It was how it should be when Glenorchy meet their oldest foes at North Hobart Oval – physical, furious and see-sawing – and, in the end, it was the visitors singing the song after their 23-point triumph.
There were a number of match-winners on the day, none more so than two of the youngest Magpies, stand-in vice-captain Harrison Gunther and the ever-improving Ryan Banks-Smith.
Gunther resumed his battle with AFL veteran Col Garland from earlier in the season and again showed he belongs in elite company.
The 20-year-old not only competed brilliantly in the air, as he limited the former Melbourne star to two goals, but was also exceptionally clean and composed at ground level to fend off numerous Demons charges.
Banks-Smith was given the challenge of going head-to-head with former GWS Giant Sam Darley, and after the VFL team of the year player got on top early, ‘Banga’ fought back and took the chocolates in a thrilling duel.
Perhaps the 19-year-old’s most important moment was his stirring 100-metre gut run to leave the Demons midfielders behind, getting on the end of a full-ground chain to slot the Pies’ first goal from deep in the pocket, seven minutes into the second term.
Up until that point the visitors had been on top around the ground but unable to penetrate the big sticks, squandering a number of kickable opportunities.
At the other end, North Hobart made the most of theirs, Nathan McCulloch and Chris Ransom nailing one each to give the home side a two-goal lead at quarter-time.
The second term was all Glenorchy, Banks-Smith and Grace slotting majors to put them in front for the first time as the black and white dominated inside 50s 18-6.
It was the first of five for Grace, taking him to 40 goals and the top of the TSL goal-kicking table ahead of luminaries such as Brad Cox-Goodyer, Mitch Thorp, Garland and teammate Jaye Bowden.
His battle with Hugh Williams junior was worth the price of admission, but his two classic goals from the boundary proved pivotal as Grace showed his class in the big moments.
Grace turns Demon slayer
Talismanic Glenorchy District Football Club forward Aiden Grace was at his dynamic, confident best in yesterday's win at North Hobart Oval. With five goals to his name, Grace moves to 40 for the season and now sits atop the Hudson Medal leaderboard with five rounds to play. 📺 FULL GAME: bit.ly/2Y0XdIRPosted by Tasmanian State League on Saturday, 20 July 2019
As it was, the Pies hit the post three times in the second term, and could have had a match-winning lead at the long break, but instead when Hugh Williams senior goaled to open the third stanza it was back to a three-point margin.
Ben Kamaric punctuated yet another 30-plus possession game with a brilliant snap from a forward stoppage to immediately respond, and when 150-gamer Clinton French and Grace both converted the visitors were threatening to blow the game open.
French was dangerous all day with three goals, and had he been on-song with his set shots could easily have had a bag to celebrate becoming a life member of the club.
But as was the case all day, missed Magpie opportunities kept the door ajar, and two goals in two minutes to finish the term remarkably had North Hobart back within three points at the last break.
Glenorchy were in no mood for an upset, however, Sam Reeves with a strong contested mark and conversion from a tight angle, before Adam Roberts capped off some Zac Webster brilliance to square the ball up in traffic.
French and Grace continued their goal feast, then Sam Hall kicked a stunner out of the ruck before Webster produced his absolute best.
The former Hawk swooped on a North Hobart ruck tap and somehow slotted a cross-body right-foot snap from tight against the Ryde Street boundary to extend the lead to 42 points at the 20-minute mark and seal the deal.
Webster was a standout in defence all game, while veteran Rhys Mott was dominant in the midfield as he extracted one contested ball after another.
While physical tagger Brad Tilbury was by his side for most of the day, Mott seemed impervious to the constant niggle as he racked up over 30 possessions for the third time against North Hobart this season and gave the Magpies constant drive around the contest.
Hall, Josh Arnold and Bowden were also quality performers on a good day for Glenorchy after a pair of losses.
*The Magpies head to Bellerive next Saturday to face Clarence in the second instalment of this year’s Bingley-Linton Cup
Glenorchy 14.13.97 d North Hobart 10.14.74
Goals: Grace 5, French 3, Banks-Smith, Kamaric, Reeves, Hall, Webster
Best: Banks-Smith, Mott, Gunther, Grace, Kamaric, Hall, Webster, Arnold
Round 16 Post Game - Robinson and Kennedy
Glenorchy District Football Club are back on the winners' list after yesterday's 23-point win over The North Hobart Football Club at North Hobart Oval. Bear Robinson and Paul Kennedy give their thoughts on a see-sawing affair that saw 19 goals kicked in the second half. 📺 FULL GAME: bit.ly/2Y0XdIRPosted by Tasmanian State League on Saturday, 20 July 2019