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Tuesday, May 22 2018 @ 07:55 am ACST

Darwin Bombing Commemorated By AFLNT

To recognise and commemorate the 75th anniversary of the bombing of Darwin during World War Two, the AFLNT dedicated the final round of the NTFL season to the memory of one of the blackest days in Australian history. Accordingly, all teams involved in matches this weekend played in the spirit of the people of Darwin in the wake of the event in 1942 – tough, resilient and uncompromising.

It was a round of upsets, or near upsets, as the lowly, seemingly undermanned teams fought the odds to bring down opponents that many thought they couldn’t.

(Picture: Australian Geographic)
The Tiwi Bombers have endured a forgettable year – the points from their only win of the season stripped after the club did not repay a debt to the AFLNT within a prescribed time. Clearly that hurt, as did the fact that a season may be about to go completely to waste. But the Bombers rallied against the finals bound Southern Districts to pull off a remarkable win and set a positive tone for an off season that will see many changes and questions asked. Tiwi downed the Crocs 15 12 103 to13 11 89.

Just as remarkably, the Palmerston Magpies went into their clash with a finals bound foe as rank outsiders. Nevertheless, armed with an ex-Essendon pair of Courtenay Dempsey and Alwyn Davey, as well as many other courageous team mates, the ‘Pies pulled off the second big upset of the round, winning by four goals – 13 11 89 to 9 11 65. The loss for Wanderers was not the ideal preparation for next weekend’s finals.

The Darwin Buffaloes almost pulled off the third upset of the round when they lead second placed Nightcliff Tigers at half and three-quarter time. Only a grinding last quarter from the Tigers prevented the Buffaloes from claiming a prized scalp, but at least they know they have reached the finals regardless. Finals scores saw the Tigers 12 13 85 down the Buffaloes 11 11 77.

The final match of the Bombing of Darwin round saw the St Mary’s juggernaut end any slim chances waratah had of reaching the finals. The Saints recorded a 94 point win to retain top spot on the ladder – their minor premiership win ensuring a rest next week for tired bodies and niggles. Waratah entered the match with a chance to grab 5th place as long as the Buffaloes went down and Waratah upset Saints. They didn’t and so their season ends after a much improved performance on last season. Final scores saw Saints 16 20 116 down Waratah 3 4 22.

The scene is now set for week one of the finals. In a double header at TIO Stadium, the Southern Districts Crocs will meet the Darwin Buffaloes in the Elimination Final while the Nightcliff Tigers will clash with Wanderers Eagles in the Qualifying Final.
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