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Bombers bounce back to beat Banks Bulldogs

03 March 2014

Best on ground, co-captain Richard Lindner, gets Bombers out of danger in the qualifying final against Banks. PHOTO: ANNE O'DEA Best on ground, co-captain Richard Lindner, gets Bombers out of danger in the qualifying final against Banks. PHOTO: ANNE O'DEA

By Ian Douglass

THE Jabiru Bombers bounced back from two comprehensive regular season defeats to win the NTFL Division 2 qualifying final against bitter arch rival Banks Bulldogs by 17 points. 

Despite a far from ideal build-up to Saturdays clash, the Bombers unveiled a game plan built on tackling pressure and implemented it with dogged determination in the first quarter laying six effective tackles to two, resulting in four holding-the-ball decisions going the Bombers way. Ruckman Anthony Reid was pivotal in the Bombers centre clearance dominance, providing his on-ballers with first use of the ball with co-captain Mickitja Onus the major beneficiary gathering 10 first-quarter possessions. As a result the Bombers were able to hold the Bulldogs to four behinds whilst kicking two goals themselves to hold a nine-point advantage at the quarter time break.

Banks were fielding no less than five regular first-division players but were unable to prevent the Bombers kicking another four goals to two in the second quarter as Dylan Cooper and Brody Church showed their class with Richie Lindner winning plenty of the ball. At the main break the Bombers held a handy 23 point lead. Although the Bombers tackling intensity slowed as the game wore on, the Bulldogs were unable to create any scoreboard pressure as the Bombers backline lead by Daniel Hill held sway. The Bombers kicked three goals to one to hold – as it turned out – an unassailable 34-point lead at three-quarter time.

In front of a parochial, Jabiru-dominated crowd, the fourth quarter saw a Bulldogs resurgence led by former Palmerston Magpie Premier League player Mark Tyrell as the Bombers began to tire. The Bulldogs kicked five goals straight to close within 11 points with three minutes to play, but full forward Troy Lovett marked and goaled to ice the game for the Bombers. 

The Jabiru Bombers next assignment will be against the top team Olympic Spartans in the second Semi Final on Saturday 1 March at TIO 2 starting at 5.30pm.

Final scores: Jabiru Bombers 11.5-71 defeated Banks Bulldogs 8.6-54

Jabiru Bombers goalkickers: Brody Church 3, Dylan Cooper 3, Troy Lovett 2, Jake Bonner 1, Nicholas Bangarr 1, Shea Rotumah 1. 

Jabiru Bombers best players: Richard Lindner, Brody Church, Daniel Hill, Anthony Reid, Mickitja Onus and Dylan Cooper.