Leonard hope­ful of place in fi­nals

Sunday Territorian - - SPORT - JACK HISLOP TIWI BOMBERS WAN­DER­ERS

WAN­DER­ERS’ fi­nals hopes are still alive af­ter a come­from-be­hind 32-point vic­tory over Tiwi at TIO Sta­dium yes­ter­day.

The Bombers led by more than three goals close to half­time, but Wan­der­ers kicked two just be­fore the main break and an­other five straight af­ter to stamp their au­thor­ity.

Tiwi got within seven points mid­way through the fourth term.

But poor skill ex­e­cu­tion halted Bren­ton Toy’s side from fin­ish­ing the job.

The Muk Muks were led by Caleb Niki on de­but, four­goal star Joel Jef­frey and skip­per Daniel Wee­tra.

Coach Pe­ter Leonard said his troops “dug deep” to se­cure the 14.15 (99) to 9.13 (67) win, their third of 2018-19.

“Our sec­ond quar­ter wasn’t too good and we had Nook Mansell and Bren­ton Mot­lop go down with ham­string in­juries,” Leonard said.

“But we used the footy a bit bet­ter in the sec­ond half and that prob­a­bly told in the end.

“We shot our­selves in the foot a cou­ple of times by miss­ing sim­ple goals and that swings mo­men­tum quickly, but the boys did well to win.

“I was con­fi­dent we were go­ing to hold on, we had enough blokes on the ground who were ex­pe­ri­enced enough to get us through.”

The Bombers were led by Ash­ton Hams in the mid­field and ruck­man Liam Bux­ton, but their ef­forts weren’t enough in a scrappy con­test.

The Ea­gles only con­cern was four points, though, which keeps their fi­nals as­pi­ra­tions in­tact, ac­cord­ing to Leonard.

“It is a tight comp and if you pull two or three to­gether in a row, you are well and truly back in the mix,” Leonard said.

“It gives us a bit of con­fi­dence go­ing into the three­week break.

“But the real stuff starts af­ter Christ­mas, so we have to knuckle down.

“We’ll have some play­ers back.

“Jarred Er­land­son and a few oth­ers will re­turn from in­jury, so we will be giv­ing it a fair shake to make fi­nals.” TIWI BOMBERS V WAN­DER­ERS BEST 0.3 5.7 7.8 9.13 1.6 4.7 9.11 14.15 GOALS UM­PIRES

Wan­der­ers skip­per Daniel Wee­tra was a stand­out

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