For the second week in a row, the Redland Bombers have lost a cliff-hanger, going down to the NT Thunder by 7-points in Alice Springs on Saturday Night.
The Thunder, led by Abraham Ankers (43 disposals and three goals), turned it on in the second half and won 18.9 (117) to 16.14 (110) in front of a bumper home crowd.
Late in the second quarter, Redland looked like they were going to head back from the NT as winners for the second time this year.
However, the really good forward entries and spread from the back half that had served the Bombers so well early, ceased.
After the game Redland’s coach Phil Carse said, “As soon as we gave ourselves that three to four-goal buffer, we just didn’t play the way we wanted and let them back in.”
The Thunder were continuously able to force the turnover through their tackle pressure with the ability to get the ball out the back.
Although the Thunder were well on top in the second half, especially in the midfield, the Bombers had a couple of chances late to take back the lead, but inaccuracy hurt.
Carse, obviously very disappointed with the result especially considering the first half, is still resolute the club is on the right track and can see the bigger picture.
“I am still really enthusiastic about the future of this club and I can see it coming together really quickly if we can get it right,” he said.
Part of his plan has been to tap into the Brisbane Lions Academy program and give exciting young players the opportunity to play at NEAFL level.
Saturday Night saw the fourth player in as many weeks debut for the club, with Coorparoo junior Darcy Marsh playing for the first time in Redland colours.
“We definitely have half an eye towards the future at the moment and I’m excited by what the academy players are bringing.”
“They have all added plenty and we do see ourselves as a pathway team that help foster the local Brisbane talent.”
“We really liked what we saw from Darcy especially in the first half. I thought he gave us a real spark in the forward-half,” Carse said.
The Bombers’ attention is now focused on their last three matches which will all be at home, starting with a tough game against local rivals Aspley.
Carse stating that he thinks “Aspley are one of the form sides in the competition and we are going to have to come ready to play.”
“We really want to finish on a high note and with three home games to go, we would love it if everyone could continue to get around us as we believe we are setting a platform for the future.”
NT Thunder v Redland Bombers at TIO Traeger Park
NT THUNDER 4.1 9.3 14.6 18.9 (117)
REDLAND 6.3 11.6 14.9 16.14 (110)
GOALS – NT Thunder: N Lockyer 4 A Ankers 3 T Melville 2 M Rosas 2 C Williams 2 C Thiele N Paredes J Budarick K Delahunty J Hannath. Redland: M Hammelmann 5 C Cameron 4 M Thomson 4 D Marsh 2 S Ryan.
BEST – NT Thunder: A Ankers D Williams N Paredes J Templeton C Thiele N Lockyer Jnr. Redland: C Cameron H Bertoli-Simmonds A Williams M Stallard S Miller C Malone.