A desperate Djarrak Football Club showed composure late in a closely fought game to sneak a thrilling win over reigning premiers Nguykal Football Club in windy conditions at Hindle Oval yesterday by 10.15 75 - 10.11 71. The sides traded blows throughout a willing contest that had a number match-ups that the local Gove AFL fraternity would have enjoyed. Djarrak FC debutant Luke Bath was active tagging the classy Nathan Djerrkura in a solid debut game and a number of defenders stood tall when under pressure down back. Joel Ikupu was aggressive from the back pocket and fellow Groote Eylandt player Campbell Wurramarrba was an excitement machine when rebounding from the Halfback Flank.
Former North Melbourne goal sneak Matthew Campbell was classy throughout and managed the extra defender down back with aplomb whilst contributing 4 majors. Raven Marika was dangerous through the middle before being given a roving forward role where he was able to exploit defenders with his sheer leg speed. Djamika Ganambarr stood tall late in the third quarter to arrest a surging Nguykal FC and set up a frantic finish to the game. The last quarter had momentum changes but Djarrak FC was able to hold on by 4 points to take the outright lead on the Gove AFL Ladder.
Lee Mununggurr was named Best on Ground for Djarrak FC in a classy display from the middle. Working in a rotation with veteran Michael 'Longy' Maymuru, Mununggurr was able to roam free and made the most of a spell down forward by kicking a goal from the boundary on the forward left pocket that changed the complexion of the game. Other handy contributors were Bath, Cameron Stokes and Captain Dale Dhamarrandji.
Senior Coach Hayden Rickard preferred to downplay the significance of the result when asked for his thoughts immediately following the seesawing encounter. He remarked "Look, really happy for the lads to be rewarded for the effort left out on the paddock there today. This was a litmus test for us. We were heavily examined in a number of areas and at times we got a pass mark but we have a hell of a lot of work in front of us. He added "I thought we saw two pretty handy teams have a real crack out there and the community was building the hype all week, so there should be some pretty pleased supporters from both sides, there was nothing in this game but we will take the result. From a coaching perspective it was pretty uncomfortable viewing at times and some soft turnovers hindered our momentum and we payed on the scoreboard on three glaring occasions. We will review this and look forward to building for a handy Gopu FC side next week".
In positive news, only live-wire small forward Robbie Wunaragun (knee) joins the injury ward in a minor problem for the club to manage. A number of players continue rehabilitation going into next weeks encounter and Coaching staff will monitor progress of returning squad members into the selection framework.
BEST ON GROUND: 5 Lee Mununggurr, 4 Cameron Stokes, 3 Matthew Campbell, 2 Raven Marika, 1 Luke Bath