Tag: brett eddy

NTFL Men’s Premier League preview: Round 8 – Traditional rivals square off

TRADITIONAL rivals St Mary’s and Tiwi meet again in Round 8 of the Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Men’s Premier League, chasing slightly different goals among the top five places. Meanwhile, all four Round 7 losers will look to bounce back as they face off against each other, with Darwin and Waratah resuming their interesting recent duel on Saturday evening.

WANDERERS (5th, 3-3-1) vs. NIGHTCLIFF (1st, 6-1)
Saturday November 23, 2:30pm
TIO Stadium

Seldom do two top five sides meet after respective losses, but that is exactly the case as Wanderers and Nightcliff prepare to do battle on Saturday afternoon. While the Muk Muks have struggled to string wins together in a season full of promise, Nightcliff had been a figure of consistency in its premiership defence before tasting defeat for the first time in Round 7. The Tigers’ loss to fellow premiership contender St Mary’s did not set them back in terms of ladder standing, but Wanderers’ defeat at the hands of Darwin saw the two sides swap spots to put the Eagles in danger of dropping out of the top five should they fare no better in this contest.

While three Motlops have been named in an extended Wanderers side, Marlon Motlop is not one of them. Nonetheless, ex-AFL experience remains in the form of Liam Patrick, while Liam Jurrah and Brett Eddy feature on the 12-man interchange. Nightcliff’s side becomes a touch scarier with the inclusions of former Williamstown pair Willie Wheeler and Leigh Masters, set to inject class in the forward half. The Tigers’ depth and dynamism is clear as the likes of Kaine Riley and Trent Melville look set to start from the pine.

With both sides looking to return to the winners list, it will be a case of who responds best and wants it more. The Tigers remain the team to beat, so should come in as favourites but will have to be switched on against an Eagles outfit keen to remain in the finals hunt.

PALMERSTON MAGPIES (8th, 0-7) vs. SOUTHERN DISTRICTS (3rd, 4-2-1)
Saturday November 23, 5:00pm
Palmerston Oval

The remaining two losers out of Round 7, Palmerston and Southern Districts have the opportunity to make amends on Saturday evening as they clash at Palmerston Oval. While the Crocs looked to be angling for a top two spot before an upset loss to Tiwi, the Magpies have been season 2019/20’s cellar dwellers with a winless record to this point. A win would still leave them at least four points behind the pack as their finals hopes dwindle, but it would be a welcome change of fortune in front of home fans. On the other hand, a fifth win would put the Crocs back on track as they push to jump into the top two with St Mary’s and Nightcliff facing slightly tougher fixtures respectively.

The Crocs’ spine looks strong as ever, with the middle strengthened by the rare inclusion of ex-Tiger Richard Tambling, pushing Nikolaus Rokahr to the bench as Josiah and Will Farrer look set to be key absentees. Alwyn Davey‘s Palmerston’s side is still without the same real ex-AFL starpower and experience, but forward movers Kyle Emery and Keiden Holt-Tubbs are always dangerous inside 50 and Aaron Lonergan adds value through midfield.

While it would be easy to dismiss this contest based on looks on-paper, the Magpies should be well buoyed by their home support and the chance to finally get on the board. But their opposition is fearsome and will come in fired up after a loss to bottom-three opposition.

WARATAH (7th, 2-5) vs. DARWIN BUFFALOES (4th, 4-3)
Saturday November 23, 5:00pm
TIO Stadium

Waratah can continue its climb up the NTFL ladder with a third official win for the year, but face stiff opposition in the form of Darwin on Saturday evening. The Warriors have the wood over the Buffs, boasting four consecutive wins over their weekend opponents dating back to last season’s finals series – despite what this year’s records show. While the Round 3 result came somewhat controversially, there can be no debate about Waratah’s recent form over the Buffs. But Darwin look primed to make amends after a big win over fellow finals hopefuls, Wanderers last time out. But Waratah’s 89-point drubbing of Palmerston in the same weekend makes them tough opposition at this stage, and poises the clash as a cracker.

Waratah’s extended bench alone is as formidable as they come, with last week’s six-goal hero Kim Kantilla featuring among the likes of Abe Ankers, ex-Bendigo Pioneer Laine Fitzgerald, and former Melbourne forward Michael Newton. All four add enormous value and experience to the lineup led by centreman, Brodie Carroll. Brayden Culhane and Jalen Clarke are Darwin’s own bench threats, with ex-AFL pair Joe Anderson and Matt Campbell leading the Buffs’ lineup from the forward half.

With experience and class on each line, expect the fourth place side to come in well equipped to turn its fortunes around and solidify a finals spot. But recent results will be fresh in the Warriors’ minds, and an improved starting lineup will make them strong through the mid-season period.

ST MARY’S (2nd, 5-2) vs. TIWI BOMBERS (6th, 3-4)
Saturday November 23, 7:30pm
TIO Stadium

Potentially the game of the round again features St Mary’s, as it looks to rectify an early-season loss to Tiwi when the two sides meet to close out Round 8. The Bombers enter Saturday night’s clash in good form after a solid win over Southern Districts last time out, and can be further assured by a fighting shootout victory over the Saints in Round 3. But St Mary’s come in having shown just as formidable form in a win over the previously undefeated Nightcliff, stamping its authority as a genuine premiership threat.

While Nicholas Yarran looks like being a key absentee this week, Saints club legend and eight-time premiership player Peter McFarlane has been named in a forward line featuring former Collingwood-listed utility Michael Manteit, while draft hopeful Kieren Parnell starts on a wing. They will all be important in the face of a relative full-strength Tiwi side, with the Bombers’ pace through Adam Tipungwuti, Dion Munkara and Harley Puruntatameri posing problems for each side. The former-AFL midfield pair of Ashton Hams and Nathan Djerrkura should also prove vital in Tiwi’s hopes of a win.

The Bombers are one of just two sides the Saints are yet to beat this season, so the opportunity to claim another scalp should ring true for the better-placed side. Either way, this clash should provide a raft of real highlights if the first encounter is anything to go by.

Credit: NT News

NTFL Men’s Premier League wrap: Round 6 – Stroobants stars in Warriors’ maiden win

WARATAH officially got on the board in Round 6 of the Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Men’s Premier League, winning out in a bottom three clash. Meanwhile, Wanderers took advantage of Darwin’s slip-up to jump into fourth place, while Nightcliff extended its gap at the top with another grinding win.

WARATAH 5.5 | 12.8 | 19.8 | 21.15 (141)
TIWI BOMBERS 3.4 | 7.5 | 13.7 | 15.8 (98)

GOALS:

Waratah: S. Stroobants 6, H. Kerinaiua 5, K. Kantilla 3, A. Ankers 3, J. Beugelaar 2, B. Carroll, B. Minkulk.
Tiwi: G. Cunningham 4, L. Wale-Buxton 3, D. Munkara 2, A. Wonaeamirri 2, R. Puruntatameri, J. Simon, J. Pupangamirri, H. Puruntatameri .

BEST:

Waratah: N/A
Tiwi: N/A

Steve Stroobants booted Waratah to its maiden official win in season 2019/20, kicking six goals in a high-scoring affair. The breakthrough win also saw the Warriors claim the Maurice Rioli Cup, with home fans treated to the entertaining 21.15 (141) to 15.8 (98) result.

Stroobants was joined by Henry Kerinaiua (five goals), Kim Kantilla (three), and Abe Ankers (three) in an impressive list of multiple goalkickers for Waratah, with influential skipper Brodie Carroll also finding the big sticks on one occasion. It was the same case for Tiwi as Gerrard Cunningham led the way with four majors, followed closely by bigman Liam Wale-Buxton (three), the zippy Dion Munkara (two) and ex-Dee Austin Wonaeamirri (two). Both sides were relatively on form inside forward 50, but Waratah’s 13 more scoring shots proved its higher rate of production.

An early three-goal buffer was the difference for most of the bout for Waratah, with the Warriors repeatedly breaking away and being reigned back in each term. The Bombers managed to boot the opening goals in quarters two and three and even cut the margin to just 14 points in the latter term through Wale-Buxton, but the hosts had all the answers and continued to pile on goals of their own throughout. A 7.0 to 6.2 third quarter was the showcase period of play for the game, highlighting the clinical scoring abilities of either side in the open contest.

Both sides find themselves stuck in the bottom three, one and two games adrift from the finals spots. Waratah will fancy its chances of further bridging the gap as it takes on a lowly Palmerston next time out, while Tiwi faces a tough ask in rebounding against the red-hot Southern Districts on Saturday afternoon.

NIGHTCLIFF 1.2 | 7.3 | 10.4 | 14.5 (89)
DARWIN BUFFALOES 3.2 | 6.6 | 8.9 | 9.12 (66)

GOALS:

Nightcliff: D. Joyce 4, M. Bricknell 2, C. Ilett 2, L. Sharp 2, K. Niki, B. Arnold, S. Wilson, T. Melville.
Darwin: D. Stafford 3, J. Stokes 2, S. Ahmat, A. Sambono, P. Boles, C. Williams.

BEST:

Nightcliff: J. Tsitas, K. Riley, D. Joyce, J. Budarick, D. Bowles, L. Holt-Fitz
Darwin: P. Boles, I. Seden-Kurnoth, D. Maymuru, C. Williams, D. Stafford

The Tye-Bonson Memorial Shield went to Nightcliff on Saturday as the Tigers found a way once again, beating Darwin by 23 points to keep their perfect record in tact. The reigning premiers built into the game well after a slow opener to lead at every other break in the 14.5 (89) to 9.12 (66) victory.

A six goals to three second stanza saw Nightcliff claim the lead at the main break, not looking back to almost mirror its score perfectly in the following half with a wealth of class in front of goal. The 14.5 effort was matched by sound defence too, with the Tigers not allowing the Buffs more than three goals in each term and keeping them to two in a tense third. As has constantly been the case, the undefeated side was better for longer and outlasted its opponent to salute for a sixth time in season 2019/20.

Nightcliff’s James Tsitas and Darwin’s Patrick Boles were recognised as best afield for their respective sides in the memorial match, both continuing solid runs of form in recent weeks. Speaking of, Kaine Riley and Liam Holt-Fitz were also named among the Tigers’ best half-dozen for the third consecutive game, while Dylan Joyce booted four goals and Cam Ilett backed up with another two. Adam Sambono only managed the one goal on return for Darwin as Daniel Stafford‘s three majors led the effort, with Chris Williams the only other goalkicker to also be named in the Buffs’ best.

The Tigers’ lead at the top was extended to six points as the previous top four all played off, also boasting 42 percentage points more than its nearest rival with third placed St Mary’s up next. Darwin will look to bounce back from sliding to fifth as it faces the new fourth place side, Wanderers on Saturday evening in what is sure to be a cracker.

PALMERSTON 2.5 | 2.5 | 4.7 | 7.9 (51)
WANDERERS 7.6 | 7.6 | 11.8 | 12.11 (83)

GOALS:

Palmerston: K. Holt-Tubbs 4, R. Marika, C. Timms, K. Groves.
Wanderers: B. Eddy 3, K. Smith Thompson 2, M. Cooper 2, K. Fejo 2, J. Jeffrey, R. Fejo, B. O’Connell.

BEST:

Palmerston: K. Holt-Tubbs, S. Brock, A. Lonergan, B. Launer, J. Berry, L. Dhurrkay
Wanderers: B. McLean, L. Dyer, C. Baird, K. Fejo, R. Fejo

Wanderers climbed into fourth with a comfortable 33-point win over Palmerston on the road to close out Saturday’s proceedings. Five of the Muk Muks’ goalkickers found the big sticks more than once as they simply had too much for the winless Magpies in the 7.9 (51) to 12.11 (83) result.

The lead was built early-doors as Wanderers zipped out to a 31-point buffer at the main break, looking every bit the finals-bound side. The Magpies had few answers as the battle wore on and could not bridge the gap enough as they continued to leak goals. The final score was prettied up by three late Palmerston majors, but the home side was still well adrift as the final siren sounded to put its sixth defeat in the books.

Keidan Holt-Tubbs was a shining light once again for the Magpies, booting over half of his side’s goals (four) in the loss to be named their best afield. Blake Launer was also among the best for the second time in three games, while the likes of Sandy Brock and Aaron Lonergan also stood up. For the Eagles, former-Port player Brett Eddy snared three goals on debut, but it was Braedon McLean who was named their best. Ronald and Keelan Fejo both found the goals and were influential, with youngsters Beau O’Connell and Joel Jeffrey also hitting the scoreboard.

Wanderers will look to lock down fourth spot next week as it takes on the newly removed Darwin in Round 7, while a bottom two clash beckons for Palmerston, presenting the Magpies’ another good opportunity to get on the board in recent weeks.

SOUTHERN DISTRICTS 6.1 | 7.2 | 11.7 | 12.9 (81)
ST MARY’S 4.2 | 5.3 | 5.5 | 10.9 (69)

GOALS:

Southern Districts: D. Barry 3, W. Farrer 3, E. Barlow 3, D. Williams, J. Farrer, S. Barnett.
St Mary’s: J. Calder 3, N. Paredes 2, J. Long, A. Parry, B. Slater, J. Long, S. Rioli.

BEST:

Southern Districts: E. Barlow, T. Holman, N. Rokahr, D. McLachlan, R. O’Brien, Z. Smith
St Mary’s: L. Larson, S. Rioli, N. Yarran, A. Hill, R. Smith, A. Parry

Southern Districts continued its surge up the NTFL ladder, overcoming fellow finals hopefuls St Mary’s by 12 points in Sunday’s lone fixture. The 12.9 (81) to 10.9 (69) scoreline did justice to the closeness of the bout, with one dominant period for the Crocs enough to see them over the line and into second place.

A trio of Crocs – Dylan Barry, Will Farrer, and Ed Barlow – each claimed a hat-trick of goals to lead the winning effort, with Barlow the sole multiple goalkicker to also feature among the best. Dylan McLachlan and Zach Smith continued their good runs of form to also be thereabouts, while Nikolaus Rokahr bobbed up in the best for the second time in three games. For St Mary’s, Jackson Calder was the only player to hit three goals in a more even scoring spread, with Nate Paredes the only other multiple goalkicker. Shannon Rioli pitched in with an important major and was named among the best with Nicholas Yarran, but both were behind Leroy Larson as the Saints’ most influential player.

While the Crocs’ fast start set up a two-goal buffer which they would hold for much of the match, a four-goal to nil third term made all the difference in setting up the win. With the four points all but beyond them, the Saints finished the better of the two sides but left too much for too late as they fell by that telling two-goal margin.

St Mary’s will have to back up with another top four clash in Round 7 as the undefeated Nightcliff awaits, with a win crucial to keep within touch of the Tigers. Meanwhile, the Crocs will fancy their chances of a fifth consecutive win as they face Tiwi next time out and look to take advantage of the St Mary’s/Nightcliff result.

NTFL Men’s Premier League preview: Round 6 – Sambono returns as top four square off

FOUR different venues host each game in Round 6 of the Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Men’s Premier League, with fixtures between the top four sides headlining what is set to be a cracking weekend of football.

WARATAH (7th, 0-5, 55%) v. TIWI BOMBERS (6th, 2-3, 72%)
Saturday November 9, 2:30pm
Gardens Oval

A bottom three clash opens Round 6 as the winless Waratah hosts Tiwi at Gardens Oval on Saturday afternoon. Despite putting up competitive efforts in most games thus far, including a win which was later revoked, the Warriors are one of two sides languishing without any premiership points after a handful of efforts. Missing key talent and the former-AFL firepower of others, it has been a tough initiation to season 2019/20 for Waratah. But that could all change with a win over the Bombers, who are looking to build a win streak and break into the top five. Much-hyped coming into the season, Tiwi has been a touch lacklustre thus far but still provided two highlights for the year in each of its two wins – beating rivals St Mary’s in a high-scoring thriller and having Cyril Rioli Jnr make his long=awaited return last week.

The Bombers’ hopes of another headline win will be made difficult by Waratah’s likely inclusions, with key players Abe Ankers and Steve Stroobants joining Brodie Carroll and Henry Kerinaiua in the side to give the Warriors plenty of forward drive. The Bombers have not named Rioli after his to-plan debut, but Victorian Charlie Molyneux looks like being a handy replacement in midfield. There are still plenty of stars in the side in any case, with the likes of Adam Tipungwuti, Nathan Djerrkura, and Austin Wonaeamirri providing class on each line. Youngsters Jeffrey Simon and Preyben Tipiloura also keep their spots, giving the Bombers plenty of flair.

It is hard to look past the Bombers on paper, but their unpredictable nature against Waratah’s more consistent base makes this clash one which should be close.

NIGHTCLIFF (1st, 5-0, 185%) v. DARWIN BUFFALOES (4th, 3-2, 169%)
Saturday November 9, 4:00pm
PSC BM Oval

Ladder leader Nightcliff plays host to Darwin at PSC BM Oval on Saturday twilight in the first of two mouth-watering top four bouts. The Tigers’ premiership defence has been near-faultless thus far, notching an impressing 5-0 record having dispatched of each opponent to come their way. While you can only beat who is put in front of you, wins over the bottom two sides coming into this clash does not make for an ideal run-in to such a high stakes game, but more testing wins over finals hopefuls Wanderers and Southern Districts should put Nightcliff in good stead nonetheless. On the other hand, Darwin’s promising start has since hit a couple of road blocks, and the Buffs are lucky to still hold their positive record. Last week’s heartbreaking loss to Southern Districts will be fresh in the memory, with Darwin raring to go as some key players return.

Adam Sambono is the most notable inclusion for Darwin, named at full forward for his first game back after a 12-goal haul in Round 1. With Joe Anderson and Brayden Culhane named in the same forward 50, Darwin all of a sudden looks more like the attacking powerhouse it has been of late. Goalsneak Trent Melville will look to lead Nightcliff’s effort to outgun the Buffs after a four-goal effort last time out, especially with Brodie Filo left unnamed. Kaine Riley has been in good form further afield, with NT stalwart Cam Ilett and VFL-listed James Tsitas others who will be important to the cause.

The Tigers have undeniable class across the field and are the team to beat overall, but do not discount the Buffaloes in this clash given the boosts made to their forward half.

PALMERSTON (8th, 0-5, 51%) v. WANDERERS (5th, 2-2-1, 86%)
Saturday November 9, 5:00pm
Palmerston Oval

Wanderers will look to keep clear of the chasing pack with a win as it travels to face Palmerston on Saturday evening. The Muk Muks are yet to string consecutive wins together, but have shown plenty of promise with their young list and will look to notch a third win against their third bottom-three opponent in Palmerston. On the other hand, the winless Magpies had their hearts broken last week as they gave up a five-goal buffer to lose in a count-back to Tiwi last week. Their slimmest losing margin to that point was 30 points, with heavy losses coming in Rounds 3 and 4 and the gulf in class evident. But last week’s effort will leave the fire burning for Palmerston, and the opportunity to play spoiler awaits.

The Magpies’ spine is bookended by Nigel Lockyer Jnr and Ezekiel Frank, with the pair looking to prop up a side which is set to go in without the class of former-AFL jets Alwyn and Aaron Davey at ground level. The Eagles will have no such worries in that department as ex-Port player Brett Eddy comes into the lineup, surrounded by young excitement machines in Joel Jeffrey, Ronald Fejo, Tyrell Lui and Beau O’Connell in a side slightly short on pure talls.

Waratah’s young talent has gotten them through a couple of real tests thus far, and they will need to be switched on to come out on top in a clash they are expected to win. Palmerston should give it a proper crack though, especially with a bottom two clash just around the corner.

SOUTHERN DISTRICTS (3rd, 3-1-1, 139%) v. ST MARY’S (2nd, 4-1, 131%)
Sunday November 10, 4:00pm
Norbuilt Oval

Arguably the game of the round will be left until last as Southern Districts hosts St Mary’s at Norbuilt Oval in Sunday’s only fixture. The Crocs are rising after four undefeated rounds, scraping home by three points over fellow finals hopeful, Darwin in Round 5. Having only gone down to the 5-0 Nightcliff, this game will give neutrals an idea of whether Southern Districts will be the reigning premier’s nearest challenger. The Saints technically hold that mantle at this stage as they sit in second spot at 4-1, with a surprise loss to Tiwi splitting those wins. This will be St Mary’s third-straight bout against a top five opponent having won comfortably in the last two weeks against solid opposition.

The Crocs’ ability to kick big scores has started to come back into the fray of late, with South Australian Sam Barnett providing a focal point for the likes of Ed Barlow and Dylan McLachlan to hit up from further afield. Add the dangerous Beau Schwarze and Will Farrer to the mix and Southern Districts boasts a strong forward 50 once again this week. But if any side can claim having class on each line, it is St Mary’s, and the Saints have seldom been overwhelmed thus far. Possessing weapons of their own in the form of Raphael Clarke, Jake Long, Nick Yarran, and Nate Paredes, the visitors will bring so much valuable experience to Sunday’s clash.

The Saints have improved out of sight since last year and the Crocs are only just reaching that level again, so expect them to meet somewhere in the middle and provide an entertaining game of football.

NTFL Men’s Premier League weekend preview: Round 1 – Grand Final replay highlights TIO round

A GRAND final replay between reigning premiers Nightcliff and runners-up Southern Districts headlines the opening round of Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Men’s Premier League. All four games are played at TIO Stadium with two on Saturday and two on Sunday.

DARWIN BUFFALOES vs. TIWI BOMBERS
Saturday, October 5, 2.30pm
TIO Stadium

It has been a long seven months for Tiwi Bombers, having to stew on a disastrous 20-goal loss in the preliminary final to Southern Districts last season. After a shaky start to the 2018/19 season, the Bombers picked up in the second half to storm home with all the momentum and justify their third placed finish on the table. Unfortunately they could get nowhere near the Crocs on the day and will want to make the best possible start this year with a Round 1 victory over Darwin Buffaloes. The Buffs finished fifth last season and are usually strong starters so could get an early win on the board given the youth that is coming through the Darwin program. Cyril Rioli is by far the biggest name in the NTFL and the Bombers will unleash him at some stage this season, but it will depend on when he wants to run out, however his knowledge as an assistant coach will be invaluable. Outside of the Cyril magic, the Bombers have been steadily improving with experienced former AFL talents in Nathan Djerrkura and Austin Wonaeamirri, as well as Ross Tungatalum, Dion Munkara, Adam Tipungwuti and Jason Puruntatameri, it would be hard to write them off as a premiership contender this season. For Darwin, experienced leader Adam Sambono has been named in the side alongside Antonio James. Joe Anderson has also returned to play in the game with both sides evenly match in terms of talent.

NIGHTCLIFF vs. SOUTHERN DISTRICTS
Saturday, October 5, 7.00pm
TIO Stadium

The match of the round will likely be the grand final replay between the Tigers and Crocs as the Tigers raise their flag from last season in front of their opponents from that day. It should fire the Southern District players up in the prime time night game that will have all spectators on the edge of their seat. Nightcliff was the clear standout team last season, finishing two wins and plenty of percentage ahead of the Crocs, and should look to start the season how they finished off. The Districts received a massive boost with Keegan Dingo re-registered back in the NTFL, but the huge inclusion for the Tigers was Bendigo Football League goalkicking machine Lachlan Sharp named for Round 1, having booted 133 goals from 19 games this year in Victoria. With the likes of former Port Adelaide forward John Butcher and the talented Trent Melville, the reigning premiers will be hard to contain up forward. On the other side, Damian Williams has also been named for Southern Districts having crossed from Darwin and is expected to provide some forward line power for the Crocs to counter that of the Tigers. In what could add some spice to the Grand Final replay, former Tigers, Faron James and Devin Lines are among those in line to switch to the Crocs. Nightcliff go in as favourites given the firepower, but the match is won and lost in the midfield.

WARATAH vs. WANDERERS
Sunday, October 6, 2.30pm
TIO Stadium

Waratah and bottom two side Wanderers go head-to-head on Sunday afternoon with the Warriors seeing this game as a must-win to start off their season. They tended to drop games they should not have last season, while claiming wins against top teams in an inconsistent year. If they can lift their performance when they are not at the top of their game, they will likely challenge any team on their day and give the Wanderers something to worry about in this clash. For the Wanderers, last season was one that was ultimately disappointing with just the six wins, and with three losses against the Warriors, the Wanderers will be very keen to break that winning drought against their opposition. After a surprise year in 2018/19, the Warriors will head into this game as favourites with Abe Ankers and Brodie Carroll leading the charge into the new season, while Liam Patrick and Brett Eddy have been named in the Wanderers’ forward line for the opening game, meaning Waratah cannot take the side too lightly. A tough one to pick the winner.

ST MARY’S vs. PALMERSTON
Sunday, October 6, 5pm
TIO Stadium

In the final game of the round, 2018/19 NTFL wooden spooners take on sixth placed Palmerston who unfortunately missed out on finals narrowly last season. The Magpies lost four of their last five games to tumble out of fifth spot, and split their head-to-head with St Mary’s as both teams recorded a win apiece – the Magpies’ victory coming in Round 17 and one of only two this calendar year. The Saints had just the five wins last season, and fell away in the second half of the season, defeating Darwin Buffaloes by 37 points in Round 15 as their only triumph since December 8. Palmerston recently picked up Frankston Dolphins’ talent Dylan Gordon after he crossed from Darwin, with the fly-in player available for limited games. The Magpies will welcome back Kyle Emery inside 50 with the dominant goalkicker joined by Rodney Baird and Nigel Lockyer as players who continued to cause heachaches for the opposition. Throw in fly-in talent Matt Dennis, as well as Alwyn Davey and Ezekiel Frank and the Magpies could swoop into a finals spot this year and get an early win here. Davey will also have the rare honour of running out alongside his twin sons, Alwyn Jnr and Jayden.

2018/19 NTFL Men’s preview

AFTER previewing the Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Women’s Premier League yesterday, we take a look at the NTFL Men’s Premier League ahead of the season kicking off tonight.

Darwin Buffaloes

Last year: Grand Finalists

Fought tooth-and-nail against Southern Districts, falling an agonising one-point short of a premiership. After making up the numbers in 2016/17 by achieving a finals berth, the Buffaloes showed the right foundations were in place with a terrific season last season. A lot is spoken about how players perform in Grand Finals, and Jarrod Spokes earned praise for his three-goal effort in the Buffaloes’ loss. Jalen Clarke also booted three that day, while Joe Anderson and Timothy Eldridge were also among the best for the losing side.

Round 1: vs. Southern Districts – TIO Stadium, Saturday 7.30pm.

B: 30. Matt Campbell – 26. Jordan Briston -12. Kevin Maroney
HB: 14. Cameron Stokes – 29. Todd Miles – 24. Kelvin Williams
C: 5. Adam Sambono – 6. Jarrod Stokes – 9. Tim Eldridge
HF: 2. Steven Anderson – 18. Ishmael Palmer – 28. Darren Shillabeer
F: 1. Dayne Hancock – 27. Ryan O’Sullivan – 15. Jalen Clarke
R: 25. Chris Atkinson – 21. Chris Williams – 10. Bradley Stokes

INT: 13. David Paull – 11. Jackson Clark – 3. Malcolm Rosas – 23. Paul Campbell – 4. Shaun Ah Mat – 8. Shem Williams – 22. Arnold Punch – 7. Liam Philpot – 17. Joe Anderson – 16. Lindsay Thomas

Nightcliff

Last year: Preliminary Final

Knocked out the reigning premiers, St Marys by four goals in the semi-final, but after finishing top two will rue a couple of losses to Darwin in the finals series. Identical to the previous season where the Tigers finished second on the table, but lost to Wanderers twice to just miss out on the decider. They might be disappointed not to have made the final game for the second year running, but there were still some outstanding performers in the season. Cameron Ilett booted 30 goals and was named in the best nine times from 20 matches, while Julian Lockwood and Patrick White were named in the best seven times, booting a combined 50 goals between them. Nathan Brown was also impressive, named in the best nine times from his 20 matches.

Round 1: vs. St Marys – TIO Stadium, Saturday 5pm.

FB: 19. Julian Lockwood – 27. Blake Penny – 21. Caleb Walker
HB: 10. Cameron Illet – 17. Farron James – 2. Gavin Greenoff
C: 31. Hugo Drogemuller – 7. Jess Budarick – 12. Joel Budarick
HF: 3. Jonathan Peris – 30. Jonathon Miles – 22. Josh Carmichael
F: 5. Kaine Riley – 15. Kayle Kossack – 6. Liam Holt-Fitz
R: 4. Mathew Bricknell – 14. Nathan Brown – 28. Patrick Kossack
INT: 11. Phillip Wills – 20. Trent Melville – 24. Tyson Kidney – 9. Wade Derksen – 40. Huw Spring – 1. Ryan Mu – 44. Louis Kossack – 41. Max Stretton – 42. Nick Green – 43. Theo Kortesis – 45. Nathan Russell – 46. Nick Eades

 

Palmerston

Last year: Wooden spoon

It has been a lean couple of years for Palmerston, who finished bottom of the table last season after a seventh placed finish in 2016/17. Had a monumental 10-point win over Darwin in Round 4 at TIO Stadium, but it would prove to be the sole celebration for the year, with just one draw – against Waratah the only other points. AFL Draft hopeful, Rodney Baird shone in an otherwise disappointing season for the Magpies, named among the best on 12 occasions from his 17 matches. Former Bomber, Alwyn Davey booted 12 goals in 16 games and was named in the best five times, while Ezekiel Frank was also impressive. Former Dee, Aaron Davey also played six matches, booting four goals and was named in the best twice.

Round 1: vs. Waratah – Asbuild Oval, Friday, 7pm.

FB: 9. Rodney Baird – 17. Ezekiel Frank – 21. Jamie Damaso
HB: 6. Jacon Lampton – 28. Nigel Jnr Lockyer – 36. Aaron Davey
C: 22. Clarence Baird – 4. Mitch Bunworth – 11. Lochlan Dhurrkay
HF: 1. Ralph Dhamarrandji – 14. Sam Autio – 5. Sam Talbot
F: 10. Aaron Lonergan – 24. Kyle Emery – 48. Jonty Patrick
R: 29. Matthew Dennis – 12. James Rhodes – 8. Nathan Deans
INT: 3. Alwyn Davey – 15. Bailey Cripps – 19. David McCorkill – 18. Hayden Brown – 45. Jordan Thompson – 32. Kendall Garling – 35. Kris Brown – 2. Misha Jnr Perry – 7. Noel Collins – 16. Riley Judd – 20. Ryan Warfe – 26. Sandy Brock

 

St Marys

Last year: Semi-Final

After winning its 32nd premiership in season 2016/17, St Marys dropped back to the pack. The Saints made the semi-final after knocking off Tiwi Bombers, but were defeated by Nightcliff by 24 points. Peter Macfarlane was deadly in front of goals last season, piling on 45 majors in just 11 games, with at least two goals in every game, and seven-goal hauls against Palmerston and Darwin Buffaloes. Jack Musgrove was also impressive with 24 goals from 13 games, while former Gippsland Power hard nut, Nathaniel Paredes booted 17 goals from 14 games, and was named in the best nine times. Ryan Smith impressed the coaches enough to be named in the best 11 times from 17 matches, while former Blue, Jarryd Cachia was a key inclusion for the Saints, named in the best seven times from eight games.

Round 1: vs. Nightcliff – TIO Stadium, Saturday 5pm.

B: 1. Jacob Long – 28. Zachary Robinson – 22. Denny Musgrove
HB: 14. Thomas Davies – 8. Raphael Clarke – 34. Jimmy McMurtrie
C: 39. Mitch Musgrove – 32. Chris Parris – 16. Keenan Smith Thompson
HF: 42. James Quinn – 24. Kieran Delahunty – 37. Callum Flanagan
F: 25. Anthony Hale – 18. Mathias Liddy – 33. Maurice Jnr Rioli
R: 15. Jack Long – 20. Ryan Smith – 7. Tylah Saunders
INT: 38. Benjamin Taylor – 40. Braith Hodges – 19. John Athanasiou – 30. Jordan Cullen – 17. Justin Simmonds – 31. Marius Clarke – 11. Nicholas Yarran – 21. Tom Frawley

 

Southern Districts

Last year: Premiers

The second newest NTFL club won its third premiership last season with a remarkable one-point victory over Darwin Buffaloes. The Crocs joined Nightcliff and Palmerston on three premierships a piece, and will hope to move one clear of them if they can achieve back-to-back flags. In terms of top players last season, William Farrer was the key up forward with 55 goals from 16 games, which included an eight-goal haul against Darwin Buffaloes at TIO Stadium. Former Essendon player, Leroy Jetta booted 25 goals from 11 games, while Beau Schwarze finished the season with 18 majors. Ed Barlow was named in the Crocs’ best seven times, one more than Charles McAdam.

Round 1: vs. Darwin Buffaloes – TIO Stadium, Saturday 7.30pm.

B: 25. Daniel Wehrung – 30. Josh Innes – 10. Lionel Ogden
HB: 8. Michael Bowden – 2. Sam Smith – 17. Zac Smith
C: 34. Charles McAdam – 13. Clinton Gallio – 16. Liam McGregor
HF: 29. Matthew Rosier – 21. Bradley Vallance – 36. Lee Dale
F: 7. Leroy Jetta – 27. William Farrer – 6. Darren Abbott
R: 18. Tim Hanna – 9. Dean Staunton – 1. Rory O’Brien
INT: 31. Dylan Barry – 5. Dylan McLachlan – 14. Beau Schwarze – 15. James Bell – 32. Brodie Lake – 3. Brandon Rusca – 33. Keenan Lake – 23. Richard Tambling – 28. Steven Stewart – 4. Shane Thorne – 37. Jack Palmer

 

Tiwi Bombers

Last year: Elimination final

A terrific achievement to make the finals last season after a one-win wooden spoon effort in 2016/17, the Bombers were outclassed by reigning premiers St Mary’s in the elimination final, but showed serious improvement in season 2017/18. Ross Tungatalum booted two goals in the elimination finals loss, while forward, Simon Munkara was named among the best along with Jason and Gary Puruntatameri. The newest club in the competition will be looking to build on their season last year with another strong showing in 2018/19.

Round 1: vs. Wanderers – TIO Stadium, Saturday 2.30pm.

B: 23. Kim Kantilla – 24. Jake Best – 7. Ross Tungatalum
HB: 39. Austin Wonaeamirri – 3. Dion Munkara – 30. Aaron Daniels
C: 21. Tom Schneider – 16. Harmit Singh – 6. Patrick Heenan
HF: 11. Travis Tambling – 48. Harley Puruntatameri – 40. Sylvani Babui
F: 18. Michael Dunn – 2. Jason Puruntatameri – 20. Roy Farmer
R: 5. Simon Munkara – 36. Jack Munkara – 43. Albert Tipungwuti
INT: 37. Keiran Apuatimi – 27. Pio Puautjimi – 26. Peter Apuatimi – 17. Adam Tipungwuti – 4. Alastair Darcy – 46. Ben Ullungura – 1. Jeffrey Puruntatameri – 32. Joseph Burke – 47. Juan Orsto – 12. Norman Pangiraminni – 19. Michael Wilson – 29. James Warlipinni

 

Wanderers

Last year: Seventh

Finished the year with five wins and a draw to clearly sit above Palmerston, but not quite good enough for finals. After going down in the decider to St Mary’s in 2016/17, the Eagles would hope they can bounce back from last season to be back in contention in 2018/19. Of the top performers last season for the Eagles, Kyle Chapple booted 16 goals in seven games, while Davin Ferreira and Thomas Motlop both finished the season with 14 majors. Former Port Adelaide listed player, Brett Eddy and former Gold Coast Suns player, Liam Patrick were also among those running out for the Eagles last year.

Round 1: vs. Tiwi Bombers – TIO Stadium, Saturday 2.30pm.

B: 20. Doug Mansell – 25. Shaun Hodor – 17. David Kruse
HB: 21. Daniel Weetra – 12. Tyler Brimacombe – 24. Braedon McLean
C: 4. Joseph Salmon – 2. Jarred Erlandson – 5. Simon Bates
HF: 3. Keelan Fejo – 29. Liam Patrick – 19. Joel Jeffrey
FF: 18. Jobastin Priest – 33. Shannon Motlop – 13. Beau O’Connell
R: 30. Josh Wilson – 10. Marcus Totham – 11. Nook Mansell
INT: 28. Joel Walsh – 6. Patrick Fairhead – 22. Tyrell Lui – 32. Zac Millar – 8. Beau Cubillo – 14. Joel Cubillo – 23. Jayden Adams – 15. Rhys Griffiths – 7. Darren Singh – 26. Jonas Niki – 27. Greg Hunt – 16. Ronald Fejo

 

Waratah

Last year: Sixth

Just missed out on finals for a second consecutive year in 2017/18 after a sixth placed finish, four points shy of finalists, Tiwi Bombers. Thereabouts last season, the Warriors will be keen to take the next step and play finals football in 2018/19. The Warriors shared around their goals last season, with Kim Kantilla leading the way with 24 from 14 games, while Brock Orval and former Melbourne forward, Michael Newton booting 16 majors. Newton particularly impressed, having played just four games to reach the total. Orval, James Wray, Sam Weddell and Timothy Mosquito were all named among the Warriors best five times.

Round 1: vs. Palmerston – Asbuild Oval, Friday, 7pm.

B: 1. Bailey Zobel – 29. Alexander Aurrichio – 5. Brock Orval
HB: 25. Henry Kerinua – 27. Jordan Gardener – 6. Jack Hatcher
C: 4. Fraser Jennings – 8. Cameron Barrett – 18. Liam O’Connor
HF: 14. Kevin Thompson – 23. Justin Beugelaar – 10. Abraham Ankers
F: 30. Samuel Weddell – 12. Brendan Minkulk – 26. Samuel Flanegan
R: 17. Zach Westerberg – 7. Joel Stevens – 24. Coen Hutt
INT: 28. Brad Rayson – 3. Brodie Carroll – 2. James Arratta – 21. Jamie McCarthy – 11. Lachlan Collihole – 22. Martin Sargeant – 20. Matthew Blake – 19. Nick Gooch – 15. Ryan Bulluss – 9. Samuel Godden – 13. Timothy Mosquito – 16. Tom Arundell