St Mary’s 5.5 7.8 8.8 11.11 (77)
Tiwi Bombers 2.0 8.2 16.8 22.10 (142)
St Mary’s: Jack Musgrove 3, Shaun Edwards 2, Raph Clarke, Henry Labastida 2, Anthony Hale, Zachary Robinson, Keenan Smith Thompson
Tiwi Bombers: Simon Munkara 6, Austin Wonaeamirri 4, Ross Tungatalum 3, Patrick Heenan 2, Gary Puruntatameri 2, Albert Tipungwuti 2, Jack Munkara, Pio Puautjimi, Adam Tipungwuti
At quarter time, St Mary's 5.5.35 led Tiwi Bombers 2.0.12 at TIO Stadium. Jack Musgrove kicked a goal on the siren to give the Saints a 23-point lead at the first break after a beautiful delivery into the forward line by Nick Yarran. Tiwi Bombers coach Brenton Toy called on his players to tighten their defence, while Saints coach Rick Nolan highlighted a great individual effort by first gamer Braxton Ah Mat who chased down an opponent to create a turnover. Karl Lohde lined up for the Saints for the first time since announcing his retirement after last year’s Grand Final and looked to still be in good form.
In the second quarter, the Tiwi Bombers kicked four goals straight inspired by some Ross Tungatalum trademark brilliance before Shaun Edwards kicked two to steady the ship for the Saints with the score at half time even - St Mary's 7.8.50, Tiwi Bombers 8.2.50.
The Bombers slammed on nine goals to one in the third quarter to take a 48-point lead into the last break leaving the Saints stunned. Toy praised the discipline of his team at the huddle and called on them to finish the game strong.
At the final siren, the Tiwi Bombers 22.10.142 defeated St Mary's 11.11.77 after dominating the second half of the game. The last time the Bombers beat Saints was the qualifying final of the 2011/2012 season when Tiwi went on to win premiership.
Wanderers 1.2 .3.2 4.5 9.1 (65)
Darwin Buffaloes 2.4 7.7 8.10 10.11 (71)
Wanderers: Patrick Fairhead 3, Davin Ferreira 2, Simon Bates, Kye Chapple, Liam Patrick, Marcus Totham
Darwin Buffaloes: Darren Shilabeer 3, Jackson Clark 2, Chris Williams 2, Joe Anderson, Timothy Eldridge, Lee Mununggurr
The opening minutes of this game did not go to plan, firstly with Matthew Motlop going down in the first couple of minutes and limping off with what appeared like a knee injury and then only a minute or so later, it was the incident that stopped the game. Buffaloes utility Tai Martin-Page was going down to collect the ball when he collided with the Wanderers’ Mitchell Taylor. Both players went to ground, Taylor grabbing his back in pain and Martin-Page needing the assistance of the ambulance. Neither player would return to the game with Martin-Page being rushed to Royal Darwin Hospital and subsequently is receiving treatment for a spinal injury in Perth. The NT football community was rocked.
After a 28-minute break in play, things got back underway and Buffs big man Darren Shillabeer was first to score as he kicked one of his three goals for the game. Simon Bates had a quick reply slotting a set shot for the Wanderers, who were down by eight points at the first break.
In the second quarter, the Buffs’ pressure around the ball increased and the highlights were aplenty with Davin Ferreira’s snap from the Eagles’ left pocket equally matched by Joe Anderson’s up the other end. By half time, the Buffs had five goal scorers, Shillabeer and Jackson Clark with two apiece.
The third term was a bit slower with both teams adding one goal and three behinds to their name and showing no real indication of the frenetic finish that was to come. In the final quarter, the Wanderers went on the rampage adding one brilliant goal after the next to draw level with the Buffs in the 23rd-minute. Chris Williams, who had kicked the only goal for the Buffs in that term, popped up at just the right time. Capitalising on a Neil Vea Vea fumble in the 24th-minute, he was able to collect the ball and kick truly to give Darwin a one-goal led and ultimately the win, as the siren sounded moments later. The victory has secured third spot for the Buffs, while the Wanderers sit in seventh but still well in-touch with the coveted fifth place.
Palmerston 2.0 4.1 4.1 6.3 (39)
Nightcliff 5.1 5.2 7.5 10.7 (67)
Palmerston: Desmond Ugle 2, Justin Cooper, Lochlan Dhurrkay, Raven Marika, Sam Talbot
Nightcliff: Clement Chulung 2, Patrick White 2, Joel Buderick, Troy Coates, Cameron Ilett, Faron James, Ryan Mu, Elliott Powell
Nightcliff started the match kicking the first five out of six goals. They headed into the first break with a 19-point lead. Predictions that Nightcliff would run away with the match were quashed when Palmerston came back firing in the second quarter and kept Nightcliff goalless, trailing by only seven points at half time. Cameron Ilett kicked the first goal of the third team in the first minute, the only goal before the 21-minute mark of the term. Wet conditions led to a contested game which ensured the game would remain low scoring. Palmerston kicked the opening two goals of the last quarter to narrow the margin to eight-points, however, poor discipline by Palmerston forward Desmond Ugle changed the momentum of the game and Nightcliff finished the match 28-point victors.
Southern Districts 2.2 7.5 9.6 15.8 (98)
Waratah 5.3 7.4 12.5 12.5 (77)
Southern Districts: Dylan Barry 3, Leroy Jetta 3, Pierce Liddle 3, Jake Roe-Duggan 2, Callum Currie, Matt Duffy, Frederick Sleeth, Richard Tambling
Waratah: Michael Newton 5, Jamie Smith 2, James Allan, Matthew Blake, Kim Kantilla, Henry Kerinaiua, Brock Orval
The last time these two sides met, it was a massive upset by Waratah who won by three points. This match started in similar fashion with Waratah coming out firing scoring five consecutive goals in the first quarter after the opening goal to Southern Districts midfielder Richard Tambling. Former AFL player Michael Newton kicked three opening quarter goals and created a huge presence in the forward line which created headaches for the Crocs defence.
Scoring slowed down at the start of the second quarter and it took until the seven-minute mark for the first goal to be scored. The pressure ramped up and the continuous rain over the weekend created a sluggish contest. The memories from the last game were amplified this quarter as there was a lot of emotion in the game and a few scuffles here and there. Southern Districts headed into the main break with a one-point lead.
It was starting to look like the Airport End was the scoring end as Waratah outscored Southern Districts five goals to two in the third quarter and headed into the final break with a 17-point lead. Southern Districts kicked two early goals in the last quarter to narrow the margin to under a goal. The tense atmosphere was palpable among the players, officials and crowd as the margin sat less than a goal for most of the quarter. Southern Districts’ Dylan Barry kicked a goal at the 16-minute mark to regain the lead, the eighth lead change for the match, before the Crocs went on to kick the next three to secure a 21-point win.