Sunday Territorian 7 Mar 2021
Sunday Territorian; NewspaperNT
Community newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin.; Australian newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin.
News Corp Australia
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News Corp Australia
52 SPORT SUNDAY MARCH 7 2021 NTNE01Z01MA - V1 Nightcliffs Kyle Emery in action during his sides massive NTFL major semi-final win over Wanderers at TIO Stadium. Pictures: Glenn Campbell NIGHTCLIFFS bid for a club record third successive Premier League flag took a major step forward when it thrashed Wanderers in the major semi-final at TIO Stadium last night. The Tigers 17.12 (114) to 6.3 (39) win means they have another week off before meeting the winner of Saturdays preliminary final between St Marys and Wanderers. Cameron Ilett, one of Nightcliff; s best on a big night for the club, will play in his 12th NTFL grand final after a spectacular career with the Tigers and St Marys. Its a super feeling. I could not fault one player out there, he said. Everyone stood up, with John Butcher setting us up early. And across the board our defenders and midfielders worked super hard and our forwards capitalised on their good work. It was a milestone night for both clubs, Jonathan Peris playing his 200th league game and clever Wanderers wingman Keelan Fejo reaching a century of games. The Eagles lost 69-goal spearhead Brett Eddy (shoulder) and Josh Cubillo (knee) before the game in a big blow to their own grand final ambitions, on top of the crushing three-game suspension handed down to inspirational skipper Braedon McLean during the week. Their hopes of surprising Nightcliff with a host of lesser names were ruined by Tigers spearhead John Butcher when he booted four firstquarter goals to set up a big lead at the first change. Nightcliffs ability to use the ball and spot up teammates a long way from the action put the young Wanderers side under constant pressure. The second quarter was excellent from the reigning premiers as they warmed up for a third grand final appearance in as many years. Brodie Filo around the ball with his kicking was superb, Iletts cool and calculated manner, Butcher and Trent Melville were lethal in front of goals, Dominic Brew through the middle with his fierce approach to the ball and ability to find it were highlights for the victors. Four goals to a single point in the second quarter and four goals to nothing in the third term set up an 80point lead at the last change. NIGHTCLIFF 6.1 10.5 14.10 17.12 (114) WANDERERS 2.1 2.2 2.2 6.3 (39) BEST Nightcliff: B Filo C Ilett D Brew J Butcher D Bowles. Wanderers: S Mannagh T Motlop B Newman D McFarlane M Totham. TIGERS THREE-PEAT HOPES STILL ALIVE GREY MORRIS that made the first impression on the scoreboard with key forward Jackson Calder shooting the opener. Decisive runs down the wing from Lachlan Taylor gave his forward line plenty of ball, and soon Daly Andrews and Justin Robinson had a goal each to build an early lead. But a quickfire brace from Dylan Collis put the Tahs right back into the contest and back in touching distance. A show of athleticism from 2016-17 Nichols Medalist Tim Mosquito prevented an almost sure goal from Jack Landt. That defensive pressure saw another surge from the redand-whites with Cam Arnold scoring a brace of his own. Early third-quarter intensity from Waratah moving the ball down the field saw another goal in their favour, this time for Rob Turnbull. But Saints weathered the storm, never letting go of the lead through the middle of the game and found themselves back on the front foot in the third quarter. Calder was a constant target up front, while Dylan Landt and Tylah Saunders provided a solid foundation in defence, giving little room for the Tahs in the later stages. Its pretty unreal. This is my first finals win up here in Darwin with Saints and it was a great team effort, Taylor told the NT News. Our speed on the outside of the contest was massive for us. We knew they would come out being a good, tough side but we stuck to it throughout as a team. Our fitness is pretty unreal at the moment. We just keep running and want to keep working so we can improve Saints fire up in defence DESPITE changes to their line-up, St Marys powered into the preliminary final after winning 14.9 (93) to 10.7 (67) against Waratah in the knock out semi-final at TIO Stadium yesterday. Matters were fiery from the opening minutes, with Tahs star Abe Ankers getting into a bit of niggle with the Saints ruck operators Brandyn Grenfell and Kieren Parnell. It was the Green Machine NATHANIEL CHAMBERS each week in finals. Our midfield played really well while our backs kept them to 67 points, which was a good effort from them. A late fourth-quarter injury to Jacob Long will have the Saints faithful concerned, with the young gun stretchered off the field. Junk time goals gave Waratah some respectability on the scoreboard with Brodie Carroll managing a brace but the score was too much for the chasing side to come back against. Undermanned Green Machine lifts and restricts Waratah to 10 majors Saints Tylah Saunders. A FIVE-GOAL haul by Nightcliff spearhead Mickayla Ward paved the way for her sides 55point win over St Marys in the WPL first semi-final. The Tigers kicked the first goal of the match through a Ward snap on the goal line and were never seriously challenged after that in their 11.4 (70) to 2.3 (15) victory. Ward told the Sunday Territorian her side had the momentum to go all the way in what is turning into a historic season for the beachside club. Bloody oath we can (go all the way). The belief is there and weve come from fifth spot to win two finals already, she added. Were playing for not only the 22 out there on match day, but those players who have been injured and havent been able to get on the ground. The Tigers should have been further ahead at halftime than 33 points, several scoring chances going astray in the first quarter and a half. But when Ward got on the end of some smart finishing from her midfield including a glorious short pass from Georgia Kennedy for her third the knockout final turned into a one-horse race. Nightcliff had plenty of good players, including Sophie Hatzismalis in defence, Olivia Hatzismalis in the ruck and Jamie-Lee Puautjimi who found plenty of the ball. The young St Marys side showed flashes of the form that saw it finish third in the homeand-away season, but Nightcliffs bigger bodies and ability to share the football proved the difference between the two. Ward haul ideal for Nightcliff GREY MORRIS