The Ngukurr Bulldogs triumphed over a 16-year premiership drought by securing victory in the recent Big Rivers Football League grand final. Despite facing an early quarter time deficit, they emerged victorious with a final score of 14.10 (94) to 9.4 (58) against Katherine. The team faced logistical challenges when the bus carrying the players broke down on their way to Katherine, disrupting their preparation.
In an intense first quarter, Katherine South capitalized on their attacking opportunities, setting the stage for a competitive match. The Bulldogs managed to regain momentum during the second quarter, maintaining a narrow lead at halftime. As the game progressed, Ngukurr surged ahead, establishing an 11-point advantage by the three-quarter time break, resulting in an entertaining third term.
The final quarter saw a display of brilliant team footy by the Bulldogs, culminating in a decisive five-goal to one quarter and securing the long-awaited win. Cedric Robertson, a former NT Thunder player, shone bright, contributing three goals and clinching the Morris Medal for the best player on the field. The community celebrated in joy as coaches, supporters, and players united to revel in the hard-fought victory. This win was especially sweet for Ngukurr, a southern Arnhem Land community, as they had narrowly missed out on the premiership in the previous two seasons.
In a notable accomplishment, Ngukurr's victory coincided with Nhulunbuy Saints breaking an 18-year flag drought in the AFL Gove competition. Additionally, in the BRFL women's grand final, Arnhem Crows emerged victorious with a 16-point win over Ngukurr, displaying their prowess with six goals in the final three quarters. Jenna 'Aggie' Lippo received the best-on-ground award for her standout performance, and the Arnhem Crows celebrated their success in the league.
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Photo Courtesy National Indigenous Times
Courtesy National Indigenous Times