ROUND 3 of the Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Men’s Premier League saw the competition’s best stamp their authority against persistent opponents, while one side managed a massive come from behind upset on Sunday.
SOUTHERN DISTRICTS 13.13 (91)
TIWI BOMBERS 10.7 (67)
Southern Districts: W. Farrer 3, B. Vallance 3, C. McAdam 3, D. McLachlan 2, B. Rusca, S. Thorne.
Tiwi: R. Tungatalum 2, D. Munkara 2, A. Wonaeamirri 2, A. Tipungwuti 2, H. Puruntatameri, D. Anderson.
Southern Districts: D. Staunton, S. Smith, C. Gallio, D. McLachlan, C. McAdam, S. Rusca
Tiwi: D. Munkara, J. Puruntatameri, T. Tambling, A. Darcy, M. Cooper
Southern Districts continued its winning ways with a hard-fought 24-point win over Tiwi Bombers in Saturday’s round opener at TIO Stadium. The Bombers were no pushovers, proving pesky as they hung in there and went close to matching it with the reigning premiers in each interval.
Despite managing one more scoring shot in the first term, the Bombers found themselves behind to the Crocs’ 3.1 at the first break. While Southern Districts suffered a dose of the same inefficiency in the following quarter, they matched Tiwi’s three goals to extend their lead to 14 points heading into half-time. The steady lead-building continued after the break too, with the Crocs again booting 3.5, and then another four goals in the final term to graft out the eventual 24-point margin that got them over the line.
Dean Staunton was judged the winners’ best in his standout performance for the year, while Charles McAdam, Brad Vallance, and Will Farrer each booted three goals in a solid collective performance forward of centre. Dylan McLachlan was their only other multiple goal kicker with two, also managing a spot in the bests. For Tiwi, Dionysuis Munkara claimed his second-straight best-on honour with another two goals, while ex-Dee Austin Wonaeamirri, Ross Tungatalum and Adam Tipungwuti each matched his goal haul.
The win sees the Crocs stand alone atop of the ladder as the only remaining undefeated team, with Tiwi showing opposite form as the only winless side.
WANDERERS 7.6 (48)
ST MARYS 8.13 (61)
Wanderers: P. Fairhead 2, M. Motlop 2, J. Walsh, G. Turner, T. Lui
St Marys: M. Liddy 4, B. Taylor 2, S. Rioli, M. Wilkinson
St Marys: A. Wilson, S. Rioli, B. Taylor, N. Paredes, T. Davies, C. Parris
St Marys snared its first win of the season with a see-sawing 13 point win over Wanderers, putting a slight dampener on Eagles legend Jarred Erlandson’s 150th game celebrations. The Saints were wasteful early in tough conditions, finding the wrong side of the goalposts seven times in the opening term. Meanwhile, Wanderers claimed their only opportunity for the quarter, but still found themselves behind at the first break by the slimmest of margins.
The second term saw the Eagles continue their efficiency in front of goal, with three goals helping them to a four-point lead. The Saints fared better too, with two of their own majors crucially keeping them in touch as the downpour failed to cease. The gap between the sides narrowed into the third as St Marys put on three goals to their opponent’s two to this time find themselves down by a solitary point. It was in the final quarter where the Saints tore the game apart though, with another three goals giving them an unassailable lead, despite a late consolation goal from the Eagles.
Anthony Wilson claimed best afield honours in his first game for the year for St Marys, while Mathias Liddy was also crucial to the win with his four goals making up half of his side’s haul. Ben Taylor was a key feature too with two goals of his own and an appearance in the bests. For Wanderers, Patrick Fairhead was and option up forward and managed to claim two first-half goals, while Marlon Motlop matched his efforts in the second half to give the Eagles a sniff. Gibson Turner also hit the scoreboard and conjured an assist, while youngster Tyrell Lui fared well.
Despite the loss, Wanderers hold onto its finals spot in fifth, with St Marys now matching its one-win tally and sitting just below them.
PALMERSTON MAGPIES 5.8 (38)
DARWIN BUFFALOES 13.9 (87)
Palmerston: I. Milera 2, L. Harrison, K. Brown, R. Dhamarrandji
Darwin: C. Williams 4, A. Sambono 3, J. Stokes 2, I. Palmer 2, B. Stokes, C. Atkinson
Palmerston: R. Baird, M. Dennis, S. Talbot, N. Deans, I. Milera, C. Baird
Darwin: C. Williams, J. Stokes, A. Sambono, J. Anderson, D. Hancock, C. Stokes
Darwin Buffaloes notched their second consecutive win, with nine second-half goals helping them account for Palmerston Magpies by 49 points. It was a steady start from the Buffaloes, booting two goals while keeping the Magpies goalless in the opening term. Palmerston hit back in the following quarter though, managing one more score for the interval than their opponents with 2.4 to narrow the lead to 10 points at the main break. The third was another even quarter, but Darwin showed signs of pulling away with their four goals giving them a handy 15-point buffer heading around the final turn. Those signs came to fruition as last year’s runners up showed their class to close out the game with five goals while keeping the Magpies scoreless.
Christopher Williams booted four goals for the winners to be named their best, with young star Adam Sambono slotting three, while Jarrod Stokes and Ishmael Palmer rounded out the multiple goalkickers with two each. Rodney Baird was judged Palmerston’s best, with ruckman Matthew Dennis backing up his good early-season form and Ian Milera claiming two goals to also feature in the bests.
Palmerston’s win in Round 1 sees them escape the unwanted bottom position, but they do hold the competition’s worst percentage with 58.42. Darwin, on the other hand have the best with 166.43, helping them sit second as the best team with two wins to their name.
WARATAH 14.9 (93)
NIGHTCLIFF 13.7 (85)
Waratah: L. Collihole 2, C. Barrett 2, T. Mosquito 2, J. Smith 2, R. Jolliffe, B. Rayson, B. Carroll, M. O’Donnell, R. Bulluss, T. Toma
Nightcliff: M. Bricknell 4, T. Melville 3, L. Holt-Fitz 2, W. Derksen 2, J. Budarick, F. James
Nightcliff: S. Deery, K. Kossack, J. Tsitas, W. Derksen, K. Riley
In arguably the game of the round, Waratah handed Nightcliff their first loss of the season with a rousing come from behind effort seeing them seal an eight point victory. The contest began as an arm-wrestle with Nightcliff bettering the Warriors’ 4.1 by a single point at the first break. The run of the game then headed all in the Tigers’ direction, as they slotted six straight goals to Waratah’s two to hold a 20 point lead at the half. The third quarter saw the sides share 6.2 evenly as the margin remained the same and the result looked destined to go Nightcliff’s way. Incredibly, the Warriors piled on six goals while keeping their opponents goalless to storm home to a memorable win in front of their home crowd.
The Warriors had four players kick two goals each to make up their 10 individual goalkickers, with the likes of Timothy Mosquito and Lachlan Collihole hitting the scoreboard, while Raven Jollife also did so to continue his good form. The goal-spread was a little less even on the Tigers’ side, with Mathew Bricknell backing up a three-goal haul with four majors, while the dangerous Trent Melville booted three and Wade Derksen managed two. James Tsitas was damaging from midfield, while Simon Deery was named his side’s best.
Despite the loss, Nightcliff maintain their spot above the Warriors in third, with both sides holding two wins to sit nicely in the finals spots.