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Nail-biting grand final game in Maningrida

02 August 2019

A great example of remote community footy was on display at the 2019 Maningrida Football League (MFL) Grand Final (GF) between the Tigers and Hawks on 20 July.  
The game was fast, skillful, physical and close with the large crowd enjoying every moment at Maningrida Oval.
After the home and away season, the Tigers held top position on the MFL ladder by 8 points and was clearly the standout team all season. The Tigers progressed directly to the GF winning their semifinal over the Lions.  
On the other hand, the Hawks had to win their last two games of the home and away season to force their way into the top 4 and then had to do it the hard way. Firstly defeating the Buffaloes in the elimination final and then recording a nail biting victory over the Lions in the preliminary final by just 2 points.
The first quarter of the grand final, the Hawks gained the momentum from the first bounce and had the majority of play  - however they didn’t capitalise kicking 2.6 for the quarter with the Tigers registering 2 goals straight in what was an extremely fast quarter of footy. 
The second quarter was more an arm wrestle with each side kicking 3 goals with only 4 points then separating the two teams at the main break. Rickly Ankin for the Hawks was playing well as was Darryl Maxwell for the Tigers.  
The third quarter was tough and physical, with the Hawks straightening up in front of goal kicking 4 for the quarter as opposed to the Tigers who slotted just the two. It was to all come down to the last quarter with the Hawks holding a lead of 18 points.
The first 15 minutes of the last quarter was a dour struggle with the Tigers pressing but the Hawks holding firm. 
With only 5 minutes to go, the Hawks held a lead of three goals and the game appeared to be over. 
However the Tigers roared back very late, opening the game up and kicking two late goals but unfortunately for them the siren blew and the Malala Health Scoreboard showed a victory to the Hawks by 7 points. 
Congratulations to the Hawks! Final score  Hawks 11.12 (78) defeated Tigers  10. 11 (71).        
The 168 General Store Player of the Day was awarded to Ricky Ankin of the Hawks!
Thanks to all the support in Maningrida particularly Malala Health, West Arnhem Regional Council, 168 General Store, MPA and Dhukurrdji Lodge.