THE opening round of the 2020 NTFL Women’s Premier League season saw a number of blowouts, with Nightcliff, St Mary’s, Pint and Waratah getting huge wins on the board. Darwin Buffettes had the first bye of the season, watching on as some intriguing matches played out to open the season with a bang. A couple of new recruits, a milestone and a loss to the reigning premiers set the tone, and more in the first of our weekly women’s league wrap.
Wanderers 2.2 (14) defeated by St Mary’s 11.11 (77)
St Mary’s opened up their season and the 2020/21 season in style with an excellent 63-point victory over the Wanderers. While the Saints had a tougher time in the final quarter registering just seven points, it was a five-goal third term that pushed the side out to their excellent lead. St Kilda VFLW’s Claudia Whitfort was named among the best alongside Williamstown recruit Ash Melnikas, with the side seeming to gel with ease despite a heap of debutants, and continuing to push throughout. For the Wanderers, it just was not their day, although a couple of goals in the second half – both to Kaitlyn Armstrong – as well as the better defensive effort in the final quarter will give the side some solid moments to build off in the coming rounds, with Sophie Armitstead and Deanna Peckham named among the best.
Pint 8.9 (57) defeated Southern Districts 1.3 (9)
A victory in Cassie Henderson’s milestone 100th match was just what the doctor ordered for Pint in an excellent 48-point victory over the reigning premiers, Southern Districts to start the season. While a great first half saw a 27-point buffer at half-time, the Queen Ants did not let up knowing the Districts’ ability to score quickly, and conceded just the one goal in an excellent outing. Amy Chittick and Jacqueline Downey booted two goals apiece while Katie Streader had the ball on a string and Jacinta Reid was a force to be reckoned with off the half back, while for the Crocs Megan Crawfurd was the lone goalkicker, named among the best alongside Essie Grose and Malory Nankervis who were relentless in their hunt for the footy.
Nightcliff 16.14 (110) defeated Tracy Village 0.2 (2)
It was a comprehensive and altogether dominant victory from Nightcliff, with the Tigers far too strong and with everything to play for after an improved 2019. Slipping straight up to top spot and not conceding a major throughout, Nightcliff had a complete day out with nine goals in the second half alone proving they had the firepower to get the job done. Emma-Lou Wolsey booted five goals to lead the tally, while Darcy Elliston (four goals), Mickayla Ward (three) and Rose Russell (two) all made their mark. With so much firepower up forward, Tracy Village just could not keep up with the Tigers despite the continued efforts of Meagan Wylie and Sarah Wilson who were named among the best. While the Tigers’ second half was not quite as accurate, booting eight behinds, Ward, Elliston and Eliza Morrison were excellent providing firepower across the field and proved that the Tigers could be a real team to watch this season.
Waratah 6.6 (42) defeated Palmerston Magpies 0.1 (1)
A highly defensive effort was showcased in an intriguing battle that was cut short to finish the opening round, with the Magpies’ frontend failing to fire early but defensively showcasing some great attributes. Injury early in the second half saw the match finish on a difficult note, with Magpies’ Cassie Ormsby taken high and the match ended prematurely due to an ambulance call. Newcomer Caitlin Couch kicked two goals to start her season off well, and was a handy addition to the Waratah frontline slotting in nicely as the side kicked five unanswered goals, while Tabitha May, Khani White and Ormsby were named among the best for the Magpies. While the match ended abruptly, both teams have plenty to take out of this battle while Palmerston will be glad to have a bye in Round 2 to regroup and reset ahead of the coming weeks.
Picture: Tymunna Clements – AFLNT Media