By Kieran Davis
The Darwin Buffaloes have started their 2017/18 NTFL campaign with a narrow win over Waratah, kicking four last quarter goals to run over the top of Michael McLean’s side. The final margin of 11 points was amongst the largest of the game in a close fought contest between two finals contenders.
From the outset, Darwin showcased their considerable leg speed with players such as Tim Eldridge, Javadd Anderson and Jarrod Stokes, but their disposal by foot let them down moving forward, and they weren’t helped by an injury to Steven Anderson forcing them to three rotations. The slower but more efficient Waratah edged the first quarter with goals from Jason Williams, Matthew Blake and Ryan Bulluss. Stokes, in his first game as Buffs captain, impacted the game heavily in the second quarter and at half time his side led by a solitary point.
The back and forth nature of the game continued into the third term, with an exciting eight goals scored between the two teams. Brock Orval’s two goals for Waratah took them to 11 points in front, and the Warriors threatened to take a hold of the game, but Javadd Anderson responded with his own brace of goals and half time’s one point margin was carried over to three quarter time in a very even game.
The fourth quarter began with a flurry of goals. Hassan Ahmat-Watkins bagged two either side of a Samuel Howard major, pushing Darwin’s lead to 7 points, and their superior forward pressure and leg speed began to take ascendancy in the game. Joe Collinson, Kelvin Williams and Zak Stephenson eased themselves into the game and Waratah were left looking flat footed as goals from Jordon Andrade and Collinson put the low scoring game beyond doubt at around the 15 minute mark. A late goal from Tahs captain James Wray provided a glimmer of hope for his side, but in the end, Darwin were able to record a solid first win of the season.
2017/18 TIO NTFL Men’s Premier League
Round 1, Sunday 8 October 2017
4.00pm, TIO Stadium
Darwin 2.4 4.6 8.7 12.8 (80)
Waratah 3.3 4.5 8.6 10.9 (69)
Darwin: Hassan Ahmat-Watkins 3, Jarred Stokes 2, Javadd Anderson 2, Joseph Collinson 2, Shaun Ahmat, Jordan Andrade, Lee Munungurr
Waratah: Brock Orval 3, Matthew Blake, Ryan Bulluss, Samuel Howard, Kim Kantilla, Kieran Nicholls, Jason Williams, James Wray
Darwin: Jarred Stokes, Nyaburu Kelly, Joseph Collinson, Kelvin Williams, Jalen Clarke, Hassan Ahmat-Watkins
Waratah: Abraham Ankers, Brock Orval, Matthew Blake, Jason Williams, Jake Smart
Other Round 1 Men’s Premier League results
Palmerston 2.3, 4.5, 7.7, 11.11 (77)
Wanderers 0.7, 6.11, 12.15, 12.17 (89)
Palmerston: Ralph Dhamarrandji 3, Mishai Perri 2, Alwyn Davey, Sam Talbot, Ezekiel Frank, Raven Marika, Des Ugle, Ezekiel Frank, Aaron Davey
Wanderers: Davin Ferreira 3, Jake Smart 2, Simon Bates 2, Patrick Fairhead, Jarred Erlandson, Josh Wilson, Thomas Motlop, Neil Vea Vea
It was a slow and low scoring start from both teams with Palmerston in the lead heading into the first term. Coming from behind, Wanderers were able to gain momentum, kicking six unanswered goals in the third quarter. Palmerston staged a massive comeback in the fourth quarter however Wanderers had set up too strongly and couldn’t defeated.
Southern Districts 6.2, 11.8, 16.12, 22.17 (149)
Tiwi Bombers 2.0, 6.1, 9.3, 9.7 (61)
Southern Districts: Jake Roe-Duggan 4, Beau Schwarze 3, Jordan Capkin 2, Jared Brennan 2, Charles McAdam 2, Steven Stewart, Matthew Duffy, Josiah Farrer, Lionel Ogden, Jessie Anderson-Clarke, Michael Bowden, Pierce Liddle, Nathan Horbury, Robert Bull
Tiwi Bombers: Albert Tipungwuti 4, Austin Wonaeamirri 2, Joseph Bourke, Freddy Puruntatmeri, Pio Puautjimi
It was a dominant performance from Southern Districts who lead Tiwi Bombers from the first quarter. With 14 different goal kickers for Southern Districts certainly played as a team. This game saw the highest number of goals kicked, 22, in all the Round 1 Premier League clashes.
Nightcliff 4.3, 8.5, 17.7, 21.7 (133)
St Mary’s 1.1, 4.6, 5.13, 6.17 (53)
Nightcliff: Setanta O'hAilpin 6, Liam Holt Fitz 4, Matthew Bricknell 3, Julian Lockwood 3, Farron James, Elliott Powell, Patrick White, Cameron Ilett, Joel Cross
St Mary’s: Eric Kinthari 2, Mitch Musgrove, Anthony Hale, Shannon Singh, Raph Clarke
This was a tense and fast moving game, predicted to be the game of the round, with the Tigers coming comfortably out on top against reigning premiers. The Tigers began strongly kicking the first four goals of the game, keeping St Mary’s goal-less until the second quarter. An impressive nine goal to one third quarter diminished any chance of St Mary’s coming back for the win.