Déjà Vu – Wanderers Through – NTFL Finals
Sunday, March 06 2016 @ 08:30 am ACDT
Contributed by: Wesley Hull
In a fairy tale of sorts, with eerie similarities to last season’s finals race, Wanderers have continued their charge through the second half of the NTFL season with a strong win over minor premiers Southern Districts Crocs to be the first team into this season’s grand final.
Built on the back of a remarkable run of games since the mid-season break, Wanderers now get to rest their weary bodies as the Crocs take on St Mary’s in next weekend’s Preliminary Final. When play resumed in January after the festive season break, Wanderers were a distinct chance of missing finals, whilst Southern Districts and St Mary’s appeared destined to fight out the grand final. Now one of them will miss out – a surprise in itself.
Wanderers were not shy about their intentions and hit the Crocs hard in the first quarter to take a handy two goal lead. From there they extended the lead at every break, though perhaps their final quarter was the best. Whilst kicking just three themselves, Wanderers held Crocs goalless for the quarter, totally snuffing out and hope of a Croc revival.
With seven wins and a draw from their last nine games, including two finals, Wanderers have the momentum to go back to back, having timed their run seemingly to perfection.
Final Score: Wanderers Eagles 14 12 96 d Southern Districts Crocs 6 8 44
St Mary’s got back on track in their finals campaign, after last weekend’s loss to Wanderers, by downing a spirited Nightcliff Tigers in the First Semi Final. After a tight first half where the young Tigers’ outfit kept pressure on the Saints, the third quarter became the pivotal stanza. St Mary’s rattled on five goals to one to take a commanding 31 point lead into the final break. Only one goal was kicked from 14 scoring shots in the last quarter as pressure built, but the Tigers couldn’t get back into the game, going down by 40 points.
Whilst Nightcliff can now plan for next season as their young list made great leaps this season, St Mary’s now face the daunting prospect of meeting Crocs next week for passage into the grand final. It is sure to be a tough, spirited and physical game as neither team will want their season to end next week.
Final Score: St Mary’s Saints 13 14 92 d Nightcliff Tigers 6 16 52
The Preliminary Final between Southern District and St Mary’s will be played at TIO Stadium next Saturday with times to be confirmed later this week.