The Tiwi Bombers sit in sixth place on the TIO NTFL Men’s Premier League ladder after a challenging start to the 2019/20 season.

Coming off the back of a preliminary final berth earlier this year and buoyed by a series of coaching changes including the addition of AFL legend Cyril Rioli, the Bombers were hoping to burst out of the blocks.

But a tough meeting with a strong Darwin Buffaloes outfit in round one had the side quickly on the back foot.

Buffalo Adam Sambono was unstoppable that day at TIO Stadium in Darwin, booting 12 goals to blast the margin out to 113 points by the final siren in a wake-up call for the Bombers.

A clash with Nightcliff followed and while Tiwi showed some clear improvement against the reigning premier, the Tigers proved too strong to prevail by 40 points. Yet the loss wasn’t without its red and black highlights, with Harley Puruntatameri kicking a stunning goal of the year contender.

The Bombers were in desperate need of a response and a match against an undefeated St Mary’s side set up a mouth-watering encounter that didn’t disappoint.

Tiwi got off to a red-hot start, piling on 10 goals to one in the opening term to take a 54-point lead to quarter-time, but a rapid response from St Mary’s in the second quarter quickly dragged the margin back to just eight points at the main change.

Both sides traded blows throughout the second half as they played out a classic in front of the passionate Darwin crowd, but the Bombers’ stars came to the fore to fight out a thrilling 14-point victory.

37 goals were kicked in an extremely entertaining display of the league’s open and attacking game play, a style the Bombers particularly thrive on.

Tiwi legends Ross Tungatalum and Austin Wonaeamirri led the way on the scoreboard with four goals apiece, while the class of star pair Jason Puruntatameri and Adam Tipungwuti proved crucial.

Unfortunately, the Bombers weren’t able to make it two in a row last Saturday night, falling 14 points short of Wanderers. But the side’s determination and grit to fight to the line is sure to provide the squad with some further confidence.

Next week’s clash with Palmerston presents itself as an important game for the Bombers. The Magpies are yet to record a win from their four outings this season and sit at the tail of the eight-team ladder with a percentage of 43.11 per cent. 

Stay tuned for more updates on the Tiwi Bombers throughout the season.