Djarrak Football Club Full Forward Bernie Price kicked 8 goals 1 behind in a display of football smarts blended with a ruthless streak, as he roamed the forward area with authority on Saturday afternoon at Hindle Oval as the Brown and Gold Army defeated Nhulunbuy Saints Football Club by 17.7 109 - 8.8 56.
Djarrak FC exploded from the starting blocks to enter the quarter time break 5.2 32 - 0.0 0. The backline was clinical for the first half conceding only 4 points going into halftime. Cameron Stokes has his zone firing and Winston Yunupingu gave a virtuoso display as tall defender and was responsible for not only shutting down his opponents but also igniting the rebound to afford clean ball into the attacking zone.
The return of Michael 'Longy' Maymuru to the midfield added a new attacking dynamic where he rotated with Lee Mununggurr who has added physicality to his lethal left boot. Arnold Marika can be pleased with his first start on the wing rotation and displayed some nice touches that will give him confidence as he returns after a season on the sidelines. Murray Marika provided a tall option through the middle and his delivery forward was first class throughout. Sylvester Wunungmurra and Jeffery Gumana worked hard in the ruck to provide quality hit zones for the smalls.
The forward line has been learning a new set up and generally the half-forwards opened up the ground to allow Price to roam at will. If improvement is needed in this area it would be crumbing the talls and applying chase pressure where the side will look to improve over the next two games.
Despite the favourable scoreline, Senior Coach Hayden Rickard preferred to keep emotions in check when asked for his thoughts regarding where the Djarrak side is currently placed. He said "Obviously it was pleasing to put two really clinical quarters of football together. I thought Price stood tall and he had some bloody quality defenders get changed through him. But for us, the backline sealed that win for us today. Yunupingu was massive, (Rhys) Mulholland provided a presence down back and through the middle late. Gapirri and James Burarrwanga opened up all sorts of options on the rebound. He added "Its unfortunate we have a bye this week.It may be a blessing as we look to have added Brendan Marika, Richie Morton, Paul Kyle and Price to the injury list, yet the club will have a 40 minute inter-club fixture on Thursday night. We need to build our base fitness. I though Saints fought back hard in the second half and our guys toiled away with three healthy bodies left on the interchange. Where are we placed, we will know when we face both of last years grand finalists over the next two games".
On a sombre note, Djarrak players wore black armbands out of respect to two recent passings within the Marika clan. The club extends its deepest sympathies to the Marika families.
Club supporters are urged to attend an Inter-Club fixture this Thursday at Yirrkala Oval starting at 5:40pm. Team Raymond will take on Team Price and sides will be selected at Tuesday training.
Injury List: Tim Blake - Hamstring - 2 weeks, Dale Dhamarrandji - Ankle - 2 weeks, Richie Morton - Hamstring Soreness - 1 week, Brendan Marika - Ankle - 2 weeks, Bernie Price - Groin - 4-6 weeks, Paul Kyle - Shoulder - 2-4 weeks, Djayminy Marika - Finger, Teared Tendon - 6-8 weeks.
BEST ON GROUND: 5 Winston Yunupingu, 4 Bernie Price, 3 James Burarrwanga, 2 Rhys Mulholland, 1 Sylvester Wunungmurra