NTFL Women’s Premier League wrap: Round 15 – Nightcliff clinch victory as Waratah and Southern Districts continue dominance

WITH two blowout scores and an unexpected victory in the books, Round 15 of the Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Women’s Premier League well and truly shook up the competition heading into the final stretch, with only three rounds remaining. Only two sides switched on the ladder to finish the round, with the Magpies’ bye putting them into fourth below Southern Districts, the Buffettes will be rueing a missed opportunity while Wanderers will well and truly be wondering what went wrong.

TRACY VILLAGE 0.0 | 0.1 | 0.1 | 0.1 (1)
SOUTHERN DISTRICTS 5.4 | 12.6 | 17.9 | 24.14 (158)

GOALS

Tracy Village: N/A
Southern Districts: E. Miller 10, K. Waterbury 3, K. Patterson 3, C. Deegan 2, A. Lewis 2, K. Toy, M. Clarke, H. Engelhardt, M. Moussa

BEST

Tracy Village: N/A
Southern Districts: D. Lee-Feeney, E. Miller

Tracy Village did good on their promise to equal their Round 5 score but unfortunately Districts blew them out of the water with a massive 157-point margin to jump ahead on the ladder. It was the biggest win of the season so far and the Districts will look to bring this intensity to their final few matches of the season to boost their chances in the finals. A five goal first quarter set up the impressive match, with the Crocs relentlessly applying pressure to the scoreboard and denying the Razorbacks even a sniff of opportunity. Booting seven goals in both the second and fourth quarters, the Crocs proved once again that they have plenty of options inside 50 with accuracy to boot. But it was Ebony Miller that starred collecting 10 majors the second time this season showing just how deadly she can be inside 50. She was well aided by Keeley Waterbury and Kelsey Patterson with three goals apiece, alongside Charles Deegan and April Lewis who managed two. Four more players put goals on the board while D’Koda Lee-Feeney earned her second best on ground nomination for the season.

PINT 1.5 | 3.9 | 6.11 | 8.11 (59)
ST MARY’S 0.0 | 2.0 | 2.1 | 4.1 (25)

GOALS

Pint: C. Morris 3, J. Baumer 2, J. Downey, R. Fecht , K. Smits
St Mary’s: N/A

BEST

Pint: N/A
St Mary’s: N/A

Pint went one better this time around, staying true to their form and well and truly reigning supreme over St Mary’s. The Saints may have had a Round 5 victory in the books but Pint had the consistency to get the job done, though could have done with a bit more accuracy something they will have to address in the coming weeks if they hope to leap into finals contention. While both sides had a slow start to the match, it was only Pint’s inaccuracy that saw St Mary’s stay afloat early with five behinds giving the Saints the ability to make their way back into the match. But the Queen Ants were not going to let this one go that easy, applying more scoreboard pressure in the second to well and truly dominate the contest, and though the Saints booted two goals in the quarter it was not enough to close the gap. A further five goals to two in the second half cemented Pint’s seventh win for the season, giving the side a real chance to fight for a place in the finals. Pint’s Casey Morris (three goals) and Jessie Baumer (two) were influential inside 50, unable to be stopped and monopolising the footy to well and truly control the match from the forward half. 

NIGHTCLIFF 3.0 | 4.2 | 4.3 | 4.6 (30)
DARWIN BUFFETTES 2.0 | 3.0 | 4.2 | 4.3 (27)

GOALS

Nightcliff: J. Anyon-Smith 2, R. Russell, S. Millar
Darwin Buffettes: C. Browne 2, D. Ah Wang 2

BEST

Nightcliff: E. Morrison, L. de Hommel, S. Miskin-Ripia
Darwin Buffettes: T. Hart-Aluni, D. Carbone, T. Dhu, K. Duggan, B. Stokes

Nightcliff proved they have what it takes to beat the upper echelon of the competition with a confident win over the Buffettes. It was a close match throughout with neither side really able to find much purchase, though Nightcliff did have the upper hand from the beginning and had the match under control at the first and second changes despite only being a goal ahead. The Buffs fought back in the third however, catching up and denying the Tigers easy access to the goals to hold them in the tracks and come into the final quarter with the momentum. The Tigers were too good defensively however, and while neither team put a goal on the board in the final term Nightcliff were able to hold on for the three-point victory. While the Tigers of old may have collapsed at the Buffs’ onslaught, they held up well this time around under pressure and have beaten three of the top four this season with a chance to make it a clean sweep against Palmerston next round. Darwin missed their usual onslaught of forward-50 options with only Crystal Browne and Delsey Ah-Wang putting goals on the board, with two apiece. Youngsters Tayla Hart-Aluni and Dominique Carbone continued their impressive streak of matches with another bests nomination apiece. Fellow 2019 Under-18 player Shantel Miskin-Ripia was similarly as influential for Nightcliff, while Eliza Morrison put up another fantastic effort and Jacqueline Anyon-Smith booted two goals. 

WARATAH 7.3 | 12.5 | 14.7 | 17.8 (110)
WANDERERS 0.0 | 1.0 | 1.0 | 2.0 (12)

GOALS

Waratah: J. Singh 5, L. O’Shea 4, L. Roberts 3, B. Martin 2, G. Cusack, M. Campbell, M. Cooper
Wanderers: N/A

BEST

Waratah: L. O’Shea, B. Martin, L. Roberts, J. Singh, M. Cooper
Wanderers: N/A

Waratah have well and truly made themselves the team to beat after a stellar victory over a real smokey in the Wanderers, with the Eagles having put themselves on the map this season but unlucky to come up against the reigning premiers at such a pivotal stage of the competition. Waratah seem to have cleaned up their act in the accuracy department, booting 17 goals to their eight behinds, something they have noticeably improved on throughout the season, while their defensive pressure was far too good for the Wanderers who have shown glimpses of brilliance this season. With a frankly awful start to the match, the Wanderers were chasing throughout, conceding seven goals alone in the first before cleaning up their defensive efforts but ultimately to no avail. Waratah were impressive with seven goalkickers, with Jenna Singh (five goals) and Lisa Roberts (three goals) among the key players, while Lauren O’Shea earned her fourth best on ground nomination, booting four goals and playing a vital role across the field.

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