Bombers Hang on to 3rd Place


With a crucial game on the line, the winner taking 3rd spot and the double chance in the finals, there was a bit of doubt through the week whether the round would go ahead. With Cyclone Carlos hitting Darwin on the Wednesday and threatening to return later in the week, the round was put on hold. But on the Thursday when the weather bureau decided that the threat of its return was minimal the round was reinstated, and all preparations were back on.

The players flew in the afternoon of the game, and it was great to see Dion Munkara, Rupert Pupangamirri and Edward Darcy were all on the passenger list after missing at least the last 4 games. With Dion and Rupert playing their 3rd game of the season, it meant that they were playing their full requirement to qualify for the finals – as were Luke McKenna and Ned Daniher.

The Bombers got the jump on their opposition, with the midfield dominating and giving the forwards plenty of opportunities. The Bombers had kicked 4 majors before Southern Districts were able to register one of their own. At this stage Luke McKenna, who had been a big factor in our midfield being on top, had to be helped from the ground after he received a knock to his ankle. This brought Dion Munkara onto the ground and he had an immediate impact with a couple of clever disposals resulting in goals. The Crocs were able to work their way into the game late in the quarter, but the Bombers still held a handy 4 goal lead at half time. Ephrem Tipungwuti had continued on his goal kicking form from the previous week by kicking 3 goals in the term. It was a very high scoring quarter considering the conditions, with both teams kicking pretty accurately also.

The second term was a tighter, lower scoring affair with the Crocs outscoring us by a goal and closing the gap to 3 goals at half time. The Southern Districts players were starting to get frustrated and this was evident when a Southern Districts free kick was awarded just before half time and then reversed after one of their players retaliated and a scuffle occurred.

Roy Kantilla started off the second half in blistering fashion kicking the first and third goals of the quarter. The Bombers started off the 3rd quarter like they did in the first and had the first four goals on the board before the Crocs had an opportunity. We had an opportunity to put the game out of reach with a set shot from about 35m out directly in front. Unfortunately this resulted in a behind, and the Crocs clawed their way back into the game to reduce the margin to 4 goals at 3 quarter time.

Another hard fought last quarter saw both teams add 3 goals to their score lines and the Bombers hang onto a handy 26 point win.

SOUTHERN DISTRICTS 4 2 7 3 10 6 13 8 86
TIWI BOMBERS 8 2 10 3 14 7 17 10 112

Best Players –
Ned Daniher, Dan McLinden, Samson Mungatopi, Ross Tungatalum, Roy Kantilla and Nyaburu Kelly

Goal Kickers – Ephrem Tipungwuti 4, Gerrard Cunningham 3, Samson Mungatopi 2, Roy Kantilla 2, Leigh Crossman, Dion Munkara, Alan Kerinaiua, Giuseppe Tipiloura, Michael Dunn and Josh Brogan

The winner of the Starwin Management Under 21 Player of the Round was Gabirri Yunupingu – congratulations on a good game Gup.

The players were able to let their hair down and celebrate a little as they were staying in town the night and flying back the next day. This was very much appreciated by all, as it enabled them to go shopping on the Sunday morning before their flight back. The communities shops had run out of food due to the barge not being able to make the trip over with supplies during the week because of the cyclone, so the players took advantage of this opportunity to stock up on the necessities.

Next week we take on Wanderers in the Qualifying finals at TIO Stadium on Saturday night at 6.30pm. Hopefully we’ll be able to turn the table on the previous 2 encounters this year.

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