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NT crunches Tassie

Northern Territory has recorded its one and only victory at the 2003 National AFL under-18 championships – after winning division-two in 2002 – with an emphatic 57-point win over a disappointing Tasmania, which lost its third and final match of the carnival.

The Thunder 19.11 (125) defeated the Mariners 9.14 (68) in the first of the division-two double-header played at Optus Oval on Saturday afternoon.

Although Tasmania produced wayward kicking in the first half, it was still right in the hunt when the second half began.

Yet a scintillating third-quarter display from the Northern Territory was the overwhelming factor in the victory.

Norman Pangiraminni, who began the championships in defence before switching forward mid-way through the carnival, was a shining light in attack for the Thunder when he finished the match with five goals.

Despite the absence of Raphael Clarke, because of a two-match suspension incurred during the second round of the championships, the Territory still had several stand out players including Tom Logan (20 disposals, 10 clearances and two goals), Ronald Smith, Johno Mullins and Richard Tambling.

For Tasmania, Brett Robinson (24 disposals and two goals) completed an impressive carnival, while Scott Bennetts battled hard up forward with four goals and Allan O’Sign was again among the highest possession winners for the Apple Isle with 22 touches.

Northern Territory opened the match in a positive fashion, booting two unanswered goals, but it wasn’t long before Tasmania struck back with two in succession.

The Mariners continually peppered the ball inside their forward 50 during the quarter, yet they were unable to capitalise their opportunities.

And when the Thunder posted another two in a row late in the term the Territory led by 12 points at the first break.

Again the Mariners went inside 50 on numerous occasions during the second term, but poor kicking for goal saw Tasmania register eight behinds for the quarter.

Although they did manage to kick three goals to two for the quarter, consequently, the Mariners trailed by one-point at half-time, because of their inaccurate shots at goal.

Although Tasmania was right in the contest entering the main change, the result of the game changed significantly in the third term, when the Northern Territory piled on nine unanswered goals to blow the margin out to a 57-point lead at three quarter-time.

As the Thunder roared, the Mariners sunk in a dismal display. Tasmania scored just one behind for the quarter.

The Mariners managed to gain some respectability in the last quarter, when they equaled the Thunder with four goals for the term, but by that stage it was far too late.

NORTHERN TERRITORY: 4.3 6.6 15.9 19.11 (125)
TASMANIA: 2.3 5.11 5.12 9.14 (68)

GOALS: Northern Territory: Pangiraminni 5, Logan 2, G.McLean 2, Mullins 2, Bailey, Calma, Campbell, M.McLean, N.McLean, Smart, Tambling, Von Senden
Tasmania: Bennetts 4, Robinson 2, Cornish, Grima, Ranger
BEST: Northern Territory: Logan, Smith, Bailey, M.McLean, Calma, Pangiraminni, Fittock, Hentschel
Tasmania: O’Sign, Robinson, Andrews, Crane, Oliver
At Optus Oval