Round 17 Premier League wrap

Jack Long from St Mary's being chased with the ball

Game 1

Nightcliff 1.1 12.10 (82)
Palmerston 2.1 2.1 2.2 2.4 (16)


Nightcliff: Julian Lockwood 3, Liam Holt-Fitz 2, Cameron Ilett 2, Nathan Brown, Matthew Bricknell, Zackary Derksen, Elliott Powell, Gareth Smith

Palmerston: Joshua Lione, Taris Dhamarrandji 


In true wet season fashion, a huge downpour soaked up TIO Stadium about an hour before the Tigers met the Magpies, making match conditions very difficult. Palmerston led for most of the first term, but Nightcliff came home strong and went into the quarter time break with an eight-point lead. Nightcliff’s class was starting to shine through in the second quarter as they took control and kept Palmerston scoreless, whilst pushing the margin out to 30-points at half time. The Tigers managed to overcome the difficult conditions in the third quarter and were able to move the ball very quickly into their forward line, with the margin sitting at 56-points at the last break. Nightcliff’s strong defensive pressure kept Palmerston goalless for the remainder which stemmed from the Pies inability to find a strong target inside the forward fifty. Nightcliff comfortably finished 66-point victors and secured second spot on the ladder with the win. 

Game 2

St Mary’s 4.5 7.12 11.15 12.18 (90)
Tiwi Bombers 0.1 5.2 6.4 7.5 (47)


St Mary’s: Luke Bath 3, Shannon Rioli 3, Jordan Cullen 2, Peter Macfarlane 2, Henry Labastida, Nathaniel Paredes

Tiwi Bombers: Ross Tungatalum 4, Jack Munkara, Albert Tipungwuti, Austin Wonaeamirri


St Mary’s came out firing and led by 28-points at quarter time and kept Tiwi to just one point at the first break. The heavy rain returned in the opening quarter which hindered the signature run that the Bombers are known for as the Green and Gold started to kick away. Tiwi switched into gear in the second quarter and narrowed the margin to under two goals. However, the Saints had all the answers and returned fire when the Bombers started looking dangerous, pushing the margin out to over 30-points. A goal after the half-time siren by Tiwi Bombers’ Ross Tungatalum had the margin at 22-points but it was all St Mary’s in the third stanza as they pushed the margin out to 41-points by the last break. Despite the margin, the crowd was still very into the match and were getting behind both teams in the muddy arena. St Mary’s finished the match with a 43-point win, proving too polished and classy in wet conditions. The Saints secured a finals spot with the win, ruckman Ryan Smith said the catalyst behind the Saints’ change in fortunes for the season was due to blooding the young players and utilizing the more experienced Saints to assist the young talent. 

Game 3

Darwin Buffaloes 3.2 8.5 13.5 15.10 (100)
Wanderers 0.2 0.3 2.3 4.5 (29)


Darwin Buffaloes: Adam Sambono 7, Jalen Clarke 2, Joe Anderson, Jackson Clark, Joseph Collinson, Timothy Eldridge, Joel Palmer, Jarrod Stokes 

Wanderers: Tyler Brimacombe, Keelan Fejo, Aaron Motlop, Shannon Motlop


Mixed emotions were felt heading into the match after the last time Darwin Buffaloes and Wanderers clashed it ended in tragedy with Buffs player, Tai Martin-Page, dislocating two vertebrae in a freak accident. Understandably the Buffs were hungry to get a win for Martin-Page who was watching on from Adelaide hospital. Rain earlier in the day saw TIO Stadium's grandstand wing and forward 50's turned into a muddy area, making for a slippery ground and heavy ball. Despite the conditions, the Buffs put the pressure on throughout the first half kicking eight goals to none and gaining a comfortable 50-point lead. The Muk Muks were kept goalless until late in the third term when Jonas Niki and Tyler Brimacombe scored a goal each, but it was too little too late. The third quarter was also significant for the double blues as Tai’s best friend from South Australia, Joel Palmer, kicked his first goal in the NTFL after being asked by Tai to play in his number 19 jumper specifically for the Round 17 match. Adam Sambono, was a standout player for the Buffs, kicking an impressive seven goals over the duration of the game. Whilst Aaron Motlop and Keelan Fejo were among Muk Muks goal scorers in the final term. This was more than just another win for the Buffs, it was a tribute to Tai and his family.

Game 4

Waratah 4.2 10.3 14.6 16.7 (103)
Southern Districts 4.4 10.6 10.9 16.12 (108)


Waratah: Justin Beugelaar 3, Lachlan Collihole 3, Abraham Ankers 2, Kim Kantilla 2, Henry Kerinaiua 2, Jackson Bowen, Sam Godden, Sam Nickless, Jamie Smith

Southern Districts: Beau Schwarze 4, Rory O'Brien 3, Sleeth Frederick 2, Ed Barlow, Callum Currie, Mathew Duffy, William Farrer, Blake Piggott, Nikolaus Rokahr, Matthew Rosier 


Prior to Round 17 Waratah and Southern Districts had clashed twice this season and it was a game apiece. Tahs have been the only team so far this season to gain a win over the ladder leading Crocs, it was set to be a thrilling match, and that it was! Waratah were on the scoreboard early, with a goal within 20 seconds of the opening term. While Districts inaccurate kicking cost them a good lead in the opening quarter missing several shots on goal. Despite the behinds, the Crocs still managed a two-point lead by quarter time. Tahs upped the intensity and pressure in the second quarter and were initially able to hold off the Crocs. Before the red, black and white army took the game on and scored four unanswered goals before the half time break. Youngster Beau Schwarze was a major contributor, kicking three for Districts, playing his part for his side and continuing to prove himself in the Premier League. Relentless pressure from Tahs kept Districts goalless in the third quarter, kicking four majors to take a 21-point lead with Lachlan Collihole scoring his third goal for the Tahs. Districts blasted out of the gates and kicked five unanswered goals to begin the final term, getting themselves back in the game. Sensing defeat, the Tahs wouldn't say die and were in front by a point for the last eight minutes before Districts' Nick Rokahr kicked a goal on the siren to give Crocs the nail-biting win. 

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