DARREN Ewing booted eight goals to lead NT Thunder to an 18-point victory against Redland at TIO Stadium on Saturday night.
NT Thunder stormed home against a faltering Redlands outfit in the sapping Darwin heat, kicking six goals to two in the final quarter running away 17.10 (112) to 13.16 (94) victors. It was a tight affair between two evenly matched sides with several momentum shifts throughout the night.
NT Thunder kicked the first goal of the match, courtesy of the in-form Abe Ankers. Ankers was influential early through his ability to break tackles and find space in traffic. Two first quarter goals to Ewing helped give NT Thunder an 11-point lead at the first break.
Redland kicked the first two goals of the second quarter through Aaron Christensen and Boyd Bailey to take the lead. Ewing ensured it would not be for long kicking a double reply, a minute later taking his first half tally to four goals.
Redland stormed to half-time with three successive goals, including two from Jai Kennealy to take a six-point lead into the main break. A third goal for Bailey gave Redland a 19-point lead early in the third quarter, the equal biggest lead of either team for the night.
Redland lost Craig Malone to injury in the second term, allowing Jack Monigatti to hold his own in the middle and provide NT midfielders with better supply. Ewing took a superb contested mark which led to his sixth goal of the night, before Jackson Paine gave Redland the lead in a see sawing third quarter, which saw nine goals kicked.
Ben Rioli ensured the margin was within a kick as he streamed through the middle of the ground taking four running bounces to give Thunder the momentum going into the last quarter. Goals to Chris Williams, Ankers and Matt Campbell opened up a 15-point lead for the Thunder, only for Hammelman to close the gap with his only goal of the night, a snap from 10 metres out.
Thunder had the legs to run out the game, with Ewing icing the cake with his eighth goal in a superb display.
Redland battled hard only to tire. Matt Thomson was one of their better performers, kicking three goals and providing spark in the forward half. Bailey and Kennealy also kicked three majors providing spark for Redland.
Next week the Bombers travel to Graham Rd, facing off against their local rivals who are fighting for a top two finish.