Contributed by: Wesley Hull
Round 10 of the NTFL Premier League saw the Palmerston Magpies make their biggest statement yet regarding their desire for the rest of this season. Their win over the Darwin Buffaloes has them and the league rethinking the rest of the season. St Mary’s also spoke loudly to the rest after downing Wanderers, the Crocs gave the Tiwi Bombers more to think about and Nightcliff’s shellacking of Waratah has asked some big questions.
The Magpies got away to a blinder against the Buffaloes, producing an exciting seven goal opening quarter. The Buffaloes came back hard and just three points was the half time margin in favour of the Pies. Palmerston had the better of the third quarter and held off a determined Buffaloes in the final term to hold on by 20 points. For Palmerston, the win see them equal on points with fifth-placed St Mary’s but more importantly, the win sees them having beaten the third and fourth placed teams this season.
The Saints needed a big win to keep the wolves from their door. They got their wish with a comfortable 48-point win against Wanderers at TIO Stadium. The St Mary’s team led at every change, increasing the margin the longer the game went. It was just what the doctor ordered for Saints. Having lost three of their past four games, finals could have almost evaporated with another loss, but order is restored – for now.
Southern Districts Crocs travelled to Tiwi Oval for their clash with the Bombers. The excited home crowd wasn’t enough to help the Bombers, however, as they fell to be 34 points down by the main break. This was blown out to 64 points at the final change and worried locals wondered if things would get worse. They didn’t and Tiwi gained some ground in the last quarter to go down by 50 points. Again, the Tiwi Bombers need to gather form quickly to have a say come finals time.
The Nightcliff Tigers had a day out against Waratah. After a near faultless opening half, the Tigers led Waratah by 77 points. Waratah were shell-shocked, but found enough spirit in the third term to contain the Tigers somewhat. But Nightcliff kept a disappointing Waratah scoreless in the final term to run out impressive winners by 113 points. Waratah’s position now is in danger. Two wins from their last six outings sees some teams now breathing down their necks for a finals spot, and their form has been erratic. Things need to change now for Waratah.
Next round will see the Tiwi Bombers in a must win game against Wanderers in the first match of a TIO Stadium triple-header. Next comes the clash between the Buffaloes and Crocs. The night will be rounded out when the Nightcliff Tigers meet St Mary’s. On Sunday, Waratah will host the Palmerston Magpies at Gardens Oval in a must win match for both teams.
Southern Districts Crocs 19 12 126 d Tiwi Bombers 11 10 76
St Mary’s 14 11 95 d Wanderers 6 11 47
Palmerston Magpies 14 16 100 d Darwin Buffaloes 12 8 80
Nightcliff Tigers 21 15 141 d waratah 4 4 28
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