TIWI Bombers have broken a remarkable 988-day losing streak thanks to a 15-point Round 5 win over the Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Men’s Premier League’s newest club, PINT. It had been such a long time coming for the Bombers who had suffered through two and half winless seasons, but they were finally able to crack through for a victory in front of home fans at Wurrumiyanga Oval.
TIWI BOMBERS 2.4 | 6.8 | 10.10 | 12.13 (85)
PINT 4.1 | 5.4 | 8.7 | 10.10 (70)
Coming into the match, the Bombers were hoping to build on an inconsistent, but at times hopeful season, having come within four points of Darwin Buffaloes back in Round 3. A 154-point thrashing at Gardens Oval in Round 2 against St Mary’s was the worst of the Bombers’ three losses, but last week’s 94-point belting at the hands of Nightcliff, and the 60-point defeat in Round 1 against Palmerston were not much better. PINT faired better yet was still only one win and one draw from three games, boasting a reasonably healthy percentage.
It was the visitors who got off to a strong start, booting four goals to two, and taking a nine point lead into quarter time despite having one less scoring shot. The accuracy had helped the Ants, despite the Bombers looking good through a run-and-carry handball chain game. The momentum turned around in the second term, as the Bombers booted 4.4 to 1.3 and lead by 10 points at half-time. Overall the stats were fairly even to the main break, but that was about to change.
In the third quarter, the Bombers began to win more of the ball, and used it effectively by hand, racking up 31 more uncontested possessions, taking 10 more marks, and having 12 more handball receives. Though the score itself remained close – with a 4.2 to 3.3 quarter – the game was well and truly on the Bombers’ terms. PINT stuck around and refused to give in, even giving it a huge shot in the final term. Though both sides scored 2.3, it was enough for the Bombers to claim a 12.13 (85) to 10.10 (70) victory thanks to making the most of their inside 50 chances with eight more marks in there.
The dominant duo of Sam Darley and Harley Bennell proved too much for PINT, as the pair both had 28 touches in the win. Darley covered the ground with ease, using his skill by foot to have four inside 50s, six rebound 50s, two clearances, five marks and boot 1.1. Bennell played an inside role, as the former AFL talent picked up four marks, three inside 50s and two rebound 50s, but critically had five clearances and a whopping 14 ground ball gets.
Dion Munkara slotted three goals from 15 touches and four marks, while Stanley Tipiloura was the other multiple goalscorer with two from 11 disposals and five marks. Another ex-AFL talent in Majak Daw also fronted up for the Bombers, picking up six disposals, two marks, four hitouts and kicked two goals.
For PINT, Mitchel Lowe tried his heart out in defence, amassing 12 rebound 50s from 23 kicks and four marks, while Elliot Chalmers and Brayden Taylor did their bit in midfield. Chalmers had 23 disposals, six marks, five clearances, four inside 50s and two rebound 50s, while Taylor picked up 23 disposals, four marks, six clearances and laid seven tackles. Andrew Ciavarella was the most potent forward for PINT, booting two goals from 17 disposals, nine marks and two goals.
AROUND THE GROUNDS
Ladder leaders Waratah suffered its first loss of the season, going down to Nightcliff on the road by 34 points. The Tahs’ loss meant each of the NTFL Men’s Premier League teams have not tasted at least one win and one loss. Nightcliff had 27 more marks and six more inside 50s than the Tahs’ with Brodie Filo (26 disposals, six marks, three clearances, eight inside 50s and a goal) busy once again, while Ryan Nyhuis complemented him well from defence, and John Butcher slammed home seven of his team’s 13 goals in the 13.8 (86) to 7.10 (52) win.
Palmerston moved to the top of the ladder with a 22-point victory over Wanderers, scraping by in a low-scoring affair, 7.7 (49) to 3.9 (27). Despite losing the clearances by a mind-boggling 20 – as well as 13 less disposals – the Magpies were able to use the ball effectively, and pick out 24 more marks and control the outside of the contest. Baxter Mensch‘s sensational season rolled on with another 31 touches, 13 marks, three clearances, four inside 50s and a goal. Ashton Hams (25 disposals, nine marks and nine rebound 50s) was also prolific. Steven Motlop was the standout for Wanderers, booting two goals from 23 touches and five marks.
In the final game of the round, St Mary’s rolled past Southern Districts to the tune of 22 points. After trailing by seven goals at the first break, the Saints piled on 10 goals to five to run out 12.8 (80) to 8.10 (58) winners. Using a kick-first mentality, St Mary’s had 17 more marks and defended strongly to record the win. Jacob Long (25 disposals, six marks and seven rebound 50s) was busy from defence, while usual suspects Nathaniel Paredes and Dylan Landt combined for 50 disposals, 13 clearances and two gaols. Sam Fowler slotted 2.2 from 22 disposals, four marks and seven inside 50s. Crocs defender Michael Bowden had 26 disposals, six marks and seven rebound 50s in the loss.