Absolutely Electrifying – NTFL
Sunday, January 21 2018 @ 06:37 pm ACDT
Contributed by: Wesley Hull
When a Darwin thunderstorm rolls into town, the electricity generated can provide some of nature’s most spectacular light shows. When those storms roll in over TIO Stadium on match night it can have an entirely different outcome. On Friday night, that is just what happened when an electrical storm hit the stadium, taking out light towers and causing the cancellation of further matches.
The washout affected earlier division matches, but perhaps the biggest impact was the decision to split the four points between Southern Districts Crocs and Nightcliff Tigers. Whilst nothing can be done about nature’s fury, the weather took away the chance to watch first v second on the ladder in what might have been a grand final rehearsal. Significantly, however, Crocs remain three games clear of Tigers with four rounds to go before finals.
In the first of the Saturday games, the Tiwi Bombers’ revival continued, downing Wanderers by 54 points and leaping into the top five. Whilst their run to the finals is tough – Tigers, Crocs, Saints and Waratah (all finals contenders), the spot in the top five is theirs to lose. With three wins and a draw from their past four games, the Bombers are in form – but they have to stay that way. Rather than blow teams away with an early power surge as in recent weeks, the Bombers kept a nagging Wanderers team at arm’s length until a six goal to two final quarter saw the result blow out somewhat.
Waratah squandered a chance to secure their place in the top five when they went down to an inconsistent St Mary’s. In a game that Waratah were predicted to win by many, they couldn’t match the Saints’ “A” game when the chips were down. In contrast, St Mary’s have now slipped into fourth place, just ahead of the Bombers and relegating Waratah to sixth place. Waratah have a more favourable draw that the Bombers in coming weeks, but life would have been easier had they maintained last weekend’s form to down Saints. They didn’t, so now the pressure mounts.
The Darwin Buffaloes defeated the Palmerston Magpies by 43 points in a low scoring game. Whilst the margin continued to creep away throughout the game, the Magpies were still less than five goals down at the final change and not without a chance. But the Buffaloes kept Palmerston to just one scoring shot in the final quarter – a lone goal - to stride away with a comfortable win and secure third place for the time being.
Round 15 will see teams locked in the battle for finals places pushing hard. The Thursday night match will be a beauty between the Darwin Buffaloes and St Mary’s, both determined to lock in their finals chances, or at least improve them. Friday’s Australia Day clash will see Waratah determined to get back into the top five when they play Wanderers. Wanderers can still make the finals mathematically, though the reality is probably less optimistic. Top team, Crocs, meet bottom team Palmerston, also on Australia Day, whilst the fascinating clash between Nightcliff and the Tiwi Bombers might well be the match of the round.
Southern Districts Crocs v Nightcliff Tigers (Washout – shared points)
Tiwi Bombers 17 13 115 d Wanderers 8 13 61
St Mary’s 16 11 107 d Waratah 9 7 61
Darwin Buffaloes 12 11 83 d Palmerston Magpies 5 10 40
Picture Credit - AFLNT (Twitter)