St Mary’s Power To 32nd Northern Territory Flag
Wednesday, March 22 2017 @ 08:37 AM ACDT
Contributed by: Wesley Hull
The Northern Territory Football League’s resident powerhouse, the St Mary’s Saints, have won last weekend’s NTFL Grand Final, downing the Wanderers Eagles by 54 points to claim their 31st flag. In a game where the “The Green Machine” was at almost unbackable odds to claim the title, they withstood a brave fight by the Wanderers to coast away in the final quarter.
Just two goals separated the teams at the first break and by half time St Mary’s only held a 16 point lead. Whilst not strolling away with a cavalcade of goals, the Saint defence had kept Wanderers to just two goals for the half.
The third quarter, the premiership quarter, was dour. Saints still extended their lead to 29 points, but the optimistic Wanderers still believed that being less than five goals behind with a quarter to play gave them a small chance if they could lift. But St Mary’s had other ideas and rattled home with a six goal to one final quarter to claim the premiership.
Final Scores: St Mary’s 14 7 91 d Wanderers 4 13 37
As Wanderers felt the emotions of a losing grand final, St Mary’s players, officials and fans deliriously celebrated the clubs remarkable 32nd premiership. That alone is an incredible effort, but made more amazing by the fact that the club only entered the league in 1952. That is a strike rate of 32 flags in 64 seasons. They have also claimed the minor premiership 32 times, been runners-up 17 times and never recorded a wooden spoon. In fact, their worst finish in league history has been fifth place (twice). It is an enviable record.
After such a dominant season, it was fitting that St Mary’s took the flag – winning the minor premiership with just two losses for the season and an unbroken run of 17 straight wins to take the flag. But Wanderers were brave and should be proud of their efforts – the gulf in talent was just too great.
Now the off-season arrives and clubs plan for next year and dream of what the 2017/18 season will bring.