Sunday 22 August 2010

The Northern Territory secured a historic inaugural QAFL finals berth on the back of a record-breaking goal spree against a disappointing Broadbeach at the Gardens Oval yesterday.

The Thunder guaranteed fifth place with a 29.19 (193) to 8.3 (51) smashing of the feeble Cats.

It was the Thunder’s highest score in two years in the QAFL and the 142-point batting was their highest winning margin.

The size of the loss consigned the Cats to ninth place on the premiership table, dropping them below the Brisbane Lions on percentage.

It was a devastating finish to a season that had promised so much when the Cats sat in fourth place mid-season.

The game was ended as a contest at quarter-time when a fired-up Thunder raced to an 8.4 to 1.1 lead.

Darren Ewing and Dean Staunton kicked three goals each in the early onslaught and finished with eight and five respectively for the day.

Ewing had five to halftime and was on track to draw level with Cleve Hughes in the QAFL goalkicking race, but ultimately fell two short.

Staunton was a real livewire all day and the Cats defenders were powerless to stop him.

Skipper Jarred Ilett providing a constant source of ball to the running players around him and Matt Rosier was in everything on a day where the Thunder did not have a bad player.

Cameron Ilett capped a strong game with four goals, while the diminutive Charlie Maher was in everything.

Young defender Willie Kossack continued his impressive start to his senior career with another quality display.

Cameron Ilett, one of the favourites for the Syd Guildford Trophy, admitted the size of the win should give his side plenty of confidence going into the elimination final against Mt Gravatt.

“Hopefully, that’s the way it goes because we all got plenty of touches and used the footy pretty well,” he told the NT News.

The Thunder’s previous record high score and winning margin were also in the one game – against the Western Magpies in Alice Springs in Round 7 of last season when they kicked 26.13 (169) and won by 126 points.

Dayne Zorko and Matt Fife tried hard for the Cats but it was one of the club’s worst losses in their time in the QAFL.

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