Saints Hold Off Bombers


It was first versus second on the ladder, and the crowd had turned up to watch a good game of footy in the Darwin sun. The first 15 minutes was a tough tussle between the 2 teams with neither team able to post a major. Both teams had opportunities, with Jarrod Illett missing a set shot from pretty much directly in front and Roy Kantilla shanking his kick as he run into an open goal from 30 metres out. The Saints eventually broke the drought half way through the quarter, and then continued on with another one before the Bombers could get one back. The Bombers were able to get one on the board, but then the Saints responded with 2 more of their own. The difference was 4 straight goals at quarter time and with Ephrem Tipungwuti hobbling off 10 minutes into the game, and ruled out for the remainder, someone had to step up and become a focal point up forward.

The Bombers lifted their work rate in the second quarter and won a lot more centre clearances and gave their forwards more opportunities to put scoreboard pressure on. Gerrard Cunningham decided to bypass the forwards and launched a huge torpedo from inside the centre square, but unfortunately was off target and only resulted in a behind. Even though the Bombers were equal in general play around the ground for the quarter, they were still out scored for the quarter and trailed by 31 points at the long break.

Adam Mueller had played a big role down back in the first half, but he was pushed up to centre half forward in the second half and provided a presence in the forward line that had been lacking. Dan McLinden went to centre half back which allowed Michael Fairweather to go into the midfield and he was pivotal in many clearances and forward thrusts and even kicked a goal of his own in the quarter. The Bombers seemed to be getting on top of their opponents all around the ground and were able to close the gap to 16 points at the last change.

When the Saints kicked the first goal of the last term, it made the challenge even greater for our guys, but their never say die attitude rose to the fore and they persisted to plug away. The Saints players were getting tired and the Bombers were able to use this to their advantage with their run and carry. When Ross Tungatalum had a set shot from 30 metres out with about 6 minutes left on the clock and an 8 point deficit, the game looked like it was going to come down to the wire for the second week in a row. Unfortunately he missed the goal, but Roy Kantilla was able to make good a couple of minutes later and reduce the deficit to a solitary point. The Bombers crowd was on its feet and very vocal until fellow Tiwi, but Saints player, Jason Puruntatameri kicked a goal with less than a minute on the clock to seal the game.

It was a great effort by the Bombers in the second half, and the team will be able to take a lot of positives out of the game.

TIWI BOMBERS 1 3 4 6 10 6 14 11 95
ST MARY’S 5 3 9 7 12 10 15 12 102

Best Players –
Edward Darcy, Michael Fairweather, Shane Tipuamantmirri, Samson Mungatopi, Adam Mueller & Michael Dunn

Goal Kickers – Roy Kantilla 3, Adam Mueller 2, Nathan Daniels 2, Gerrard Cunningham 2, Michael Fairweather 2, Alan Kerinaiua, Ross Tungatalum and Wayne Pilakui

The winner of the Starwin Management Under 21 Player of the Round was Wayne Pilakui – congratulations on a good effort Jojo.

Next week we take on Wanderers Round 16 at a yet to be confirmed venue. It is scheduled to be played at Tiwi Oval on Sunday 6th February at 2.30pm, but if the ground isn’t deemed up to scratch by the AGL NT, the game will be moved to the Gardens Oval at 4.00pm on Saturday 5th February.

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