IN the Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Women’s Premier League, the top six qualify for finals in the nine-team competition. In the post-season, the top two guarantee themselves a double chance, playing off in a quarter final, while third takes on sixth and fourth takes on fifth in elimination finals. The winner of the qualifying final takes on the lowest finishing winner from week one, and the loser takes on the highest finishing winner. From the semi-finals, the two winners play off in the decider. We will be covering the competition with a preview and review each week, and ahead of the first round we take a look at how each of the sides went last season.
Last year: Grand Finalists
The Darwin Buffettes finished second on the ladder last year with 13 wins and three losses. Their season began with a 150-point win and ended with a 35-point loss in the Grand Final. Darwin experienced some thumping wins but its losses were all close, especially when the Buffettes went down to Palmerston by one point in Round 4. Delsey Ah Wang was the side’s leading goal kicker for the season, kicking 25 goals from 18 matches, including a five-goal haul. Northern Territory Under 18 representative, Machaelia Roberts was one of the standouts last season, with 15 goals to go along with appearing 10 times in the best players. NT Thunder teammates, Kylie Duggan, Jordann Hickey and former Adelaide AFL Women’s player, Jasmine Anderson also had impressive seasons.
Round 1: vs. Southern Districts – TIO Oval No. 2, Saturday, 6pm
Last year: Wooden spoon
Did not record a victory in season 2017/18, but had a number of spirited losses, including a 12-point defeat to third placed Palmerston in the penultimate round. Alexandra Biggs was the Tigers’ leading goal kicker with three goals from 11 games. American midfielder, Jess Blecher played three games with Nightcliff before heading down to Melbourne to play for Northern Football Netball League (NFNL) side, Keilor.
Round 1: vs. St Marys – TIO Stadium, Saturday, 10.30am
Last year: Semi-Final
Came within four points of an upset win in the semi-final against Darwin Buffettes, but had to be satisfied with a top four finish after an impressive third-placed finish in the regular NTFL Women’s season. The Magpies started off the season well, with six straight wins to open up their campaign. Their losses came against quality sides in Waratah, Darwin Bufferttes and St Marys, who all finished in the top four last season. Jessica Stassi was Palmerston’s leading goal kicker, with 14 goals from 13 matches. Northern Territory Under 18 AFL Women’s Most Valuable Player, Janet Baird was a member of the side last year and kicked six goals in her 17 games. Fellow Northern Territory representative and NT Thunder player, Tabitha May was also a member of the side.
Round 1: vs. Pint – Asbuild Oval, Sunday, 2pm
Last year: Elimination final
The Green Ants went down to St Marys by 23 points in the elimination final, making the post-season series ahead of other teams in the mid-table logjam. Six wins and 10 losses saw them finish fifth, with wins coming against the Wanderers, Southern Districts and Nightcliff. Elise Fenna was the Green Ants’ leading goal kicker, with 17 goals from eight matches, including a bag of six. Cara Evans was another player who consistently scored goals, kicking 14 majors from 13 games.
Round 1: vs. Palmerston – Asbuild Oval, Sunday, 2pm
Last year: Semi-Final
St Marys was outclassed by eventual premiers, Waratah by 60 points in the semi-final, but enjoyed an elimination final win over Pint by 23 points. Laelia Dunn was the competition’s leading goal kicker with 42 goals from 18 games. In one match, she kicked a whopping 14 majors. Alana Coombes finished fifth in the competition, with 23 goals from 16 games. Northern Territory Under 18 representative and Essendon Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s player, Danielle Ponter was a member of the side and kicked 16 goals from 15 games, being named in the best three times. Other notable names include Essendon VFLW player, Michaela Long.
Round 1: vs. Nightcliff – TIO Stadium, Saturday, 10.30am
Last year: Seventh
Recorded the five wins in season 2017/18, missing out on a finals berth by percentage. NT Thunder player, Tahlia Holtze was the side’s leading goal kicker with 14 majors from 16 games. She was also named in the best six times and kicked a bag of five on one occasion. Fellow Thunder player, Lateesha Jeffrey was also a member of the Southern Districts, playing 17 games for seven appearances in the best. Despite a couple of hefty losses at the start of the season, the Southern Districts bounced back throughout the season with some hard-fought wins throughout the middle and end of the season.
Round 1: vs. Darwin Buffettes – TIO Oval No. 2, Saturday, 6pm.
Last year: Elimination final
The Razorbacks went down to Palmerston by 15 points in the elimination final in a brave effort against the third placed side, a team which had seven more wins in the regular NTFL Women’s season. NT Thunder player, Kristy Irvine led the way in goals, with 19 goals in 13 matches. She was also named in the best seven times. Some convincing wins against Nightcliff, Wanderers and Pint were highlights of its season.
Round 1: vs. Wanderers – Gardens Oval No. 2, Sunday, 11.30am.
Last year: Eighth
Had the four wins in season 2017/18, finishing ahead of wooden spooners Nightcliff, but just one win short of a finals berth. Keyona Desatge was the side’s leading goal kicker with six goals from 13 games. Georgia Halkitis and Shekeine De Satge each kicked five majors for the season. A 141-point win against Nightcliff in Round 1 kickstarted their season but they feel away in the subsequent rounds, recording a further three wins for the season.
Round 1: vs. Tracy Village – Gardens Oval No. 2, Sunday, 11.30am.
Last year: Premiers
Took home a remarkable sixth flag in seven seasons after winning the 2017/18 premiership, toppling Darwin Buffettes by 35 points in the decider. NT Thunder star, Sue Nalder led the way in the goal kicking, with 32 goals from 15 matches, including a bag of 10. Thunder teammate, Madeline Gault also got amongst the goals with 19 goals from 14 games, including a bag of six. The duo also featured prominently in the best, with Nalder appearing six times and Gault appearing five times. Waratah only lost one match during the season, recording 15 wins. The Warriors will certainly come in as favourites this season.
Round 1: Bye.