NTFL Women’s Premier League Grand Final preview: Districts with fighting chance against Waratah

THE 2019/20 Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Women’s Premier League comes to a head with  the grand final between Southern Districts and Waratah to finish off a massive season of action. 

SOUTHERN DISTRICTS V. WARATAH
Grand Final, March 7
4:30pm
TIO Stadium

In a replica of the 2018/19 season finale, Waratah and Southern Districts will once again go head to head for the ultimate victory on Saturday afternoon.While both sides have had stellar seasons, one cannot go past the skill and scoring ability of the Waratah outfit though they do not necessarily have the winning record against the Crocs this season, going down all three times they took the field. Round 1 and 11 both went the way of the Districts though the initial win was revoked, before Waratah were once again beaten at their own game in the qualifying final only two weeks ago, meaning the Crocs well and truly have the upper hand, finishing the season in second despite having two wins taken off them. But while the Crocs have the consistency to get the job done, Waratah have the finals experience and kept the Districts goalless last year, so will want to replicate that effort – or hold off the Districts long enough to continue their stronghold on the NTFL Women’s Premier League.

When talking about Southern Districts, it is hard to look past the impact of Ebony Miller, the NTFL Women’s leading goalkicker managed 61 majors from 16 matches and is a key cog inside 50 for the Crocs. Tahlia Holtze has also impressed regularly with her ability to create opportunities for her teammates, but will need to ensure the Districts outfit does not rely on Miller to put goals on the board. Miller may be the major goalkicker but she will really need to be backed up by the likes of Grace Mulvahill and Kelsey Patterson to ensure there is more than one target for Waratah’s defensive unit to focus on. For Waratah, expect Lisa Roberts and Rebecca Pryer to continue their impressive efforts, while the side’s shared effort inside 50 will be key in this match thanks to a plethora of goalkickers able to have an impact. Lauren O’Shea is the leading goalkicker with 23 goals from 15 matches, closely followed by Roberts and Jenna Singh on 20 apiece. Roberts will be the one to watch for Waratah with 11 best on ground nominations for the season thanks to her consistency, ability to impact the play and find the footy with ease. 

With both sides able to switch on the pressure and intensity in a moment flat, expect an exciting and hotly contested grand final this time around with both sides sure to put on their best display of the season so far, especially following on from respective close wins last week proving they can prevail in tight contests. While Waratah ultimately had the easier win in the semi taking on Pint, both teams were able to take control of the contest and apply pressure across the ground to ensure their side stayed in possession. Districts’ Maria Moussa has had a solid finals run so will want to continue that form alongside Mulvahil who has booted two goals in each final to take some of the pressure off Miller. Meanwhile, Waratah’s Sue Nalder and O’Shea have performed well recently alongside Singh making for an interesting battle across the field.

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