A sensational run of form has seen the Tiwi Bombers climb to third place on the NTFL ladder with four games remaining in the 2019/20 home and away season.
Entering a vital part of the fixture with a 4-4 win-loss record, the Tiwi Bombers were under plenty of pressure to realise their undoubted potential.
It all began with a massive task against a high-flying Nightcliff line-up in round nine, with the reigning premier sitting atop the ladder with just one loss to its name and the Bombers trailing in fifth.
It was an extremely positive start from the underdogs as the Bombers broke the game open in a dominant five-goals-to-one second term to take a 18-point buffer into half-time.
But they simply couldn’t hold back the reigning premiers who settled back into the game and took control in the second half to narrowly overcome Tiwi in the final term and escape with a six-point win.
Five weeks on, the Tigers still remain on top with a 13-1 winning record, but the promising effort from Tiwi set up what was to be a sensational run of form.
It kicked off when the Bombers faced Darwin Buffaloes at home the following week where they proved too strong in a typically high-scoring affair at Tiwi Oval.
Congrats to Tiwi Bombers Men's PL player, Matthew Kantilla for being named the Rd 10 nominee for the NT News Rising Star. Enjoy this highlight reel that will show just why he earned the nomination! #NTFLtruecolours #territoryfooty https://t.co/sWpgXLQzNS— AFLNT (@AFLNT) December 10, 2019
A number of the side’s proven stars stood up in the clash, with experienced gun Ashton Hams and in-form Bombers Alastair Darcy and Jason Puruntatameri leading the way.
The next challenge was a clash with Wanderers and there was no shortage of nervous moments as Tiwi fell behind in a scoreless third quarter that saw the visitors turn a three-point half-time deficit into a 26-point lead at the final change.
But the determined Bombers fought back brilliantly, restricting the Eagles to just a sole behind in the final term to run over the top and claim a classic four-point victory.
Full time Round 11 Men’s Premier League: Tiwi Bombers 9.11.65 defeated Wanderers FC 8.13.61. Tiwi Bombers kicked four of last five goals to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat in wet Bathurst island conditions. #NTFLtruecolours #Territoryfooty pic.twitter.com/NMPCrr2sWJ— AFLNT (@AFLNT) December 14, 2019
And it was then, after receiving the minor wake-up call, that the Tiwi Bombers truly kicked into gear.
Three more consecutive victories have followed to make it five wins on the trot, with the latest impressive trio of performances seeing the Bombers come away with an average winning margin of 55 points.
The first thumping saw the Bombers comfortably account for Palmerston by 61 points, with several of the club’s experienced stars including Austin Wonaeamirri, Dion Munkara and Harley Puruntatameri coming to the fore.
Full time Round 12 Men’s Premier League: @TiwiBombersFC 16.17.113 defeated Palmerston 7.10.52. It was a low scoring third quarter as both teams began to tire. Tiwi were dominant in the last quarter to win the match by 61 points #NTFLtruecolours #territoryfooty pic.twitter.com/yoiBOhj84c— AFLNT (@AFLNT) January 4, 2020
Another dominant with followed as Tiwi ran away from Waratah in a massive second half that yielded 13 goals and a mightily impressive 57-point win.
Star recruit Tom Bell and Harley Puruntatameri did the damage with five goals apiece, while Jack Monigatti and gun Bomber Nathan Djerrkura also impressed.
It was just his second NTFL match and we caught up with former AFL player Tom Bell where he praised the team for today’s win and stated how he jumped at the opportunity to play for the @TiwiBombersFC. Post match interview with thanks to @statewide super. #NTFLtruecolours pic.twitter.com/Pz3X3OgU0j— AFLNT (@AFLNT) January 11, 2020
Closing off a sensational run of form was another strong victory, this time over Southern Districts by 46 points.
The game wasn’t without its challenges as Tiwi entered half-time five points adrift of the Crocs, but the Bombers’ class came through in a remarkable second half that saw them pile on 12 goals to Southern Districts’ three.
Rodney Baird was named the team’s best in the win, with Djerrkura again among the leading performers as he hits his straps at the right time of the year.
Another terrific performance from Tiwi legend Wonaeamirri saw him add a further three goals to his season tally, with the veteran’s 23 goals placing him fifth in the league to date.
A big month lies ahead as Tiwi looks to secure a finals berth, kicking off with a huge clash against the fourth-placed Darwin Buffaloes on Saturday.