The Northern Territory news Mon 4 May 2015
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Community newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin; Australian newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin
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News Corp Australia
18 SPORT MONDAY MAY 4 2015 NTNE01Z01MA - V1 Langfords debut bit of a blur for Fletcher IT seems Essendon youngster Kyle Langford will have to tell the tale of his AFL debut to locker neighbour and mentor Dustin Fletcher during todays recovery. While Fletcher was certainly there for the start and finish yesterday, theres a large slab of the third quarter that the kid must recall and relive to the master. A heavy collision with teammate Michael Hurley sent Fletcher to the interchange bench for a concussion test before he could return to resume his 397th game. Fletcher, who turns 40 on Thursday, and 18-year-old Langford have side-by-side lockers at the Bombers Tullamarine headquarters. And, not surprisingly, the pair cut contrasting figures in the seesawing duel with St Kilda at Etihad Stadium. Fletcher exuded that usual calm, reassuring stature and steadiness down back with his penchant to play on talls or smalls. It mattered little to the ageless Bomber whether he was standing 201cm Tom Hickey or the nippy 174cm Jack Lonie. Langford, not even born when Fletcher completed his fourth season, was left to rue two wayward set shots virtual ly directly in front in the first half in such a close contest. Imagine the haunting memories if the Bombers hadnt managed to edge ahead in those frantic final minutes. By no means could you have laid blame on the Bombers first debutant this season had they not fallen over the line. Far more seasoned teammates buckled under the young Saints intensity. But Langford looked like the lost boy when playing as a high forward to give space to Joe Daniher and Jake Carlisle in the opening quarter. The Ivanhoe Grammar recruit was more at home when sent deep at the start of the second term and several times presented himself as a viable target. The new Bomber had a chance to join that first goalfirst kick club when he found space to run onto a Jake Melksham pass. Alas, the nervous set shot from 35m drifted to the wrong side of the right goalpost. But, hey, his AFL career is off and running with a modest 12 possessions and three tackles. Courtenay Dempsey gave the new boy an encouraging pat as he grabbed a spot on the interchange bench. Just in time for Fletcher to give another illustration of why hes still going strong. A wave of overlap handpasses found Saint Tim Membrey on the top of the goalsquare, only to watch his seemingly soda goal thwarted by the veteran Bombers smother off the boot. How timely was that save in the final wash-up! At least, Langford will be able to fill in any other exciting bits that the old boy missed in the riveting second half struggle to get over those dogged Saints. The Bombers survived a massive scare from St Kilda to notch its third win of the season, managing to fall over the line by two points 11.6 (82) to 11.14 (80). BRUCE MATTHEWS Zac Clarke of the Dockers gives Cameron Pederson a scalp massage as they keep their eyes on the ball during yesterdays game at the MCG won convincingly by the men from West Australia Picture: GETTY IMAGES Dockers just perfect as Demons get hell of a lesson A METHODICAL Fremantle has maintained its perfect AFL season, taking apart Melbourne to record their fifth straight win. Ross Lyons side sit alone as the only unbeaten side at the top of the AFL ladder after their 18.10 (118) to 6.14 (50) victory at the MCG. Bidding to win back-toback games for the first time in five years, Melbourne were never in the contest after shipping the first four goals within the opening 10 minutes. Until the last term, the Demons were outclassed but not embarrassed, unable to muster a sustained challenge against a side that made few errors. But the Demons took the last term off, conceding seven straight goals to give the Dockers a percentage boost. David Mundy and Nat Fyfe were strong contributors for Fremantle, with Chris Mayne impressively leading the Dockers attack in the absence of Matthew Pavlich who was concussed in the first half, as was small forward Michael Walters. Despite an interchange bench of just two for the second half, the Dockers powered on. Fremantle was efficient and clean, able to exploit a seemingly endless string of favourable match-ups across the ground. The tall and big-bodied side was stronger in the contest, leading from their first goal to the final whistle. Stephen Hill, Matt Taberner, Nick Suban and Mundys first term goals gave the Dockers a strong buffer. Demons coach Paul Roos issued a spirited quarter-time address after his sides errorstrewn start. Melbourne lifted in the second quarter, but just as they summoned some momentum, an unfortunate 50m penalty to Jeff Garlett gave Dockers sub stitute Matt de Boer an easy goal. Shortly after, the Fremantle skipper headed from the ground after taking a high hit in a strong challenge from Colin Garland. Mayne kicked truly from Pavlichs shot for goal, ensuring any foothold the Demons had was lost. From half-time, the Dockers pushed on, kicking 9.4 to 1.9 to settle an unremarkable game in front of 22,892 people. MELBOURNE V FREMANTLE 50DEMONS2.2 5.4 6.8 6.14 118DOCKERS5.3 8.6 11.8 18.10 BEST Demons: A Brayshaw, T McDonald, J Grimes, J Garlett, D Cross Dockers: N Fyfe, C Mayne, M Barlow, L McPharlin, L Neale, C Pearce, D Mundy, N Suban GOALS Demons: J Garlett 3, J Hogan, A vandenBerg, A Brayshaw Dockers: C Mayne 4, D Pearce 2, N Suban 2, L Neale 2, M Taberner 2, D Mundy 2, S Hill, M de Boer, N Fyfe, A Sandilands UMPIRES OGorman, Ryan, Pannell CROWD 22,892 at the MCG ST KILDA V ESSENDON 80SAINTS2.6 6.7 10.10 11.14 82BOMBERS3.2 6.6 9.11 11.16 BEST Saints: D Armitage, J Steven, J Bruce, J Lonie, S Dempster, T Hickey Bombers: J Watson, B Goddard, J Carlisle, B Stanton, P Ambrose, M Hurley GOALS Saints: J Bruce 5, J Billings 2, J Lonie 2, L Dunstan, J Steven Bombers: J Carlisle 4, P Ambrose 2, D Zaharakis 2, M Gleeson, B Goddard, T Colyer UMPIRES Donlon, Bannister, Chamberlain CROWD 29,869 at Etihad Stadium every monday & friday in the