Redtails 4.3 10.13 11.14 13.17 (95)
Top End Storm 4.1 4.1 7.3 11.7 (73)
Redtails: Tyson Woods 5, Liam Jurrah 4, Thomas Gorey 2, Kelvin Ross, Dylan Barry
Top End Storm: Adam Sambono 3, Saverio Jurrah 2, Tyrrell Lui 2, Sam Christie, Lorenzo Lewis, Mathias Liddy, John Tipiloura
The second year of the Redtails vs Top End Storm AFL curtain raiser game was held at TIO Traeger Park in Alice Springs as part of the AFL's Round 18 action. An exciting display of remote football was on show for the big crowd and it was the Redtails who held on to their crown but not before being challenged by a gutsy Top End Storm effort.
It was a fairly even start to the game with some great work in the middle by Storm captain Sam Christie cleaning the ball out but it was Tyson Woods from the Redtails who kicked the first goal just before the 4 minute mark after a kick inside 50 from Dylan Barry. A great cleanrance by Mitchell Taylor from Storm’s half back line set up a forward entry for Storm to get the ball to big full forward Mathias Liddy who swung around and kicked a massive snap for the away team to get on the board. Tyrrell Lui was the next target to present for Storm and took a set shot on 50 to kick straight and put Storm in the lead. A lovely ruck tap from Storm enabled 'the Barunga Bullet' Jeffrey McDonald to get quick hands out and Storm to attack again. John Tipiloura displayed silky skills to kick Storms’ third goal. Adam Sambono then took a trademark hanger on the scoreboard wing in a highlight for Storm who were up and about early. Dylan Barry was able to steady the ship for the Redtails with a timely goal at the 15 minute mark. Tyrrell Lui kicked another goal for Storm and a great game was on for the spectators at the first break.
Kelvin Ross got the first goal getting the Redtails off a quick start in the opening minute. Storm’s Basil Bara showed some great defence but Liam Jurrah snapped truly for the Redtails and a cheer went out from the crowd. Sam Christie was instrumental for Storm in the middle along with Kurt Wilson and Ned Stevens. But it was Tyson Woods who was on fire for the Redtails and kicked his third goal as the home team broke open the game for a 28 point lead, followed not long after with another goal and the margin went out to 34 points at the 20 minute mark. Liam Jurrah showed his class with a set shot from 50. Kelvin Ross then broke through a pack to kick the Redtails 10th goal in a quarter that saw them outscore Storm six goals to none.
A much slower start to the third quarter with both teams contesting evenly until the Storm were able to hit Lorenzo Lewis on the chest and he went back and kicked their first goal since the first quarter reigniting their quest. Adam Sambono then won a free kick and the middle and got it into Lloyd Marika who pushed forward but Storm were unable to score. The Redtails backline through Shawn Foster cleared the ball out and Dylan Barry hit Liam Jurrah on the lead who in turn hit up that man again, Tyson Woods. Woods kicked his fifth from about 25 metres out. Storm’s Matthew Hall and Bobby Nunggumajabarr worked hard in the middle but a good mark by Sheldon Briscoe for Redtails stemmed their flow. Dylan Barry continued to dominate around the group for Redtails throughout the quarter. Michael Cooper started to come into the game for Storm and managed to work the ball forward for Sam Christie to kick a team lifting goal. Young Daniel Bromot and Mitchell Taylor were in Storm’s best across the back line and Taylor’s huge clearing kicks were a highlight. Jeffrey McDonald kicked a lovely goal to finish a winning quarter for the Storm.
Storm’s Adam Sambono continued his good form kicking the opening goal of the final term but the Redtails answered quickly in Thomas Gorey. Storm little man Saverio Jurrah emulated the feats of his brother on the opposition kicking a quick goal but Liam then returned fire for the Redtails. Sambono kicked another the Storm were mounting their charge! An exciting passage of footy form the Storm down the grandstand wing resulted in Mathias Liddy getting the ball into Saverio Jurrah who dribbled the ball through for a goal and the margin was cut back to 24 points. The Storm finished the game well but couldn’t overcome the deficit set up by the Redtails in the second quarter, nevertheless it was an exciting display of Territory footy for the crowd and live audience around Australia on Channel 7 to enjoy.
Watch the post match presentation with Gilbert McAdam presenting a hand painted football to winning Redtails captain Darren Abbott.
Abbott and Top End Storm’s Sam Christie were proud captains after the AFL curtain raiser game in Alice Springs. Hear what they had to say in their post match interviews HERE.
And popular Channel 7 segment Roaming Brian conducting interviews after the game was a big hit.