Saints Back In NTFL Race
Tuesday, October 31 2017 @ 07:35 pm ACDT
Contributed by: Wesley Hull
Just when you think that St Mary’s have been dealt a mortal blow and may miss out on finals, along they come and pinch a win that changes everything. Such was the case in the Round Four action of the NTFL competition in Darwin when the Saints, after three consecutive losses to start the 2017/18 season, downed Waratah convincingly and in the process sauntered back into the top five.
Their win against Waratah was set up with a powerful eight goals to one first half to effectively end the contest. From there the Saints were rarely troubled as they powered away to win by 73 points.
Amongst the highlights was the senior debut of young Maurice Rioli Jr, who in April was playing for the Northern Territory Kickstart Under 15 team. His rapid rise to senior level has tongue wagging about the continuation of the Rioli dynasty, but for now his goal on debut is a fine start.
In other matches, the Palmerston Magpies turned their season around with an important win over the Darwin Buffaloes. For Palmerston the win rights the ship somewhat after three losses to start the season (like St Mary’s). The Buffaloes, however, must be kicking themselves after winning their opening two matches and having since lost to consecutive bottom teams – the Magpies and Tiwi Bombers. They will need to address that inconsistency quickly to stay in the frame for finals.
Wanderers led for much of the day against a willing Tiwi Bombers unit. The Bombers grabbed a quarter-time lead, and were within eight points at the final change as they continue their on-field improvement this season. But, Wanderers steadied when it mattered and kicked away to a 28 point win, leaving the Bombers goalless in the final term.
The big match of the round was Sunday’s “top of the table” clash between Southern Districts Crocs and Nightcliff Tigers. After leading by just two goals at the first break, Crocs continued to pressure the Tigers out of the match, increasing their lead at every change to run out convincing 38 point winners and go to the top of the ladder as the only undefeated team after four completed rounds.
Round 5 Matches:
Wanderers v St Marys
Nightcliff Tigers v Waratah
Tiwi Bombers v Palmerston Magpies
Southern Districts v Darwin Buffaloes