NT Thunder snapped a four-year Alice Springs hoodoo by running over Redland to win a thriller by seven points on Saturday night.
Proving a week is a long time in football, Thunder erased any memories of a 145-point loss to Canberra to bounce back with a 18.9 (117) to 16.14 (110) victory at TIO Traeger Park.
Star co-captain Abraham Ankers was sensational on his home turf, finishing with 43 disposals, four clearances, six inside 50s and three goals to lead his side to a morale-boosting victory.
Redland had the jump early in a high-scoring opening quarter, booting six goals to four to open up a 14-point lead with debutant Darcy Marsh amongst the goalkickers.
The Bombers’ lead grew to as much as 21 points during the second quarter, but Thunder didn’t get blown away to end the quarte with five goals each.
The home side made their move in the third, hitting the front through a brilliant goal in the pocket from draft prospect Mally Rosas at the eight-minute mark.
The two sides traded blows for most of the term where the lead changed four times.
It was Redland who went into three-quarter time with a three-point lead, but Thunder hit the front again in the opening minute of the last through Trent Melville.
It started a string of four in a row to the home side, with Ankers bringing the home crowd to its feet with his third goal at the 10-minute mark opening up a 20-point gap.
Just like last week, Redland came storming home but were wasteful, kicking 2.4 to 0.3 thereafter to fall just short.
Damian Williams (17 disposals, six rebound 50s), Nate Paredes (30 disposals, five inside 50s) were among NT Thunder’s best whilst local product Nigel Lockyer Jnr starred up forward with four goal.
Redland spearhead Matt Hammelmann continued his good form against NT with another bag of five. Captain Hayden Bertoli-Simmonds (29 disposals, five inside 50s), defender Adrian Williams (25 disposals, 14 marks, nine rebound 50s) and Clay Cameron (22 disposals, 13 marks, four goals) all performed strongly.
It was Thunder’s second win of the season – both coming against Redland – and their first in Alice Springs since 2015.
For the Bombers, it spelled more heartbreak as it took their tally to five games lost by 10 points or less this season.
Thunder will have the bye next week with Redland returning home to face Aspley.
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.
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