Mighty Night­cliff earns week off in flag hunt

Sunday Territorian - - SPORT -

NIGHT­CLIFF has earned a week’s rest in the NTFL premier­ship hunt af­ter beat­ing wooden spooner Palmer­ston by 108 points in the last mi­nor-round game.

The Tigers closed out their home-and-away sea­son with a quiet show of class that again stamped them as flag favourites in the hunt for NTFL foot­ball’s Holy Grail.

Nine play­ers kicked goals in their 21.16 (142) to 5.4 (34) win at Mag­pieland.

But the Mag­pies made them earn ev­ery kick, hand­ball and mark, de­spite the big gap on the score­board when the fi­nal siren blew.

Night­cliff util­ity and as­sis­tant coach Cameron Ilett said his side had been made to work by a Palmer­ston side des­per­ate to fin­ish the sea­son on a good note.

“Full credit ston,” Ilett said.

“They made us work ex­tremely hard.

“The seven-goal dif­fer­ence to Palmerat half­time prob­a­bly didn’t re­flect how tough it was out there.

“That half was very com­pet­i­tive.

“And it was only in the se­cond half when we found a lot more av­enues to goal when the mid­field started get­ting on top and the de­fend­ers be­gan win­ning con­tested ball and get­ting it for­ward.’’

Night­cliff found another goalscorer in first-gamer De­clan Singh-Lippo when he booted five goals in his first taste of se­nior foot­ball.

James Tsi­tas con­tin­ued his late sea­son surge through the mid­dle and up for­ward.

Brad Arnold was also pro­duc­tive in a mid­field role.

The Mag­pies found two ready-made play­ers for next sea­son.

Univer­sity pair Jared Sell­wood in the ruck and Isaac An­drade (mid­field) made their NTFL Premier League de­buts.

GOALS

BEST

GOLD Coast recorded their first AFLW vic­tory with an 11point win over Rich­mond at Met­ri­con Sta­dium.

The Suns’ strong run­ning in yes­ter­day’s hot and hu­mid con­di­tions was too much for the Tigers, with the home team claim­ing a 5.3 (33) to 2.10 (22) win. Gold Coast mid­field­ers Jamie Stan­ton (20 dis­pos­als) and Lau­ren Ahrens (16) im­pressed in the en­gine room, with Kate Sur­man’s two goals also crit­i­cal to the win.

Rich­mond com­peted strongly around the ground and edged the Suns for in­side-50s, but poor con­ver­sion in front of goal proved costly.

The Suns started brightly to gain early as­cen­dancy in front of a 7071-strong crowd on the Gold Coast. Stan­ton’s open­ing goal for the Suns meant Gold Coast, at 1.2 (8), had equalled their to­tal from last week’s rain-drenched Round 1 clash.

Goals to crafty Tiger Tayla Stahl and Christina Bernardi kept Rich­mond in touch early, but the Suns jumped to an 11point half­time lead thanks to Sur­man’s goals and a dom­i­nant dis­play from mid­fielder Leah Kaslar.

Pic­ture: GETTY IM­AGES

Rich­mond’s Sab­rina Fred­er­ick and Gold Coast’s Lau­ren Ahrens com­pete at Met­ri­con Sta­dium yes­ter­day

Tigers’ Jonathon Miles

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