger