Darwin Buffaloes Football Club survived a Wanderers Football Club comeback to seal the win and ensure they hold on to third position on the TIO NTFL Mens Premier League ladder by virtue of a 10.11 71 - 9.11 65 win. The match was halted early in the first quarter with Buffaloes big man Tai Martin-Page seriously injured when attempting to win a contested ball. Martin-Page has been relocated to Royal Perth Hospital after initially being treated at Royal Darwin Hospital. The Rirratjingu Football Program wish Tai all the best with his recovery ahead and would like to also acknowledge the professionalism of Darwin Buffaloes Football Club including the medical staff and the support of the AFLNT during this tough time for Tai and the playing group.
The Double Blues were first to settle after the extended injury stoppage and lead at each break. But as is so often is the case with clashes between the two clubs over the past century, the game came down to the wire with Chris Williams playing the role of hero to snuff out any chance of a come from behind win with a crucial goal prior to the siren.
Kelvin Williams and Jalen Clarke dominated proceedings for the Buffaloes throughout the match and Defensive Zone Coach Cameron Stokes gave Williams licence to play off his opposite and this resulted in a number of key intercepts that stopped the Wanderers momentum into the goal zone. Clarke easily displayed one of his finest outings at Premier League level and coaching staff will be keen to see him channel and repeat this type of performance going forward on a regular basis.
Program participant Lee Mununggurr shook off a back complaint to record a goal and whilst still very raw in his development, doesn't look out of place at this level. Rirratjingu Football Program Senior Coach Hayden Rickard was happy with Mununggurr's progress thus far in the season. He said "It was a willing contest with no quarter given. We will go over the tape and identify a few of the decisions that Lee made where perhaps there were other options available. There is plenty of improvement we can extract in the remaining regular season games ahead and hopefully Lee will be primed for an assault on finals".
The Program's injury list is expected to reduce with Gapirri Burarrwanga and Dale Dhamarrandji approaching their eminent return date and Under 18 Youth Girls Shanita Garrawurra and Gawiya Mununggurr are slated to play in this weekends key clash with the Tiwi Bombers.