Tag: ntfl mens premier league

Weekend preview: 2020/21 NTFL Men’s Premier League – Semi Finals

THE 2020/21 Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Men’s Premier League finals series rolls on this weekend, with two exciting semi final match-ups set to take place at TIO Stadium on Saturday evening. St Mary’s will look to avoid a straight sets exit when it takes on Waratah, while Nightcliff enters the postseason against Wanderers as they play off for grand final qualification. We take you through the key numbers and players in both games ahead of what should be a cracking day of NT football.

SEMI FINAL 1

St Mary’s vs. Waratah
Saturday March 6, 4:15pm
TIO Stadium

St Mary’s will look to avoid a straight sets finals exit when it takes on Waratah in Saturday’s first semi final, which serves as a knockout bout. The Saints ranked second during the home-and-away rounds and began to hit hot form in the second half of the season, but were stunned by a surging Wanderers side last week. Waratah showed its potential with a terrific win over Darwin in their elimination final meeting, but will have to produce plenty of class to overcome the green machine. The Saints have taken out all three meetings between these sides in 2020/21, progressively lifting the margin with each game to hold an aggregate lead of 85 points. That will matter little if they fail to properly reload and rebound, with Tahs as good as any side on paper. Expect a physical contest in midfield and some tall timber to impact up forward.

H&A Records:
St Mary’s:
14-4 (2nd)
Waratah:
10-8 (4th)

Last week:
St Mary’s: lost to Wanderers by 20 
Waratah: 
beat Darwin by 26

Last 5:
St Mary’s: 4-1 
Waratah: 
2-3

2020/21 meetings:
Round 7 – St Mary’s by 13
Round 11 – St Mary’s by 24
Round 16 – St Mary’s by 48

Most games:
St Mary’s: Jacob Long (19)
Waratah:
Brodie Carroll, Nicholas Gooch (19)

Most goals:
St Mary’s:
Jack Landt, Jackson Calder (30)
Waratah:
Cameron Arnold (20)

SEMI FINAL 1

Nightcliff vs. Wanderers
Saturday March 6, 6:45pm
TIO Stadium

Minor premier, Nightcliff continues its premiership defence by entering this year’s finals series against Wanderers on Saturday night. The Tigers have once again proven the competition’s benchmark this season and after a week off, remain the team to beat. Last week’s bye could work one of two ways; either giving Nightcliff an edge in terms of freshness, or seeing the Tigers beaten to the punch early. Wanderers’ form in its qualifying final win came as a surprise to some, with the Muk Muks’ drive in transition and potent forwardline difficult to stop. Nightcliff beat Wanderers in their Round 3 meeting, but a thrilling draw seven rounds later is perhaps more a sighter of how things may pan out here. The Eagles will be without defender Braedon McLean through suspension, which could prove costly in their quest to knock off Nightcliff.

H&A Records:
Nightcliff:
15-2-1
Wanderers: 
12-5-1

Last week:
Nightcliff: Bye
Wanderers: 
beat St Mary’s by 20

Last 5:
Nightcliff: 5-0
Wanderers:
3-2

2020/21 meetings:
Round 3 – Nightcliff by 10
Round 10 – draw

Most games:
Nightcliff: Dom Brew, Kyle Emery, Shaun Wilson (18)
Wanderers: Brodie Newman, Dane McFarlane (19)

Most goals:
Nightcliff:
Kyle Emery (56)
Wanderers:
Brett Eddy (69)

Image Credit: Celina Whan/AFLNT Media

Weekend preview: 2020/21 NTFL Men’s Premier League – Finals Week 1

FINALS time is finally upon us after 18 home-and-away rounds in the Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Men’s Premier League, with two exciting fixtures set to take place at TIO Stadium on Saturday evening. A high-stakes elimination final bout sees Waratah take on Darwin, while Wanderers and St Mary’s lock horns in the weekend’s qualifying final. We take you through the key numbers and players in both games ahead of what should be a cracking day of NT football.

>> Finals Preview: NTFL Women’s Premier League

ELIMINATION FINAL

Waratah vs. Darwin Buffaloes
Saturday February 27, 4:15pm
TIO Stadium

Waratah and Darwin will do battle for the second time in two weeks on Saturday, as they meet for a high-stakes knockout bout at TIO Stadium. Only percentage could separate the records of these two sides (10-8) after 18 home-and-away rounds, but the Buffaloes have come up trumps twice in their three meetings with Waratah this season. Most recently, their Round 17 clash proved that Darwin can overcome any of the top sides on their day. On the other hand, Waratah’s 0-3 run into finals will be of slight concern, with all three defeats coming at the hands of top three opposition. Tahs have a formidable side on paper and their big names will have to lift against a wily Darwin side here. The Buffs have endured some injury concerns of late, but have proven many a doubter wrong thus far in 2020/21.

Records:
Waratah:
10-8 (4th)
Darwin: 10-8 (5th)

Last 5:
Waratah: 2-3
Darwin: 3-2

2020/21 meetings:
Round 4
 – Darwin by 6
Round 8 – Waratah by 23
Round 17 – Darwin by 19

Most games:
Waratah: Brodie Carroll, Nicholas Gooch (18)
Darwin: Brodie Foster, Kevin Maroney, Nick Lowden, Timothy Eldridge (17)

Most goals:
Waratah:
Cameron Arnold, Jae McGrath (18)
Darwin: Brodie Foster (49)

QUALIFYING FINAL

St Mary’s vs. Wanderers
Saturday February 27, 6:45pm
TIO Stadium

St Mary’s and Wanderers meet for the second time in as many weeks when they face off at TIO Stadium on Saturday night, with a semi final clash against Nightcliff up for grabs. The Saints sent a resounding message to the competition with a 79-point thumping of their weekend opponents last time out, making it two wins from three games against the Muk Muks this season. With 11 wins in their last 12 outings, the Saint have been in scary form lately. The Eagles have gotten points when expected of them and while they have been competitive against top opposition, have also fallen short on occasion. St Mary’s running game and hardness at the ball will serve well in finals, but Wanderers is a dangerous side with plenty of star names on each line and a spearhead forward who is difficult to stop.

Records:
St Mary’s:
14-4 (2nd)
Wanderers:
12-5-1 (3rd)

Last 5:
St Mary’s: 4-1
Wanderers:
3-2

2020/21 meetings:
Round 2
 – Wanderers by 26
Round 12 – St Mary’s by 38
Round 18 – St Mary’s by 79

Most games:
St Mary’s: Jacob Long (18)
Wanderers:
Brodie Newman, Dane McFarlane (18)

Most goals:
St Mary’s:
Jackson Calder (29)
Wanderers:
Brett Eddy (69)

Most times in best:
St Mary’s:
Dylan Landt (13)
Wanderers: Brodie Newman, Dane McFarlane (12)

Image Credit: Felicity Elliott/AFLNT Media

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

Weekend preview: 2020/21 NTFL Men’s Premier League – Round 18

THE FINAL home-and-away round of Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Men’s Premier League action sees the top four sides tussle in fixtures which could well prove to be postseason previews. Elsewhere, Tiwi’s search for points this season goes down to the wire when the Bombers face Palmerston, while Darwin will hope to hold winning form on the eve of finals when it takes on Southern Districts. That, and more in our weekend preview.

TIWI BOMBERS (8th, 0-17) vs. PALMERSTON MAGPIES (7th, 2-15)
Saturday February 20, 2:30pm
TIO Stadium

Tiwi will get a last-chance dig at securing points in season 2020/21 when it kicks off Round 18 against Palmerston at TIO Stadium on Sunday afternoon. The Bombers have gone winless throughout this campaign and after showing some promise, have taken a turn for the worst since returning after the Christmas break. Palmerston has not fared much better, but boasts two wins this season having bettered the Bombers twice – in Round 2 and 10. The third meeting between these sides has a few ramifications despite what their ladder position suggests; with Palmerston looking to send off coach Alwyn Davey on a positive note, while Tiwi will obviously be out to avoid a season without any premiership points. Expect the undermanned Bombers to take the game on.

SOUTHERN DISTRICTS (6th, 6-11) vs. DARWIN BUFFALOES (5th, 10-7)
Saturday February 20, 4:00pm
Norbuilt Oval

Darwin will look to build a winning streak heading into finals as it takes on Southern Districts at Norbuilt Oval on Saturday. The Buffs have won three of their last four games, including a bounce-back performance against Waratah last week as both sides prepare to face off in next week’s elimination final. Districts’ fate has already been decided as they just missed the top five cut, but remain the best of the rest in this year’s competition. The Crocs’ only victory in the last six rounds came against Tiwi, with overcoming stiff top-end opposition proving the thorn in their side this campaign. Darwin has taken out both fixtures between these sides in 2020/21, including as recently as Round 14, so will hope for a clean sweep and strong run into finals.

ST MARY’S (2nd, 13-4) vs. WANDERERS (3rd, 12-4-1)
Saturday February 20, 5:00pm
TIO Stadium

Second spot is up for grabs as St Mary’s and Wanderers lock horns at TIO Stadium on Saturday evening, with a mental edge also on the line ahead of their qualifying final clash next week. Both sides have already locked in a second finals chance after stellar seasons, most consistently putting their hands up as Nightcliff’s closest premiership rival. Plenty will be revealed as they go head-to-head for a third time this season, with the ledger all square at one win apiece. The Saints come in riding a serious wave of form, winning 10 of their last 11 games to catapult right into the flag hunt. Wanderers has gotten the job done with wins in four of its last five outings, but the Muk Muks will have to click up a gear if they are to live up to what should be a finals-like intensity.

WARATAH (4th, 10-7) vs. NIGHTCLIFF (1st, 14-2-1)
Saturday February 20, 6:30pm
Gardens Oval

Minor premier Nightcliff has lifted the intensity in the lead-up to finals, and will have Waratah firmly in its sights as the two sides meet at Gardens Oval on Saturday night. The Tigers have again been dominant this season and look to be peaking at just the right time; boasting a nine-game unbeaten run and wins well in excess of 100 points over the last three weeks. Waratah’s true premiership credentials have been tested in that time, with the Warriors’ four-game win streak halted by two consecutive losses against finals-bound opponents. Tahs have been competitive against Nightcliff in two losses this season, but will need to be at their absolute best to overcome the yellow and black army which has been in devastating touch of late.

Image Credit: Aaron Black/AFLNT Media

Weekend preview: 2020/21 NTFL Men’s Premier League – Round 17

THE top five sides will likely be finalised in Round 17 of the Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Men’s Premier League, with the minor premiership also in Nightcliff’s sights as finals time draws ever closer. Waratah and Darwin are the only teams within the finals spots set to face off this weekend, while the remaining postseason hopefuls will look to flex their muscle against lowly opposition. That, and more in our preview of the penultimate regular season round.

TIWI BOMBERS (8th, 0-16) vs. ST MARY’S (2nd, 12-4)
Saturday February 13, 2:30pm
TIO Stadium

St Mary’s will look to strengthen its hold on a second finals chance when it takes on Tiwi at TIO Stadium on Saturday afternoon, with time running out for the Bombers to claim their first points in season 2020/21. The Saints have been one of the form sides of the competition lately and it has shown with nine wins in their last 10 outings. Conversely, Tiwi has been increasingly undermanned and outgunned since coming back from the break, tagged with an average losing margin of over 140 points in that time. This will be the third time these teams meet this season, presenting an opportunity for St Mary’s to complete a clean sweep. With an average winning margin of 65 points against Tiwi during this campaign, the Saints should have no issue putting their opponents away once again here.

SOUTHERN DISTRICTS (6th, 6-10) vs. NIGHTCLIFF (1st, 13-2-1)
Saturday February 13, 4:00pm
Norbuilt Oval

Nightcliff has one hand on the minor premiership, with the opportunity to secure it and end Southern Districts’ finals hopes in one fell swoop presenting as the two teams meet at Norbuilt Oval on Saturday. The reigning premiers have been at their typical best this year and look to be roaring at just the right time, going undefeated in their last eight outings while also taking out their last two games by a combined 279 points. Districts have been the best of the rest among the bottom three with six wins and boast a surprise win over Nightcliff this season. The ledger between these sides sits evenly at 1-1, with this tiebreaker acting as a useful finals warm-up for the Tigers. That being the case, they should trump the Crocs, but cannot take anything for granted given their opponents’ recent inclusions.

DARWIN (5th, 9-7) vs. WARATAH (4th, 10-6)
Saturday February 13, 5:00pm
TIO Stadium

Darwin and Waratah do battle in the weekend’s only top five clash, locking horns at TIO Stadium on Saturday evening in what should be a belter. The Warriors have been in hot form of late with two losses to St Mary’s the only blemishes on their record over the past nine rounds. After an inconsistent start to the campaign, they looked primed to challenge come finals time with a formidable squad on paper and their top stars aligning. Darwin has gone 2-2 since the Christmas break but looks like earning the final top five spot regardless of this result, pending Southern Districts’ efforts. Still, the Buffs’ fate remains in their hands should they win here. This is another matchup where the ledger sits even this season, though Waratah should bounce back to take this one out before they potentially meet again in finals.

PALMERSTON (7th, 2-14) vs. WANDERERS (3rd, 11-4-1)
Saturday February 13, 7:00pm
Cazalys Arena

Wanderers remains in the hunt for a top two spot and will hope to pounce on any slip-ups by taking out Palmerston at Cazalys Arena on Saturday night. Magpies coach Alwyn Davey will step down from his role as coach at season’s end, but his side has the chance to send its club legend off on a positive note and add to the two wins they have managed thus far. It will be tough if form is anything to go by, with Palmerston losing its last six games. On the other hand, Wanderers has rocketed into premiership contention this season and despite a couple of hiccups in its last five outings, will look to surge towards the postseason in style. The Muk Muks have beaten Palmy twice already this season by an average margin of 30.5 points, but should look to put an exclamation mark on this one.

Image Credit: Celina Whan/AFLNT Media

2020/21 NTFL Men’s Premier League weekly wrap – Round 16

ROUND 16 of the Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Men’s Premier League saw the top sides flex their muscle as they up the ante just a fortnight out from finals time. Among the big results, St Mary’s and Wanderers defeated fellow finals-bound opponents to keep the top two race alive between them, while Nightcliff has all but officially sewn up another minor premiership and Southern Districts picked up a consolation victory. That, and more in our weekend wrap.

TIWI BOMBERS 1.0 | 3.0 | 3.3 | 5.3 (33)
SOUTHERN DISTRICTS 6.5 | 13.9 | 18.14 | 23.18 (156)

GOALS:

Tiwi: F. Vigona-Daniel 3, B. Rioli 2
Districts: B. Rolfe 5, J. Farrar 4, L. Kiel 3, M. Barlow 2, J. Dahlhaus 2, J. Bailey 2, T. Demamiel, E. Barlow, L. Bugeja, C. McAdam, J. Ross

BEST:

Tiwi: B. Rioli, F. Vigona-Daniel, J. Monigatti, P. Heenan
Districts: E. Barlow, M. Barlow, B. Rolfe, L. Kiel, J. Farrar, J. Dahlhaus

Southern Districts crushed a severely undermanned Tiwi Bombers by 123 points at TIO Stadium on Saturday afternoon, making for the Crocs’ sixth win for the season. While the crushing 23.18 (156) to 5.3 (33) result means little in the grand scheme of things, it serves as a rewarding consolation for Districts, who have clearly been the best side outside of finals contention.

Ed and Michael Barlow were instrumental upon their maiden outings in Crocs colours for the season, putting their side on the front foot from midfield and setting the tone for a dominant victory. Having started with six goals to one in the opening term, the Crocs found themselves over 11 goals ahead at the main break despite some typical Tiwi spark and resistance. In the end, the Bombers simply could not keep up against a Districts side which outclassed and outmuscled them.

Billy Rolfe dined on five goals for the victors, followed closely by Jonathan Farrar‘s four as 11 Crocs found the big sticks. Among them, Luke Kiel and Jay Dahlhaus were terrific, while young gun Tom Demamiel also impressed. Brayden Rioli booted a couple of late majors for Tiwi, with Francis Vigona-Daniel (three goals) the only other goalkicker for their side.

NIGHTCLIFF 4.4 | 12.8 | 17.11 | 26.13 (169)
PALMERSTON 0.1 | 0.1 | 2.2 | 2.2 (14)

GOALS:

Nightcliff: K. Emery 6, B. Filo 4, J. Hammond 3, T. Melville 3, S. Wilson 3, R. Nyhuis 2, A. Moniz Wakefield, N. Brown, P. Wills, D. Bowles, K. Riley
Palmerston: A. McAdam, F. Wilson

BEST:

Nightcliff: K. Emery, B. Filo, R. Nyhuis, S. Wilson, K. Emery, N. Brown
Palmerston: M. Dennis, E. Guthrie, S. Lampton, K. Annand, R. Warfe

Nightcliff’s finals preparation is well and truly cooking with gas, after the Tigers dismantled Palmerston to the tune of 155 points at Nightcliff Oval on Saturday night. The 26.13 (169) to 2.2 (14) result sees the reigning premiers only needing a draw in the last two games to secure yet another minor premiership, while Palmerston remains rooted to second-last spot.

The scoring feast was led by former-Magpie Kyle Emery, who snagged six goals for the victors to bring his season tally up to 54. He was one of 11 goalkickers for Nightcliff, with Nichols Medal winner Brodie Filo (four goals) right among the action alongside the likes of Trent Melville, Shaun Wilson, and Ryan Nyhuis – all of whom also bagged multiple goals. 150-gamer Nathan Brown put the cherry on top of his milestone game with a six-pointer of his own.

Familiar faces in Matthew Dennis and Eric Guthrie again put their hands up in a heavy defeat for Palmerston, who have only overcome the winless Tiwi Bombers this season. While they restricted the Tigers for much of the first term, the floodgates opened swiftly and saw an irresistible amount of traffic pass through in the one-sided encounter.

WARATAH 1.4 | 2.5 | 2.7 | 2.8 (20)
ST MARY’S 2.1 | 6.2 | 9.5 | 10.8 (68)

GOALS:

Waratah: W Collis 2
St Mary’s: J. Landt 3, N. Paredes, D. Landt, J. Calder, S. Rioli, D. Walters, S. Edwards, L. Ferreira

BEST:

Waratah: A. Moloney, W. Collis, B. Carroll, R. Turnbull, D. Collis
St Mary’s: K. Parnell, D. Landt, L. Jellyman-Turner, R. Clarke, J. Landt, N. Paredes

St Mary’s picked up an important win against Waratah on Sunday, excelling despite greasy conditions to salute by 48 points at Gardens Oval and bring an end to Tahs’ four-game winning run. The Warriors’ last loss came against St Mary’s and the Saints continue to be a thorn in their side after the 10.8 (68) to 2.8 (20) result, sending a strong statement of intent with finals just around the corner.

The Saints opened up a 21-point buffer at half time and pulled away thereafter with four goals to Waratah’s nil, showcasing outstanding skill in the wet to outclass their opponents with clean hands and excellent efficiency. Jack Landt finished with a game-high three goals for the victors, while Will Collis (two goals) was Waratah’s sole goalkicker for the day.

Further afield, Nate Paredes set the tone in midfield with desperate contested work, while Lucas Jellyman-Turner was influential on the rebound and Kieren Parnell earned plaudits from his coaches. Alex Moloney was among Waratah’s best alongside Brodie Carroll and Robert Turnbull, as the Warriors’ top two hopes have all but officially been dashed with two games to play.

WANDERERS 1.0 | 2.1 | 5.2 | 8.4 (52)
DARWIN 2.1 | 2.1 | 3.3 | 4.5 (29)

GOALS:

Wanderers: M. Totham 3, B. Eddy 2, J. Cubillo 2, D. McFarlane
Darwin: M. Hagan, M. Campbell, C. Abala, N. Cooper

BEST:

Wanderers: M. Motlop, M. Totham, J. Cubillo, B. McLean, B. Newman, D. McFarlane
Darwin: J. Stokes, K. Williams, B. Archard, K. Maroney, T. Eldridge

Wanderers’ hopes of a top two finish remain alive after the Muk Muks trumped Darwin by 23 points at Tracy Village on Sunday. Scores were tied at half time but the Eagles soared after the main break with six goals to Darwin’s two to run out 8.4 (52) to 4.5 (29) winners and round out a rain-soaked weekend of NTFL action.

Marcus Totham kicked a game-high three goals as both sides were serviced by four respective goalkickers, with Wanderers spearhead Brett Eddy remaining on top of the competition-wide charts after adding another two majors. Fellow Eagle Josh Cubillo was the only other multiple goalkicker, as the likes of Marlon Motlop and Dane McFarlane led from midfield and were backed by Braedon McLean and Brodie Newman in defence.

The ever-reliable Jarrod Stokes was among Darwin’s best, while Kelvin Williams and Ben Achard also put their hands up for the Double Blues. Veteran forward Matt Campbell was again in the goals with a single major, in what were tough conditions for forwards. The Buffs can only move as high as fourth with wins in their final two outings, but have guaranteed a finals spot.

Image Credit: Felicity Elliott/AFLNT Media

Weekend preview: 2020/21 NTFL Men’s Premier League – Round 15

ROUND 15 of the Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Men’s Premier League got underway on Tuesday, as Waratah defeated Wanderers by 38 points to take out the Foundation Cup. There are still three games left to play out though, with all of them scheduled for Saturday in what could be the day this season’s finalists are confirmed. Nightcliff, St Mary’s, and Darwin will be out to strengthen their standings in the top five and forge some winning form in the last month of action before finals.

Nightcliff (1st, 11-2-1) vs. Tiwi Bombers (8th, 0-14)
Saturday January 30, 2:30pm
TIO Stadium

Nightcliff meets Tiwi at TIO Stadium on Saturday afternoon in a battle between first and last, with the winless Bombers still searching for their first points of the season. Rooted to the bottom of the table, Tiwi has lost its first two games after the Christmas break by a combined 331 points, conceding 426 points in said outings to see their tally of 50-plus point losses rocket to nine overall. On the other hand, Nightcliff is riding a six-game undefeated run and has a wealth of prime movers who should be full of confidence after the Northern Territory’s representative triumph last week. The previous meeting between these two sides came in Round 9 as the Tigers got up by just 15 points, but signs are looking ominous as they prepare to lock horns once more. Tiwi has something to play for as club stalwarts Paddy Heenan and Bradley Palipuaminni play their 200th games, but expect the reigning premiers to show no mercy against a depleted Bombers outfit.

St Mary’s (4th, 10-4) vs. Southern Districts (6th, 5-9)
Saturday January 30, 5:00pm
TIO Stadium

An opportunity to move up to second spot beckons for St Mary’s when it faces Southern Districts at TIO Stadium on Saturday evening, with the Crocs fighting to stay alive in season 2020/21. The Saints had their seven-game winning run ended last time out by Nightcliff, but remain one of the form teams of the competition heading into the final month of home-and-away action. Districts are all but officially out of finals contention having lost five of their last six games, sitting three games out of the top five with just four rounds left. The Saints got up by 38 points in the Round 9 reverse fixture and with double the amount of wins as their weekend opponents, will come in as deserving favourites. The pressure of needing to be perfect will inevitably either spur on or freeze Southern Districts, making for an intriguing end to the Crocs’ campaign – starting here.

Palmerston Magpies (7th, 2-12) vs. Darwin Buffaloes (5th, 8-6)
Saturday January 30, 7:00pm
Cazalys Arena

Darwin will be out to cement finals qualification when it travels to face Palmerston at Cazalys Arena on Saturday night, with some top five jostling still to do. The Buffs are three games clear in fifth but two games off fourth spot, making it almost certain they will finish the regular season as they are. They still have a sniff at the top two though and will look for a big percentage booster in this clash. The lowly Palmerston has only beaten Tiwi thus far (twice) to sit seventh, suffering four-straight losses of late. Having already twice gone down to Darwin this season for a combined margin of 88 points, the Magpies will be up against it once again here. They can compete when at their best, but the Double Blues comfortably have their measure.

Featured Image: Darwin and Palmerston players fly for the ball | Credit: Celina Whan/AFLNT Media

2020/21 NTFL Men’s Premier League weekly wrap – Round 14

BLOWOUTS were balanced by a couple of close contests in Round 14 of the Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Men’s Premier League, with the mixed bag of results going a long way to confirming the top five with four rounds left to play. Waratah and Darwin shut the door on the top three with important wins, while Wanderers notched its highest-ever score and St Mary’s remained in the race for top two status. All that, and more in our weekend wrap.

TIWI BOMBERS | 1.2 | 3.5 | 6.8 | 7.9 (51)
WANDERERS | 10.4 | 19.11 | 26.15 | 37.19 (241)

GOALS:

Tiwi: D. Munkara 2, H. Puruntatameri 2, S. Puruntatameri, N. Hooker, A Mungatopi
Wanderers: B. Eddy 9, S. Bates 6, S. Mannagh 5, J. Cubillo 4, E. Simpson 3, M. Totham 2, J. Motlop 2, B. Hodgson 2, S. Tipiloura, J. Erlandson, D. McFarlane, D. Thompson

BEST:

Tiwi: H. Puruntatameri, D. Munkara, J. Monigatti, P. Heenan, J. Puruntatameri
Wanderers: S. Mannagh, D. McFarlane, B. Eddy, S. Bates, B. Hodgson, E. Simpson, J. Cubillo

A 190-point blowout saw Wanderers signal its intent heading into the pointy end of the season, with the club’s highest-ever score of 37.19 (241) making for formidable reading against Tiwi’s 7.9 (51). The Muk Muks burst out of the blocks with 10 goals to the Bombers’ one in the opening term, before adding no less than seven in each of the remaining quarters to build the fearsome final margin. Brett Eddy was the main destroyer, helping himself to his second haul of nine goals for the season and backed well by partner-in-crime Simon Bates (six). Midfield guns Shaun Mannagh and Josh Cubillo also combined for nine majors, while fellow engine room operator Dane McFarlane was at his dominant best. Combined, they easily outclassed a young Tiwi side which lacked raw starpower. Dion Munkara and Harley Puruntatameri booted two goals apiece as the best Bombers afield, with bigman Jack Mongiatti also continuing his rich vein of form despite the Bombers’ 13th-straight defeat.

WARATAH | 5.2 | 11.8 | 17.13 | 24.18 (162)
PALMERSTON | 2.3 | 2.4 | 3.5 | 5.6 (36)

GOALS:

Waratah: A. Ankers 5, K. Kantilla 3, R. Turnbull 2, B. Orval 2, B. Carroll 2, A. Kirby 2, T. Mosquito 2, H. Kerinaiua 2, J. Sutton, M. Blake, J. McGrath, J. Simson
Palmerston: M. Rankine 3, J. Harvey, S. Lampton

BEST:

Waratah: R. Turnbull, C. Searle, T. Mosquito, H. Kerinaiua, A. Moloney
Palmerston: E. Guthrie, S. Brock, K. Annand, A. McAdam, T. Lui

Waratah stood up at both ends to easily account for Palmerston, riding home to the tune of 130 points at TIO Stadium on Saturday. The Warriors have somewhat gone under the radar in their top five tilt but made a statement with the 24.18 (162) to 5.6 (36) victory, proving their scoring prowess and the killer instinct to run their opponents into the ground. A potent Waratah midfield was spearheaded by Abe Ankers, who booted a game-high five goals in the winning effort. Robert Turnbull was also outstanding through the middle while Callum Searle went to work on the rebound and Kim Kantilla notched three majors as part of Tahs’ 12 individual goalkickers (eight multiple). Matthew Rankine was Palmerston’s main source of scoring with three goals, accounting for half of his side’s total. Eric Guthrie proved typically solid as young defenders Sandy Brock and Tyrrell Lui were kept busy in the heavy loss.

SOUTHERN DISTRICTS | 2.3 | 4.4 | 6.6 | 9.10 (64)
DARWIN BUFFALOES | 4.1 | 6.3 | 8.6 | 11.10 (76)

GOALS:

Districts: L. Ogden 2, J. Dahlhaus 2, J. Sexton 2, B. Rolfe, K. Jones, J. Ross
Darwin: M. Campbell 6, B. Foster 3, R. Pendlebury, S. Ahmat,

BEST:

Districts: J. Clark, L. Ogden, J. Sexton, J. Dahlhaus, J. Ross
Darwin: M. Campbell, R. Pendlebury, B. Foster, K. Kossack, C. Atkinson

Darwin all but sealed the top five with a month left to play after downing Southern Districts by 12 points, putting the Buffaloes three games clear in the finals places. The two-goal margin was established early on and remained consistent throughout the scrappy contest, as the Double Blues answered every challenge to run out 11.10 (76) to 9.10 (64) victors. Veteran Buff Matt Campbell continues to thrive up forward and notched six goals to be the best player afield. Brodie Foster again proved his reliability inside 50 with another three majors, while Lionel Ogden, Jay Dahlhaus, and Jack Sexton all snared two for the Crocs in a more even spread of contributors. Ryan Pendlebury was another important figure for Darwin and found a scoring opportunity, also featuring among the best players alongside 100-gamer Kayle Kossack.

NIGHTCLIFF | 3.1 | 4.3 | 4.6 | 5.10 (40)
ST MARY’S | 0.4 | 2.9 | 3.11 | 3.13 (31)

GOALS:

Nightcliff: L. Holt-Fitz 2, S. Wilson, R. Mu, J. Butcher
St Mary’s: J. Calder, B. Tedcastle, J. Williams

BEST:

Nightcliff: T. Boyd, J. Peris, A. Jorgensen, S. Wilson, P. Wills, B. Filo
St Mary’s: D. Landt, S. Edwards, J. Calder, K. Parnell, M. Wilkinson, T. Saunders

Only eight goals were kicked between Nightcliff and St Mary’s as the Tigers adapted best to run out 11-point winners in a rain-effected contest on Sunday night. The reigning premiers brought their typically skilful style in the opening term to build a defining three-goal lead before the heavens opened and both teams were made to get their hands dirty. Despite scoring pressure from the Saints, Nightcliff held on to win 5.10 (40) to 3.13 (31) in the low-scoring slog. Tom Boyd was instrumental for Nightcliff as the dependable Shaun Wilson and Phillip Wills also played their part, while Liam Holt-Fitz finished as the game’s sole multiple goalkicker (two). Dylan Landt continued his excellent season for St Mary’s, named best afield in front of the likes of Shaun Edwards and Tylah Saunders. Jackson Calder was another to stand up in difficult conditions, finding the big sticks on one occasion.

Featured Image: Waratah were big winners over Palmerston in Round 14 | Credit: Felicity Elliott/AFLNT Media

Weekend preview: 2020/21 NTFL Men’s Premier League – Round 12

THE FINAL round of Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Men’s Premier League action for 2020 is set to play out this weekend, before the eight sides enjoy a well earned mid-season break. A clash between Wanderers and St Mary’s looms as the pick of the bunch, with both sides boasting eight wins and looking to stake their claim as Nightcliff’s greatest threat. Meanwhile, the remaining top five teams are set to take on those currently below them in an opportunity for each to strengthen their positions before the upcoming interval. That, and more in our Round 12 preview.

Darwin Buffaloes (5th, 6-5) vs. Tiwi Bombers (8th, 0-11)
Saturday December 19, 2:30pm
TIO Stadium

Darwin will be looking to get its finals push back on track when it takes on Tiwi at TIO Stadium on Saturday, marking the teams’ first meeting since Round 1. The Buffs have lost four of their last five games but put enough early runs on the board to remain among the finals places as it stands. Conversely, Tiwi remains winless after 11 games and despite a couple of recent close calls, were trumped by over 50 points once again last week.

The potential absence of star recruits Mason De Wit and Fletcher Carroll spells trouble for the Bombers, who will have plenty to cover in defence and through midfield. Dion Munkara and Brayden Rioli have been named among the squad, so could provide the flexibility Tiwi is after as magnets furiously shuffle. Darwin is set to regain some experience in Matt Campbell, while Joey Collinson adds some further firepower for the Double Blues. Young guns Antonio James and Cade Abala are among those pushing for a call-up.

Nightcliff (1st, 8-2-1) vs. Southern Districts (6th, 5-6)
Saturday December 19, 5:00pm
TIO Stadium

Two teams which returned to winning ways last week meet on Saturday evening, as Nightcliff plays host to Southern Districts at TIO Stadium. The Tigers have gone 2-1-1 in their last four outings, with that one loss coming at the hands of their weekend adversaries. The Crocs lost consecutive games after the breakthrough win, but convincingly returned to winning form last week against Palmerston and will look to again put pressure on the top five. Not many teams beat Nightcliff twice in a season though, so the Crocs are up against it.

The back-to-back reigning premiers have had most of their stars settle into the lineup, with their raft of depth options rotating through. Daniel Bowles is a big name in line for an immediate return, while Zach Brain has been named at half-back and Luca Goonan again finds himself teased with top flight selection, named on an extended bench. Will Farrer is in the mix for Southern Districts, while the likes of Brandon Rusca and Ed Barlow will be keen to hit the ground running after missing last week’s big win.

Wanderers (2nd, 8-2-1) vs. St Mary’s (3rd, 8-3)
Sunday December 20, 4:00pm
Tracy Village

The game of the round poises Wanderers and St Mary’s against each other, two sides with eight wins under their belts and vying for a top two spot. The Muk Muks came up trumps in their previous meeting with St Mary’s, winning by 26 points back in Round 2. Things look a touch different this time around, with the Saints riding a five-game winning run while Wanderers have gone 1-1-1 in its last three outings, bouncing back last time out against Tiwi. Only half a game separates these two teams, with Nightcliff still the team to beat atop the table.

St Mary’s is set to be buoyed by a huge state league coup in star South Fremantle midfielder Haiden Schloithe. He only adds to the Saints’ fearsome engine room, which looks likely to combat Wanderers’ run with a combative ground level game. Leader Raphael Clarke is also in line to return to the top flight, with the Saints side settling nicely. Liam Patrick has been named for Wanderers, while Shaun Mannagh looms as a massive inclusion. Brett Eddy leaves a big hole in Wanderers’ front six, but the likes of Simon Bates and Round 11 Rising Star Jesse Motlop should handily pick up the slack.

Palmerston (7th, 2-9) vs. Waratah (4th, 6-5)
Sunday December 20, 6:30pm
Cazalys Arena

Waratah will be looking to solidify its standing within the top five when it travels to face Palmerston at Cazalys Arena on Sunday night. The Warriors had previously flown under the radar as a premiership threat, but notched wins over some of the top sides to gain a positive record thus far. Palmerston has beaten Tiwi twice but remains embedded in the bottom three, with the previous meeting between these sides ending in a 69-point drubbing in favour of Waratah.

Some more positive news for Palmerston comes via its team sheet, with bookends Sandy Brock and Daniel Stafford set to take the field. Brock should free up Tyrrell Lui down back, while Stafford will likely take a scoring load off Nigel Lockyer Jnr. Aaron and Alwyn Davey have been named on the extended bench. Waratah’s Jake Wild looks set for a Premier League debut, while Abe Ankers looms as a big inclusion to run through midfield alongside recent recruit, Darcy Lang.

Feature Image: Wanderers’ Brodie Newman gets a kick away | Credit: Felicity Elliott/AFLNT Media

2020/21 NTFL Men’s Premier League weekly wrap – Round 11

BIG wins were the order of the day in Round 11 of the Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Men’s Premier League, as three of the four games were decided by over 50 points. While Wanderers and Southern Districts beat up on the bottom two sides, Nightcliff was back to its brutal best against fellow top five contender, Darwin, while the closest game of the round saw St Mary’s edge Waratah by an even four goals. All that, and more in our weekend wrap.

WANDERERS | 6.2 | 14.3 | 19.5 | 23.6 (144)
TIWI BOMBERS | 2.2 | 5.5 | 9.10 | 13.13 (91)

GOALS:

Wanderers: B. Eddy 9, S. Bates 3, S. Tipiloura 3, J. Motlop 3, E. Simpson 2, J. Cubillo, D. Braun, M. Motlop
Tiwi: A. Sambono 3, N. Ebinger 2, T. Taurua, B. Kantilla, J. Munkara, R. Tungatalum, J. Tipiloura, P. Heenan, A. Tipungwuti, L. Gill-Renouf

BEST:

Wanderers: B. Newman, B. Eddy, D. McFarlane, S. Bates, B. O’Connell, J. Cubillo
Tiwi: J. Monigatti, F. Carroll, M. De Wit, A. Sambono, A. Tipungwuti

A clinical Wanderers side momentarily moved to top spot with its 53-point thrashing of Tiwi on Saturday afternoon, spearheaded by Brett Eddy‘s nine-goal haul. The Muk Muks were already almost nine goals clear by half time, a lead which was sustained come the final siren as their 23.6 (144) easily trumped Tiwi’s 13.13 (91), despite there only being a difference of three scoring shots between the sides. The likes of Beau O’Connell and Josh Cubillo worked to supply Wanderers’ eight individual scorers, which also included Simon Bates (three goals) and debutant Jesse Motlop, who also snared three majors and is a Fremantle NGA prospect for next year. Adam Sambono matched the feat for Tiwi as the Bombers’ main source of inspiration in the front half, while Mason De Wit was kept busy down back and Fletcher Carroll had plenty to do alongside Adam Tipungwuti in midfield.

SOUTHERN DISTRICTS | 8.2 | 13.3 | 14.5 | 16.10 (106)
PALMERSTON MAGPIES | 2.1 | 3.1 | 4.2 | 5.3 (33)

GOALS:

Districts: J. Ross 4, A. Boseley 2, B. Vallance 2, J. Tsitas, M. Bowden, B. Rolfe, J. Dahlhaus, L. Kiel, J. Farrar, D. Staunton, M. McLinden
Palmerston: T. Kunoth 2, R. Armstrong, N. Lockyer Jnr, C. Williams

BEST:

Districts: D. Staunton, J. Bailey, J. Clark, D. Abbott, C. McAdam, J. Ross
Palmerston: E. Guthrie, M. Dennis, N. Lockyer Jnr, R. Warfe, C. Williams

An eight-goal to two first term set up Southern Districts’ 73-point trouncing of Palmerston on Saturday, quickly rectifying last week’s disappointing display. The Crocs booted 13 of their 16 goals in the first half, with just five goals managed between the two sides after the main break as the 10-goal margin took the sting out of the contest. In the end, the 16.10 (106) to 5.3 (33) result put Districts back in the finals hunt and distanced the bottom two from the leading pack. Jonathon Ross led the Crocs’ scoring effort with four majors, supported well by another 10 individual goalkickers. Senior heads Dean Staunton and Charlie McAdam were also integral to the victory, with the latter shifting back to defence with aplomb. Eric Guthrie and Matthew Dennis were among Palmerston’s best, with Nigel Lockyer Jnr lively up forward and Toshie Kunoth booting two goals.

ST MARY’S | 2.4 | 5.7 | 9.9 | 12.12 (84)
WARATAH | 2.2 | 5.4 | 7.7 | 8.12 (60)

GOALS:

St Mary’s: N. Paredes 3, J. Landt 3, R. Smith 2, J. Calder, J. Cheek, S. Edwards, B. Tedcastle
Waratah: L. Dunn 3, W. Collis, C. Searle, J. Sutton, J. Cattanach, R. Turnbull

BEST:

St Mary’s: A. Long, K. Parnell, D. Andrews , M. Wilkinson, J. Landt, R. Smith
Waratah: J. Stevens, L. Dunn, J. Cattanach, A. Kirby, M. O’Donnell, R. Turnbull

St Mary’s extended its winning streak to five with a 24-point victory over Waratah on Saturday evening, keeping the Saints within striking distance of the top two. Waratah kept within striking distance at TIO Stadium despite trailing at every break, even steaming ahead at the start of the third term. But St Mary’s ground level intent and confident use from the back half allowed for a quick turnaround in a game played with finals-like spirit, finishing 12.12 (84) to 8.12 (60) in the Saints’ favour. The likes of Nate Paredes and Jack Landt again found plenty of the ball for the victors and compounded their impact by also snaring three goals apiece. Lynden Dunn was Waratah’s big inclusion this week and had an early impact up forward with two majors, before he also finished with three. Callum Searle and Jack Cattanach came up with clutch goals for the Warriors, but it proved too little in the end.

NIGHTCLIFF | 6.3 | 13.5 | 17.9 | 19.15 (129)
DARWIN | 1.0 | 1.3 | 3.5 | 4.10 (34)

GOALS:

Nightcliff: T. Melville 3, C. Ilett 3, L. Holt-Fitz 2, A. Moniz-Wakefield 2, B. Filo 2, D. Brew 2, R. Mu 2, K. Emery, K. Riley, A. Jorgensen
Darwin: B. Foster 2, D. Kaipara, M. Coombes

BEST:

Nightcliff: B. Filo, J. Bowen, R. Mu, A. Moniz-Wakefield, T. Boyd, D. Brew
Darwin: B. Stokes, K. Maroney, M. Kennedy, L. McKenzie, R. Pendlebury

Nightcliff returned to its imposing best at an ideal time to thrash Darwin by 95 points on home turf, ensuring the reigning premiers hold onto top spot for at least another week. The 19.15 (129) to 4.10 (34) scoreline was indicative of Nightcliff’s dominance around the ball and Darwin’s impotence forward of centre, with the Tigers taking full toll to see their foes planted to fifth spot. Dynamic veteran Cam Ilett was again a force up forward and slotted three majors, a feat matched by Trent Melville and aided early by Kyle Emery. Best afield player Brodie Filo also hit the scoreboard as one of 10 Nightcliff goalkickers. Brodie Foster was Darwin’s most impactful player as he bagged a couple of majors, with Bradley Stokes also stepping up as Jarrod Stokes was sighted mostly up forward – contributing to a lack of momentum from the Buffs’ midfield.

Featured Image: Daly Andrews gets a kick away for St Mary’s | Credit: Felicity Elliott/AFLNT Media