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2020/21 NTFL Men’s Premier League weekly wrap – Round 18

THE FINAL Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Men’s Premier League home-and-away round was run and done on Saturday, with finals fixtures officially locked in. A mixed bag of results saw top two sides Nightcliff and St Mary’s earn terrific wins on postseason’s eve, while Southern Districts upset Darwin in a thriller and Palmerston sent off a club stalwart coach in style. All that, and more in our Round 18 weekend wrap.

TIWI BOMBERS 3.2 | 6.2 | 9.3 | 9.4 (58)
PALMERSTON 3.3 | 13.7 | 13.11 | 18.17 (125)

GOALS:

Tiwi: S. Munkara 3, A. Wonaeamirri 2, K. Councillor, J. Simon, J. Tipiloura, B. Rioli
Palmerston: A. McAdam 6, C. Williams 4, J. Lange 2, J. Harvey 2, M. Sutton, A. Davey, B. Church, L. Flanagan

Palmerston ensured Tiwi would complete a winless season in 2020/21, handing the Bombers their 18th loss for the season on Saturday by 67 points. The undermanned Bombers competed well early despite desperately scrounging to fill the team sheet with 18 players, but were blown out in the second term as Palmerston slammed home 10 goals. The Magpies’ scoring surge set up their 18.17 (125) to 9.4 (58) win, ensuring player-coach Alwyn Davey would be sent off fittingly in his final game at the helm.

Davey booted the last goal of the game and was served well by Aiden McAdam inside 50, who booted a game-high six goals. Chris Williams was prolific through midfield and added four majors, as a total of eight Magpies joined in on the scoring action. Formerly retired Bomber Simon Munkara was strong early and finished with three goals, while Austin Wonaeamirri snared two and skipper Paddy Heenan worked hard for his side through the engine room.

SOUTHERN DISTRICTS 3.1 | 5.3 | 7.4 | 7.4 (46)
DARWIN BUFFALOES 2.0 | 3.1 | 5.6 | 6.9 (45)

GOALS:

Districts: J. Farrer 2, D. Robertson 2, Z. Clarke, L. Kiel, M. Bowden
Darwin: B. Foster 3, A. Stokes, B. Archard, T. Eldridge

BEST:

Districts: D. Robertson, L. Kiel, B. Lake, J. Clark, D. Staunton, M. Bowden
Darwin: N/A

Southern Districts may have fallen short of finals this season, but capped off its 2020/21 campaign with a spirited one-point win over Darwin Buffaloes on Saturday. The Crocs led throughout the scrappy contest and played like a side which had nothing to lose, building a two-goal buffer and holding on at the clutch. Timothy Eldridge booted the only fourth term major as Darwin closed to within a goal, but could not overturn the result which ended 7.4 (46) to 6.9 (45) in favour of Districts.

Along with Eldridge, spearhead Brodie Foster helped cut the margin for Darwin at key moments and finished with a game-high three goals. He was impactful alongside the likes of Kelvin Williams and Bradley Stokes. Former AFL ruckman Zac Clarke made his debut for the Crocs, hitting the scoreboard and adding to their tall stocks. Dean Robertson booted two majors as one of Districts’ best, along with fellow goal getters Luke Kiel and Michael Bowden.

ST MARY’S 4.5 | 10.11 | 14.15 | 19.17 (131)
WANDERERS 3.1 | 5.1 | 5.3 | 8.4 (52)

GOALS:

St Mary’s: J. Landt 3, J. Long 2, D. Landt 2, L. Fiore 2, R. Linklater 2, B. Grenfell 2, J. Robinson, N. Paredes, L. Taylor, J. Cheek, J. Long, L. Ferreira
Wanderers: B. Eddy 5, S. Bates, J. Priest, S. Tipiloura

BEST:

St Mary’s: D. Landt, L. Jellyman-Turner, N. Paredes, W. Hams, B. Grenfell, S. Edwards
Wanderers: B. Eddy, A. Motlop, D. McFarlane, E. Simpson, B. Motlop

Saturday’s qualifying final preview saw St Mary’s blow Wanderers away by 79 points, seeing the Saints cement second spot and a handy mental edge ahead of the postseason. The second and third terms proved telling periods for the winners, who added 10 goals to Wanderers’ two through a wealth of opportunities to lay the foundations for their comprehensive 19.17 (131) to 8.4 (52) triumph.

Jack Landt (three goals) led a brigade of 12 individual goalkickers for the Saints, with brother Dylan one of five players to claim two majors. Brandyn Grenfell was another as he took over primary ruck duties, while Lucas Jellyman-Turner also impressed for the Green Machine. Competition leading goalkicker Brett Eddy capped off his season with another five majors, supplied well by Dane McFarlane in midfield, who was on of Wanderers’ best along with Aaron and Brenton Motlop.

WARATAH 2.0 | 9.0 | 9.1 | 10.2 (62)
NIGHTCLIFF 2.1 | 3.2 | 8.5 | 9.10 (64)

GOALS:

Waratah: R. Turnbull 3, K. Kantilla 2, D. Hemphill, J. Sutton, W. Collis, B. Carroll, A. Moloney
Nightcliff: S. Wilson 3, T. Melville 2, H. Drogemuller, J. Hammond, R. Nyhuis, P. Wills

BEST:

Waratah: N/A
Nightcliff: D. Bowles, D. Brew, K. Riley, S. Wilson, B. Filo, D. Butcher

Nightcliff overturned a 34-point half time deficit in muddy conditions on Saturday night to defeat Waratah by two points in a thrilling Battle of the Beaches. The Tigers were stunned by a seven-goal second term from Waratah, but quickly cut back to a manageable deficit at the next break before sneaking ahead to take all four points. The 9.10 (64) to 10.2 (62) result means Nightcliff has now won eight-straight games as it guns for a premiership three-peat.

Usual suspects were at the core of the Tigers’ turnaround, with midfield maestros Brodie Filo and Dom Brew performing well while Shaun Wilson (three goals) and Trent Melville (two) benefitted inside attacking 50. Robert Turnbull also booted three majors for Waratah as the Warriors’ best player afield, with fellow scorers Damon Hemphill and Will Collis also among their side’s best contributors in the losing effort.

Image Credit: Felicity Elliott/AFLNT Media

2020/21 NTFL Men’s Premier League – Midseason review: Darwin, Nightcliff, Palmerston, Southern Districts

WITH the NTFL Men’s Premier League season coming to a halt over the Christmas period Draft Central casts an eye over how the teams are tracking, some of their key contributors throughout the season so far and how they are shaping up for the rest of the season.

Darwin Buffaloes

Position: 5th
Win-loss-draw: 7-5-0
Percentage: 113.77%

The Buffaloes are well within touching distance of the top four, sitting just outside based on percentage and will be eager to climb further up the ladder to better position themselves for finals. They have had a relatively inconsistent run of form recently but have also been faced with a couple of top contenders in Nightcliff and St Mary’s. The Buffs will head into the break on a high collecting a strong win over Tiwi Bombers to cap off the 2020 part of their season and will be preparing for the top of the table Nightcliff in the opening game of 2021.

Brodie Foster has been the main avenue to goal for Darwin, nailing 36 majors from his 11 outings while Matt Campbell has also proven to be a livewire up forward with his ability to slot them from anywhere and notching up 23 for the year so far. Ishmael Palmer and Jarrod Stokes have also showcased their worth with 17 and 15 majors respectively highlighting the number of options they have when going forward. Ryan Pendlebury has proven to be a smooth mover for the Buffs while Joseph Collinson can hit both the scoreboard and the bests making him a crucial cog in their armour.

Nightcliff

Position: 1st
Win-loss-draw: 9-2-1
Percentage: 142.90%

Sitting pretty on top of the table, Nightcliff have won nine of their 12 games this season but have had a bit of a chequered run of form in their last five outings notching up three wins, a draw and a loss to the Southern Districts. They boast a commanding percentage, which provides some much needed separation between them and the second placed St Mary’s who are hot on their heels. On return, Nightcliff are faced with Darwin Buffaloes making for an exciting battle.

When looking at their key standouts it is hard to go past the services of Kyle Emery who has been a star up forward with his 38 goals from 12 games, leading the goalkicking tally for the squad. Cameron Ilett has also featured highly on the goalscoring front, booting 28 majors from his 11 appearances while the next closest is Liam Holt-Fitz and Trent Melville with the pair putting on 15 goals apiece. Aside from scoreboard impact Dominic Brew has proven to be a force to be reckoned with appearing in the bests eight times while Ilett has displayed his ability to have a regular presence across the ground frequently named in the bests for his efforts. Other key contributors in Ryan Mu, Mack Rivett and Thomas Boyd are just a few names to keep an eye out for when play returns next year given their ability to have an impact on the course of a game and ply their trade effectively for the top of the table side.

Palmerston

Position: 7th
Win-loss-draw: 2-10-0
Percentage: 61.01%

It has been a difficult season for the Magpies who have only managed to muster up two wins for the year and suffered a number of hefty defeats. In fact Palmerston has only won, one of their past five games and that victory was against the bottom placed Bombers. Despite having strong moments, the Magpies have been unable to maintain that same pressure and presence for a full four quarters as shown through their win-loss ratio. Unfortunately it will not get any easier when they return in 2021 up against St Mary’s who are in hot form.

The scoring options are somewhat limited however Toshie Kunoth has put his hand up to steer the ship throughout the season with his 15 majors while he has been ably assisted by the likes of Nigel Lockyer Jnr who has booted 13 goals across his nine games. The scoring drops off after that with the next best Aiden McAdam with six. In terms of consistent performers Eric Guthrie is up there registering nine best on grounds while Matthew Dennis has also accumulated nine. Rohan Armstrong is another commanding force for the Magpies as is Christopher Williams with the two capable ball winners.

Southern Districts

Position: 6th
Win-loss: 5-7-0
Percentage: 103.56%

Although it might not have been the start Southern Districts were after there are still plenty of positives to take out of their season notching up five wins, with two of them coming in their past five outings, one against Nightcliff and the other against the Magpies. They have struggled to string together consecutive wins but are still somewhat in the hunt if they find the right mix and build a strong backend of the season. Their campaign kicks off against the third placed Wanderers when play resumes in January.

Looking at goalkickers for the Crocs and it is Andrew Boseley that holds the mantle as number one with 19 goals from his 12 appearances while Jay Dahlhaus has been influential since joining the side with his 12 majors. Luke Kiel is a handy goalscoring option boasting 12 goals for the season while Billy Rolfe and James Tsitas have managed 10 goals apiece for Southern Districts. When it comes to reliable performers it is hard to go past the likes of Charles McAdam and Jesse Clark with the duo recording seven bests each. Dean Staunton is not far off with six while Dahlhaus and Kiel are also heavily influential with ball in hand.