NTFL Women’s Premier League weekend preview: Round 1 – Hawks enter league

THE stage is set for Round 1 of the 2019/2020 Northern Territory Football League Women’s season, and with ten teams competing in this season the division has opened up to an 18-round season to make this the best NTFLW season yet. With a grand final rematch among this weekend’s matches, it is set to be a big weekend of footy.

St Mary’s v. Big River Hawks
Round 1 – 5/10/19
TIO Oval 2
2.30pm

The inaugural match for Big River Hawks will take place as the season opener, with the Hawks taking on St Mary’s in a clash that will see the elimination finalists from last season prove they have what it takes to defeat the newbies. With a notably stable lineup compared to the new look Hawks, St Mary’s should be able to get over the line given their form last season. The Hawks will want to announce themselves from the opening bounce, contesting hard at the stoppages and stopping St Mary’s signature run and carry in order to establish a commanding lead. With history in the making expect the Hawks to bring the heat and make the most of their opportunities to kick start their inaugural season off in style. However, St Mary’s will be wanting to make amends for their short comings last year and get their year off on the right foot.

Tracy Village v. Darwin Buffettes
Round 1 – 5/10/19
TIO Oval 2
5.00pm

Last season’s fifth and seventh place-getters will do battle to open their respective seasons, with only one side separating the two last year. Tracy Village were unlucky to not make finals last season while the Buffettes made it to the semi-final so it will be very interesting to see whether the Razorbacks can get one back this time around. The Buffettes will be hoping to replicate their form from last year to continue that winning momentum and hopefully assert themselves on the competition. The last time these two sides met the Buffettes ran away with a convincing win with the likes of youngster Tayla Hart-Aluni helping herself to two majors while Tikesa Docherty-Cole was also superb. For Tracy Village, Elissa Ienco and Jessica Downie left their mark on the game. Tracy Village will be hoping to gain bragging rights and start with a bang while the Buffettes will want to repeat their efforts from their previous encounters.

Southern Districts v. Waratah
Round 1 – 5/10/19
TIO Stadium
5.00pm

Round 1 will see a grand final rematch, with 2018/19 premiers Waratah taking on Southern Districts. While the grand final was in less than ideal conditions, the Crocs were well and truly beaten by Waratah last time they met so are sure to come into this match with a whole new game plan and ready to take one back. For Waratah, this match will be all about staking a claim on the competition once more after stellar form in recent years. Both sides have key players that they will be trying to get the ball into their hands in order to make sure they can capitalise in front of goal or dispose cleanly. Sue Nalder proved to be crafty in front of the big sticks for the Waratahs racking up 14 goals from the 12 games she played and will want to bring that same intensity again this game if her side is to roll over that hot form from last season.

Pint v. Palmerston Magpies
Round 1 – 5/10/19
TIO Oval 2
7.00pm

This will be an interesting match, with last season’s second and fourth place finishers taking on their fellow finalist. Last season the two sides split evenly with one victory apiece in head to head, while Palmerston won two more matches so both sides will be hoping to replicate their 2018/2019 form especially after both were knocked out of grand final contention. The Magpies showed glimpses of brilliance but had a tendency to fade away against higher place opposition and will be hoping to rectify those issues with a convincing win over Pint. Meanwhile, Pint will be hoping to establish a solid grounding for the rest of the season with a victory over Palmerston. Both teams know how to hit the scoreboard and if given the time and space can have an impact in front of the goals.

Nightcliff v. Wanderers
Round 1 – 6/10/19
TIO Oval 2
2.30pm

This match will pit last season’s cellar dwellers against each other, with both sides combining for only four wins last season. This will be an opportunity for both Nightcliff and Wanderers to start with a bang and find some form early in the season to ensure they do not sit at the bottom again this season. They showed that they can put on a show when on song with Nightcliff piling on a whopping 97 points the last time these two sides met credit to Shantel Miskin-Ripia bagging five goals while Emma-Lou Wolsey also made her presence felt with three majors of her own. They will be hoping to put out a similar performance in order to start on a high. For the Wanderers they will be wanting to regain some belief and prove their skill to compete within the league.

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