Author: Kyle Champion

Waratah in seventh heaven after premiership victory

FOR the seventh time in eight years, Waratah was crowned premiers in the Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Women’s Premier League. The Warriors battled it out on a wet day for footy in a tight matchup against Southern Districts, who failed to kick a major through the downpour. With bad weather only the beginning for the Southern Districts, Waratah managed to work through the onslaught, outlasting the Crocs in a low-scoring affair.

WARATAH: 2.1 | 2.3 | 2.3 | 3.3 (21)
SOUTHERN DISTRICTS: 0.1 | 0.2 | 0.3 | 0.3 (3)

GOALS:

Waratah: S. Nalder, J. De Melo, M. Gault.
Southern Districts: Nil.

BEST:

Waratah: L.Roberts, A.Stanley, M.Gault, S.Bishop, J.Kolodziej, A.Healy
Southern Districts: E.Miller, T.Thorn, M.Moussa, R.Busch, I.Sleeth, T.Holtze

The Warriors kicked off the game with a bang. Madeline Gault got plenty of the ball early and hit up Sue Nalder, who slotted her first goal for the day. Jade De Melo was next to hit the scoreboard, with a contested mark in the goal square and a simple set shot that had the Southern Districts rattled early on. Lisa Roberts was dominant in defence as she rebounded everything from the defensive 50, while Joanna Kolodziej held her own in the ruck.

With the Crocs’ situation dire, Ebony Miller was placed in defense while Indy Sleeth took over the ruck responsibilities. In the second term, Sleeth was getting the upper hand over Kolodziej while Tayla Thorn was getting busy. The Crocs soon found themselves in front of goal with Amelia Bartlem winning a free kick. However, Bartlem shanked the kick and Waratah piled on the pressure. Some missed opportunities by the Warriors kept the Southern Districts in the game, but nobody was prepared for the storm that came.

At the beginning of the third quarter, the rain hit TIO Stadium hard. Experienced players had trouble controlling the ball in the extreme weather and pressurised conditions. It was here that the Crocs started to fight hard and gain momentum. The wet weather seemed to suit the Crocs as Thorn had a breakaway snap at goal but failed to convert. Continuation of the match was called into question with sightings of lightning, causing a break five minutes into the quarter and breaking the Crocs’ momentum. Eventually the game went on as both teams fought to a standstill heading into the final quarter.

Waratah’s defense was a wall that held strong in the last term. In the end, the margin that seemed so close was impossible for the Crocs to match. Gault managed to put some icing on the cake in the final moments, as a poor lapse in judgment by Thorn in defense had Gault capitalise for her first major. After that it was official, as Waratah were named the 2018/2019 premiers. Roberts won the medal for Best on Ground, while Lateesha Jeffrey praised her girls for their performance in a tough game. As for the Tahs, it’s just another Grand Final victory for a superb side.

Weekend preview: NTFL Women’s – Grand Final

IT has been a long journey for both Waratah and Southern Districts. Waratah is a powerhouse which holds a dominant winning record over the past seven years. They were defeated in the 2016/2017 season but now are looking for back to back premierships as they head into Saturday. The Crocs, on the other hand, will be making their first Grand Final appearance in history.

The Crocs entered the women’s competition in the 2013/2014 season but have not seen a finals series until now. After years of underwhelming seasons, the Crocs enlisted coach Tarmon Elliott to turn the team around. Elliot has delivered in spades by bringing a strong culture, new recruits, and possibly their first flag. After defeating Palmerston, Southern Districts could not be more ready to face Waratah for the ultimate prize.

WARATAH V SOUTHERN DISTRICTS
TIO Stadium
Saturday, March 5 4:30pm

This match will be like a game of chess. What makes Waratah and Southern Districts different than other teams is their players have the ability to shift into different roles. This makes matchups hard to predict in this battle of tactics. Tayla Thorn was elite down back but can also play in the midfield or forward. However, considering the dangers of Amy Chittick and Lauren O’Shea, she will most likely stay in defence. She will be well supported though by Maria Moussa, who had a blinder last weekend with the most defensive rebounds for Districts.

In the Warriors defence Rebecca Pryer, Isabelle Rapson, and Lisa Roberts will make it difficult for the Crocs to score. Kelsie Patterson kicked three majors last week but it could have been more if she kicked straight. Tahlia Holtze had a very quiet game last week, but the Districts will need her to have her kicking boots on to breach the Tah’s defensive wall.

The fight in the ruck contest may have Waratah at a disadvantage. Ebony Miller and Indy Sleeth might as well be tall midfielders as they cover the ground exceptionally well and are proven goal kickers. Joanna Kolodziej and Julianna Kerinaiua will have a tough fight in this contest.

As for the midfield battle, there could be as many as twelve different rovers rotating throughout the game. Lateesha Jeffrey and Bella Clarke may push up or back from the centre, but Megan Craufurd is the constant tagger that shuts down key midfielders. She may have the job on Sharona Bishop who is in fine form. Madeline Gault is similar to Craufurd but plays more of a run-with role rather than a shutdown tagger. Gault would be a perfect opponent for Jeffrey if she plays in the midfield.

Waratah has the advantage in this match as many players on their list have seen at least one premiership. Lisa Roberts and O’Shea have been in this position six times for five flags. The Crocs are a very different story, unlike their opponent, this level of competition is completely new to them having qualified for the first time. They were the underdog last week and beat the odds, and defeated Waratah in their last outing. They just need to dig in one more time and given it is the Grand Final, and anything can happen.

TEAMS:

Waratah

B: 18.Molly Cooper 6.Rebecca Pryer 19.Alicia Stanley
HB: 15.Isabelle Rapson 10.Alysha Healy 13.Lisa Roberts
C: 3.Peita Starcevic 2.Madeline Gault 23.Pippa Cox
HF: 17.Tarryn O’Hehir 4.Sue Nalder 5.Breanna Martin
F: 9.Amy Chittick 22.Lauren O’Shea 12.Sherayn Puruntatameri
R: 7.Joanna Kolodziej 28.Trish Muller 8.Sharona Bishop
Int: 29.Madeline Campbell 14.Jade De Melo 16.Julieanna Kerinaiua
24.Alexandra Harrison-Wolff 20.Amie Love 1.Angela Perkins

Southern Districts

B: 22.Rachele Mchugh 8.Maria Moussa 28.Tess Hanna
HB:14.Tessa W 2.Tayla Thorn 6.Charles Deegan
C: 30.Donna Reed 9.Lateesha Jeffrey 25.Chelsea Pember
HF:17.Chiarah Corpos 20.Holly Engelhardt 11.Maili Clarke
F: 5.Tahlia Holtze 4.Indy Sleeth 35.Kelsey Patterson
R: 3.Ebony Miller 10.Megan Craufurd 15.Bella Clarke
Int:21.Tyler Thornton 26.Rhiannon Busch 19.Danielle Opperman
32.Nicole Paterson 1.Kimberley Mccouat 27.Samantha Hoogeveen-Hill

Weekend wash ups: NTFL Women’s – Week 2 finals

THERE is no greater build up for this year’s Grand Final. Southern Districts outworked Palmerston and the reigning premiers smashed their old rivals, Darwin. This weekend Waratah will look to win back to back premierships, while the Southern Districts will play their first Grand Final in NTFL Women’s history.

PALMERSTON MAGPIES 2.2 | 3.3 | 5.3 | 5.3 (33)
SOUTHERN DISTRICTS 2.1 | 3.2 | 4.4 | 7.9 (51)

GOALS:

Palmerston Magpies: F. Puruntatameri 2, Shenaida Bush, Michaeline Brown
Southern Districts: K. Patterson 3, T. Holtze, E. Miller, T. Thorn, L. Jeffrey

BEST:

Palmerston Magpies: B. Byers, F.Puruntatameri, J. Baird, J. Stassi, J. Misob, J. Brock
Southern Districts: T.Thorn, M. Moussa, E. Miller, I. Sleeth, C. Deegan, R. Busch

During the home and away season, the Southern Districts met the Pies twice and lost twice. This time was different as they raised their intensity to block the superior speed of Palmerston and win the game.

The Magpies drew first blood, but the Crocs quickly responded through Kelsey Patterson and Lateesha Jeffrey who snuck forward. Ebony Miller was controlling the hit-outs, but Jessica Stassi kept finding the ball despite the ruck dominance. Shenaida Bush struck back for the Pies by booting a goal late to finish the first term. Down back, Billie Byers was impressive with her run and carry, as she ran around seemingly unchecked by her opposition. However, on the other side of the field, Tayla Thorn was the difference for the Crocs. Thorn’s clearance ability and second efforts at the contest were second to none in the Districts back line.

The second quarter saw a great pack mark by Michaeline Brown inside attacking 50. Dead in front, she made no mistake extending the Pies’ lead to seven points. The Crocs answered quickly as Miller took a mark 40 meters from goal. Miller had no problem making the distance, her goal ending the term. Freda Puruntatameri had been busy for most of the game, but in the premiership quarter she gave Palmerston a touch of magic with a pack mark in the goal-square to kick her first goal of the match. The Crocs bounced back with a quick snap by Patterson, but Puruntatameri kicked an inspirational goal off the burst to head into the final quarter.

The Pies had a five-point buffer but Southern Districts would not be denied. Thorn, Rhiannon Busch, and Charles Deegan were chucked into the centre of the ground. It was the smartest move for the side, as the trio proved their skill in the competition. The clearances and tackles were dominated by the Districts, while the Magpies seemed to be running on empty fumes. Patterson kicked her third to put the Crocs in front, but it was Tayla Thorn’s booming goal that put the game beyond doubt. Tahlia Holtze ended the game with a free kick after the siren to end the well-fought victory for the Southern Districts.

WARATAH: 2.4 | 4.6 | 8.8 | 8.8 (56)
DARWIN BUFFETTES: 1.0 | 2.1 | 3.2 | 3.3 (21)

GOALS:

Waratah: A. Chittick 4, J. De Melo 2, S. Prunntatemeri, S. Nalder.
Darwin Buffettes: M. Roberts 2, M. Breed.

BEST:

Waratah: A. Chittick, L. Roberts, A. Healy, T. O’Hehir, M. Gault
Darwin Buffettes: M. Roberts, K. Duggan, N. Dunn, A. Bryan, C. Whan

A game of missed opportunities and bad mistakes saw Waratah walk away comfortable winners over Darwin.

The game opened up with Machaelia Roberts kicking the first, pushing into the forward line and making an immediate impact. Waratah hit back but only managed four behinds due to inaccuracy. Lisa Roberts was sent to defense, proving a class above the rest with her intercept marking and disposal efficiency. Kylie Duggan, on the other hand, was working hard around the ground. Duggan seemed to be working overtime again for the Buffs, getting plenty of the ball early. Jade de Melo broke the ice for the Warriors, booting their first goal. Amy Chittick was soon to follow with her first to end the term.

Darwin began the second quarter with a positive start. Nicolette Dunn kicked her first goal for the Buffs, keeping her team’s momentum up. It was quickly shattered when Zoe Anderson missed the perfect opportunity to run into an open goal and put the Buffs in front. Waratah responded in kind with Sue Nalder kicking her first for the day, before Sherayn Paruntatameri was next to extend the margin to 17 points and end the first half.

Machaelia Roberts lifted her team in the third quarter by booting the first goal of the term. Mattea Breed was next to snap a goal for the Buffs, bringing the deficit back to 10 points. Unfortunately, Amy Chittick had an instant response for Waratah, kicking two majors. De Melo would add to Darwin’s pain kicking her second, followed by Chittick booted her fourth shortly after, meaning Waratah headed into the final quarter with a heavy lead.

Only one behind was scored in the final quarter as both teams were out on their feet. Waratah simply proved too powerful for the Buffs, and will now head into their seventh consecutive Grand Final.

Weekend previews: NTFL Women’s – Week 2 finals

THIS week’s semi-finals will undoubtedly see the best of the best duel one last time before the ultimate battle. Palmerston’s loss against Waratah was painful, but now they face the Southern Districts. The Pies have beaten the Crocs twice this season, but the Crocs are coming off a high after smashing the Saints. In the afternoon, Waratah will meet Darwin for another classic bout. The Warriors are heavy favourites for this match, and with the Buffs’ extended injury list, it is easy to see why.

PALMERSTON MAGPIES V SOUTHERN DISTRICTS
Saturday, March 2 12:30pm
TIO Stadium

Southern Districts somehow find themselves in St Marys’ shoes at the moment, having met Palmerston twice this season and lost on both occasions. For the Crocs to win they must use every opportunity and advantage they have to deny the Pies the ball. the Districts’ first advantage lies in their ruck stocks. Ebony Miller and Indy Sleeth will make sure their hit-outs give their midfielders first use of the ball. Meanwhile, Jessica Stassi and Natasha Medbury will help to control the clearances. If things get dire, Miller and Sleeth can simply punch the ball forward to gain ground.

Crocs forwards must put Billie Byers inside 50 or she will rebound the ball like it was never there. If Tayla Thorn can get off to the start she had last week, it may set the perfect foundation for the Districts to rise from. Rhiannon Busch is a proven goal kicker and has had a stellar couple of weeks, while Charles Deegan, though recently getting extra attention from defenders, is always dangerous around goals.

On the other side of the field, Shenaida Bush and Freda Puruntatameri are starting to click. This could prove very damaging to the Crocs as both are very quick and deadly accurate. Lateesha Jeffrey and the Districts backline will have a tough task keeping this pair quiet. If they can, it could prove the difference between victory and defeat.

Palmerston will walk into this match favorites, but Southern Districts may give the Pies a shock in this heavyweight bout of the Semi-Finals.

TEAMS

Palmerston Magpies
B: 32. Jess Leamey 15. Charmaine Marshall 20.Ellie Misob
HB: 2.Jessie Brock 13. Billie Byers 10.Jacintha Misob
C: 3.Hayley Davey 24. Tabitha May 33.Janet Baird
HF: 31 Karlee King 1.Nicole Simons 7.Shenaida Bush
F: 28.Tanisha Garling 25.Wynonna Barlow 8.Freda Puruntatameri
R: 18. Bianca Mayo 5.Natasha Medbury 26.Jessica Stassi
Int: 31.Celina Lloyd 12.Joanne Huddleston 14.Tania Parriman
23.Tiffany Parriman 22.Vanessa Mouncy

Southern Districts
B: 17.Chiarah Corpos 30.Donna Reed 21.Tyler Thornton
HB: 14.Maili Clarke 20.Holly Engelhardt 9.Lateesha Jeffrey
C: 10.Megan Craufurd 35.Kelsey Patterson 19.Danielle Opperman
HF: 26.Rhiannon Busch 2.Tayla Thorn 8. Maria Moussa
F: 15.Bella Clarke 4.Indy Sleeth 6.Charles Deegan
R: 3.Ebony Miller 5. Tahlia Holtze 25.Chelsea Pember
Int: 28.Tess Hanna 14.Tessa W 22.Rachele Mchugh
32.Kiarah Jackson 1.Kimberley Mccouat 12.Karina Brink

WARATAH V DARWIN BUFFETTES
Saturday, March 2 2:30pm
TIO Stadium

Darwin’s tactics last week may have beaten Pint, but it will not do against Waratah. The Warriors have 15 premiership players returning for this match and no amount of waiting this team out will help the Buffs. The Buffettes have to go for broke and, missing key players in the midfield and forward line, they may have to mix it up. If Dominique Carbone starts in the centre of the ground, it will free up Machaelia Roberts to push forward. Darwin’s forward line looks completely different when Roberts has the opportunity to cause defenders headaches. This leaves Carbone, Jemma Iacono, and Kylie Duggan to tackle Lisa Roberts, Madeline Gault and Alysha Healy in the midfield, which could go either way.

The Buffettes cannot allow Waratah to dominate the clearances. Amy Chittick is the league’s leading goal kicker and now has Lauren O’Shea for assistance. If the Warriors’ forwards get a taste of blood, they will swarm the Buffs’ backline and devastate the scoreboard.

Waratah also has a player similar to Roberts in Sherayn Puruntatameri. She pushed out from half-back last week to bag three majors. Puruntatameri is an X-factor player, which makes her a difficult match-up for Darwin. Celina Whan might be the Buffs’ best choice for Puruntatameri if she plays down back.

Waratah could easily turn this into an ugly game, but perhaps the rivalry will spur the Buffs to challenge the champions.

TEAMS

Waratah
B: 8.Sharona Bishop 6.Rebecca Pryer 19.Alicia Stanley
HB: 15.Isabelle Rapson 16.Julieanna Kerinauia 12.Sherayn Puruntatameri
C: 3.Peta Starcevic 13.Lisa Roberts 2.Madeline Gault
HF: 17.Tarryn O’Hehir 4.Sue Nalder 5.Breanna Martin
F: 9.Amy Chittick 22.Lauren O’Shea 18.Molly Cooper
R: 7.Joanna Kolodziej 23.Pippa Cox 10.Alysha Healy
Int: 28.Trish Muller 29.Madeline Campbell 14.Jade De Melo
24.Alexandra Harrison-Wolff

Darwin Buffettes
B: 25.Chevaune Fewings 15.Delsey Ah Wang 19.Louise Johnstone
HB: 8.Keisha Tinley 12.Dominique Carbone 11.Nicole Schmitt
C: 13. Alexander Bryan 3.Machaelia Roberts 21.Zoe Anderson
HF: 22.Tamika Bullen 17.Melinda Taylor 1.Mattea Breed
F: 10.Meridith Turner 6.Celina Whan 14.Bianca Stokes
R: 30.Tania Dhu 4.Kylie Duggan 5.Jemma Iacono
Int: 27.Demi Cubillo 16.Nicolette Dunn 7.Rachel Henderson
24.Jaala Alley 9.Eliza Keaney 18.Danielle Totham

Weekend wash ups: NTFL Women’s – Week 1 finals

THAT is a wrap for the first week of finals with some expected and surprising outcomes. Waratah showed why they are still the team to beat after a tug-of-war ended in a decisive victory over Palmerston. The Pies looked the goods early, but the Warriors were the team that played out four quarters of football. Southern Districts smashed St Marys for the third time in a row. The Saints had no answer for the Crocs and finished the season on a low. The final elimination match saw the Buffs outlast Pint in a low scoring affair. The Buffs will now meet old rivals Warratah while the Southern Districts face off against Palmerston.

WARATAH: 3.0 | 4.4 | 8.9 | 8.11 (59)
PALMERSTON MAGPIES: 3.0 | 3.0 | 3.1 | 5.2 (32)

Goals:
Waratah: S.Puruntatameri 3, A.Chittick 2, J. de Melo 2, S.Nalder
Palmerston: S.Bush 2, F.Puruntatameri 2, C. Lloyd

Best:
Waratah: A.Chittick, L.Roberts, J.Kolodzeij, R.Pryer, S.Bishop
Palmerston: G.Garling, T.May, V.Mounsey, J.Baird, J.Stassi

A good start in the first quarter saw Palmerston up with three unanswered goals thanks to Freda Puruntatameri and Shenaida Bush. Unfortunately for the Magpies, they found out why the Warriors have won six out of the last seven premierships. Waratah flipped the switch in the last few minutes of the first term to kick three instant replies. Going into the second quarter both teams were neck and neck.

That balance quickly shifted as Waratah flexed their muscles. Skipper, Lisa Roberts rose up to the occasion for her 150th game, pushing to a new level as the game went on. Amy Chittick found it tough to replicate her usual performance, but still managed to put two majors on the board. However, the real game changer was Sherayn Puruntatameri pushing forward to bag three goals. Jessica Stassi and Tabitha May fought valiantly in the midfield, but the Pies’ forward line was well held by Sharona Bishop and Rebecca Pryer. Their efforts put a halt to the Magpies’ forward efforts until the final quarter when the game was out of reach.

Palmerston will have to regroup and prepare for the Southern Districts next week, while Waratah will face the Buffettes with all the confidence in the world.

SOUTHERN DISTRICTS: 2.1 | 7.3 | 8.8 | 11.9 (75)
ST MARYS: 0.1 | 0.1 | 2.2 | 2.3 (15)

Goals:
Southern Districts: T.Thorn 2, M. Moussa 2, E. Miller 2, H. Englehardt 2, C. Deegan, B. Clarke, K. Patterson
St Marys: Not supplied

Best:
Southern Districts: Not supplied
St Marys: Not supplied

The Saints struggled against the Crocs for the third game in a row in what was a consistent outing for these two teams. The Crocs got the upper hand early with the Saints scoring only one behind for the quarter as Tayla Thorn kicked things off by booting the first two majors of the opening term. The onslaught continued in the second term as the Crocs hit the scoreboard hard. Districts’ best and fairest Ebony Miller pushed forward to kicked two majors while Indy Sleeth controlled the ruck. Matters got worse for the Saints when Maria Moussa popped up with two goals of her own. The Saints went into the third quarter with only one point to their name, proving their troubles down the field.

St Marys managed to kick two goals early in the second half, but the Crocs quickly replied with one of their own. Charles Deegan had no issue showing her skill by kicking a major off one step. In the final term, the Saints had lost hope and the Crocs kicked two more late goals to end St Marys’ season. Now they will get ready to face Palmerston who they haven’t beaten all year. This will be the ultimate test for the Southern Districts.

PINT: 0.0 | 0.0 | 1.1 | 1.2 (8)
DARWIN BUFFETTES: 0.1 | 0.2 | 1.5 | 3.5 (23)

Goals:
Pint: K. Streeder
Darwin Buffettes: N. Dunn 2, M. Taylor

Best:
Pint: Not supplied
Darwin Buffettes: N. Dunn, D. Tootham, K. Duggan, D. Ah Wang

This was a very tight and exhausting game as both teams struggled to get a score on the board. By the end of the first half, the only scores produced were Darwin’s two behinds. Stoppages were everywhere in this contest with most players struggling to find space. Pint’s Katie Streader broke the drought with the Queen Ants finally kicking the first goal of the match in the third quarter. Melinda Taylor responded with one of her own as Darwin went into the fourth term four points in front.

A hero finally came in Nicollette Dunn who booted the last two goals to seal the match. The efforts of Kylie Duggan in the midfield and Delsey Ah Wang in the backline were outstanding. The pair held it together when most couldn’t on a hot day. Unfortunately, they will now have to meet Waratah in the Semi-Finals, who look invincible after pounding the Magpies.

Weekend Previews: NTFL Women’s – Week 1 Finals

IT IS finally here, week one of the NTFL Women’s finals will take place today with three exciting games of footy. Despite earlier reports of a top-five finals series, it will be a top-six competition like the previous year, meaning St Marys will go at least one more round.

The first match will kick off with the heavyweights Palmerston taking on the reigning premiers Waratah. This game will serve as a qualifying match as both teams are looking to grab bragging rights early. Up next the Southern Districts will face off against St Marys in the first elimination final. The Crocs have dished out a hiding to the Saints twice this season, but anything can happen in finals. Lastly, the Darwin Buffettes will meet Pint in the final elimination game. The Buffs have been wounded by the loss of key players this year, so will have to dig deep to beat the Queen Ants who are at full fitness.

WARATAH V PALMERSTON MAGPIES
Qualifying Final
Saturday, February 23 12.00pm
TIO Oval 2

The Magpies had an average start to the season, but now they look dangerous. This side of youth mixed with experience is sure to give the Warriors a run for their money.

The midfield of both teams is nothing short of classy. Lisa Roberts, Alysha Healy, and Madeline Gault meet Natasha Medbury, Jessica Stassi, and Tabitha May, which should prove to be a classic battle. Waratah ruck, Joanna Kolodziej may dictate in terms of the hit-outs as she has done for most of the year. If the Warriors win the clearances, Amy Chittick and Lauren O’Shea could wreak havoc on the scoreboard. Fortunately for the Magpies, forward, Lisa Mecli has been missing in action. Billie Byers and Jessie Brock might be the perfect matchup against Waratah’s dynamic duo.

As for Palmerton’s forwards, there is no shortage of talent. Freda Puruntatemeri has danced around the best defenders all year. Her speed and skill are well complemented by teammate Shenaida Bush. This pair of speed demons will need a unique opposition to stop them. Puruntatemeri v Puruntatemeri could be Waratah’s answer while Sharona Bishop keeps an eye on Bush. The game could go either way, but one thing is certain, this is the game to watch this Saturday.

SOUTHERN DISTRICTS V ST MARYS
Elimination Final
Saturday, February 23 2.30pm
TIO Oval 2

This will be an uphill battle for the Saints, with the Districts having crushed the Saints on two separate occasions this season. Charles Deegan and Taylor Thorn have used their size and speed to run St Marys’ defenders off their legs in the past. Lori Niven and Courtney Webb will need a well-organised backline to contain this problem. The ruck area of the game is where the Districts thrive, with the combination of Ebony Miller and Indy Sleeth better than most teams. Their tap work and ability to cover the ground is a class above the rest. Saints rovers, Natasha Dunn-Richards and Simone Garner may need to shark the tap-outs if their rucks aren’t up to the challenge.

Up forward the Saints have a gun and an issue. The gun is Alana Coombes, who looks to be their most damaging forward, while the problem is Districts’ Lateesha Jeffrey. Her leadership down back has created a solid defense for the Crocs and only the fastest forwards can break it down. Unlike some of Coombes’ partners in attacking 50, they lack the speed she has in spades. The Crocs could not be more favoured to win this match, and on paper they seem to have more talent across the board than St Marys. History looks likely to repeat itself this Saturday unless a miracle happens, so the Saints will be hoping for one.

PINT V DARWIN BUFFETTES
Elimination Final
Saturday, February 23 4.30pm
TIO Oval 2

The Buffs have no Brittany Ward, no Tikesea Docherty-Cole, no Jasmine Anderson and no Nicky Anderson, meaning Pint has a huge advantage considering they are going into this match with a full strength team. Machaelia Roberts and Kylie Duggan have been dominant in the centre of the ground, however players like Jemma Iacono and young gun Domonique Carbone need to lift if they want to get the job done. Pint’s Cassie Henderson, Samantha Barnett, and Katie Streeder play as a cohesive unit.

Darwin’s forward line power has been missing over the last few weeks as Celina Whan seems to be carrying the load in attacking 50. Leading goal scorer, Meredith Turner has kicked no majors in her last three games, so will need to produce goals against a strong Pint defense which is no easy task. Queen Ant defender, Erin Hetherington can make life difficult for the Buffs’ forward if the midfield entries aren’t clean. Meanwhile, the Queen Ants forwards have been performing well. Danielle Suddaby has become the new spearhead with the support of Emma Greaves who is in fine form. Add to that talent with Kristen Smidts and Ellie Ryan, the Queen Ants wear a decent crown inside their 50.

Pint has the fitness but Darwin has the experience. It is hard to pick a winner here, but it should be a tight contest.

Weekend wash-ups: NTFL Women’s -Round 18

THAT is a wrap for the home and away season as we look to finals this week, but first, we take a look at Round 18’s action. The Southern Districts cruised passed Nightcliff in another win plagued with scoring inaccuracy. Palmerston dominated against the Wanderers, with the Magpies looking a cut above the rest as they get ready for Waratah on Saturday. The Warriors are also ready for the Pies after brushing off Darwin with ease. The last match of the round saw the Queen Ants crawl over the Saints. Pint is more ready than ever take on the Buffettes this Saturday.

SOUTHERN DISTRICTS 1.3 I 1.4 I 4.4 I 5.8 (38)
NIGHTCLIFF 0.1 I 0.1 I 1.1 I 1.2 (8)

Goals:
Southern Districts: S. Hoogeveen-Hill 3, C. Deegan, B. Clarke.
Nightcliff: S. Miskin-Ripia.

Best:

Southern Districts: Not supplied
Nightcliff: E. Smart, H. Turnbull, J. Puautjimi, T. Taylor-Kickett

A dominant display by the Crocs should have seen more reward for their efforts, with scoring inaccuracy plaguing the Southern Districts all year. Charlie Deegan was the tip of the spear in the forward line early in the season, easing off and producing single majors over the last three matches. Tayla Thorn has been lively but seems to play the role of hit-up forward rather than a full forward, while Samantha Hoogeveen-Hill booted three goals last Saturday in her fifth match. Perhaps she can provide some much-needed firepower against St Marys. As for the Tigers, it’s all over with another wooden spoon to finish a disappointing year.

PALMERSTON MAGPIES 7.4 I 14.7 I 20.11 I 22.15 (147)
WANDERERS 2.0 I 3.0 I 4.1 I 6.1 (37)

Goals:
Palmerston Magpies: M. Brown 4, H. Davey 3, T. May 2, A. Mclennan 2, J. Baird 2, N. Medbury 2, J. Brock 2, J. Misob, N. Lloyd, G. Garling.
Wanderers: Not supplied.

Best:
Palmerston Magpies: T. May, H. Davey, B. Byers, J. Misob, J. Brock, G. Garling
Wanderers: Not supplied

Tabitha May, Janet Baird, Billie Byers, Natasha Medbury and Michaeline Brown dominated on field against the Eagles, with the Eagles struggling under the forceful forward play of the Magpies. This game was an impossible obstacle for the Wanderers as they ended the season with a big loss. In comparison, the Magpies will be looking forward to facing the reigning premiers this weekend. For once Waratah may be the underdog.

WARATAH 3.1 I 3.1 I 4.5 I 6.6 (42)
DARWIN BUFFETTES 0.1 I 2.1 I 2.1 I 4.4 (28)

Goals:
Waratah:L. Roberts 2, S. Nalder 2, L. O’Shea, A. Chittick.
Darwin Buffettes: Not supplied.

Best:
Waratah: S. Bishop, P. Starcevic, L. Roberts, A. Stanley, A. Healy
Darwin Buffettes: Not supplied

Although not as entertaining as their last match, Waratah still has the goods of the Buffs. Veteran, Lisa Roberts was outstanding, kicking two goals and covering the ground with nothing but class. Sharona Bishop held up well in defense with Alicia Stanley, while Alysha Healy stood up in the midfield. The Buffs are a different tale as they seem to be missing players left right and centre as they head into finals. The reigning premiers will face a huge challenge against Palmerston but Darwin will also have their hands full with Pint.

PINT 4.3 I 6.4 I 9.6 I 10.8 (68)
ST MARYS 1.0 I 2.1 I 3.2 I 3.3 (21)

Goals:
Pint: E. Greaves 3, D. Suddaby 2, J. McFee 2, K. Streader, E. Ryan, K. Smits.
St Marys: Not supplied.

Best:
Pint: Not supplied
St Marys: Not supplied

A good start for Pint made the Saints chase their tails all day. Emma Greaves had her kicking boots on with three, while her partner in crime Danielle Suddaby kicked two. Cassie Henderson and Samantha Barnett had a standard day of brilliance as the midfield domination saw Pint control the clearances. Now Pint has every chance of knocking out the Buffs come Saturday. The Saints have a much more difficult task. St Marys may have made finals, but the Crocs have haunted them all year with devastating defeats.

Weekend preview: NTFL Women’s – Round 18

THIS is it, the home and away season is coming to an end this weekend in Round 18. Nightcliff belted the Eagles last week but even with their dominant performance, they could not escape the bottom of the ladder. It may stay that way when the Southern Districts look for a win as they take on the Tigers on Saturday morning. At noon fans will get to see the Grand Final Replay as Waratah and Darwin will face off at Gardens Oval. The evening will be a tune-up match for highly ranked Palmerston as they play against the Wanderers. On Sunday Pint will face the Saints as the Queen Ants prepare for finals. As for Tracy Village, they have the bye which puts their season to an end early.

NIGHTCLIFF V SOUTHERN DISTRICTS
Saturday, February 16 10:00am
PSC BM Oval

Last week the Crocs were missing a few stars in Tahlia Holtze and Tayla Thorn. This Saturday they may be managed ahead of finals as the Southern Districts face the bottom team on the ladder, Tigers. Nightcliff was impressive last week against the Wanderers, but the Crocs are a far superior team to the Eagles. The Tigers will look to Emma-Lou Wolsey and Shantel Miskin-Ripa in order to slow the Districts’ backline.

WARATAH V DARWIN BUFFETTES
Saturday, February 16 12:00pm
Gardens Oval

Another classic bout between Waratah and Darwin would normally see an entertaining duel. However, the Buffettes have had a run of average matches against higher ladder teams. Tikesa Docherty-Cole is still missing from the side, meaning their forward line pressure is coming in waves. Kylie Duggan, Machaelia Roberts, and Celina Whan have been outstanding for the Buffs, but the rest of the team will need to step up to challenge Waratah. Waratah is a different story, as most of their players haven’t missed a beat.

PALMERSTON MAGPIES V WANDERERS
Saturday, February 16 5:00pm
Asbuild Oval

The Wanderers will finally see an end to a disappointing season, while Palmerston can cement their spot in second place with a win. Natasha Medbury, Jessica Stassi and Tabitha May are likely to prove too strong for the Eagles midfield, while forwards Freda Puruntatameri and Shenaida Bush have proved a deadly combination of late. As for the Eagles, it’s all about rebuilding from here. However, the Eagles will want to push the Magpies in their final game of the season.

PINT V ST MARYS
Sunday, February 17 2:00pm
MCG

Pint has waited out some of the best teams due to their strong defense in the past few weeks, but this round they will want to boost their percentage. Cassie Henderson has had a fine season for Pint and looks likely to take home the club Best and Fairest. Ellie Ryan has been solid up front, while Erin Hetherington has been classy down back. St Marys has nothing to lose as they remain out of finals contention, but Alana Coombes may pop up for a few goals to end her season.

Weekend wash-ups: NTFL Women’s – Round 17

IT was a typical day at the office for some teams but a rude awakening for others as we finish Round 17. Palmerston got off to a flying start early against St Marys and the fly continued as the Magpies crushed the Saints by 81 points. Southern Districts was a different story as it fell to Pint with a poor display. The Tigers were the big surprise of the round as they outplayed the Eagles, while the Wanderers look like they cannot wait for the season to be over. The last game was another win for Waratah with the Razorbacks only managing one behind for the game.

PALMERSTON MAGPIES   4.3 I 8.7 I 11.11 I 14.17 (101)
ST MARYS   1.1 | 1.1 | 3.1 | 3.2  (20)

Goals:

Palmerston Magpies: F. Puruntatameri 4, S. Bush 3, W. Barlow 2, M. Brown 2, J. Stassi, J. Brock.
St Marys: J. Chisholm, S. Puruntatameri, S. Edwards.

Best:

Palmerston Magpies: M. Brown, B. Byers, J. Misob, T. May, F. Puruntatamer
St Marys: Not supplied 

After kicking four goals, and now sitting comfortably in fourth for goals in the competition, Freda Puruntatameri may be a contender for the rising star. Tabitha May is another who starred for the Pies this week, with her name seemingly appearing in the top six players for Palmerston on a regular basis. Unfortunately for St Marys, they got blown away early and couldn’t match the intensity of the Pies. Palmerston are likely to continue their streak against the Wanderers this week, while the Saints will face a huge challenge in Pint.   

SOUTHERN DISTRICTS  0.0 I 1.3 I 1.4 I 1.5 (11)
PINT  1.3 I 1.5 I 1.7 I 2.7 (19)

Goals:

Southern Districts: C. Deegan.
Pint: C. Morris, E. Greaves.

Best:

Southern Districts: Not supplied
Pint: Not supplied

Similarly to their Round 16 victory over the Darwin Buffettes, the Queen Ants simply outlasted the Crocs in a game of missed scoring opportunities and strong defensive efforts. With Pint unable to capitalise in front of goal it looked like the Crocs could get a sniff in the final term, but when Pint needed a hero Casey Morris kicked the sealer to win the game. It should be noted that Crocs stars, Tahlia Holtze and Tayla Thorn were absent after their dominant display against St Marys. Perhaps resting two of their best players was not the best idea, but with only one round left and a very high percentage, the Southern Districts might be playing the long game.

 

WANDERERS  0.0 I 0.0 I 0.0 I 0.0 (0)
NIGHTCLIFF  4.3 I 7.6 I 11.10 I 14.13 (97)

Goals:

Wanderers: Not supplied
Nightcliff: S. Miskin-Ripia 5, E. Wolsey 3, J. Blecher 2, K. Simmons, J. Pocock, J. Puautjimi, J. Hill

Best:

Wanderers: Not supplied
Nightcliff: S. Miskin-Ripia, J. Blecher, K. Simmons, E. Wolsey

Last Sunday a light shined down on Tigerland as Jaylene Hill celebrated her 100th game. Emma-Lou Wolsey chucked on her kicking boots for three majors but was succeeded by Shantel Miskin-Ripia who managed to kick a bag of five. Nightcliff’s victory means they may escape the bottom of the ladder on percentage, but will need to give the Crocs a run for their money to do so.

 

WARATAH  3.2 I 4.10 I 4.14 I 8.16 (64)
TRACY VILLAGE 0.0 I 0.0 I 0.1 I 0.1  (1)

Goals:

Waratah: T. O”Hehir 2, A. Chittick 2, L. O”Shea 2, K. Piscioneri, S. Puruntatameri.
Tracy Village: Nil.

Best:

Waratah: A. Stanley, M. Cooper, A. Chittick, R. Pryer, P. Cox
Tracy Village: A. Lidbetter, B. McDougall, A. Breen, K. Brown, Z. Clarke, I. Hoadley

Waratah dominated once again in Round 17, proving their continued dominance in the competition while injuries again was to be a major source of hardship for the Razorbacks. Ashley Stanley was a jet in the midfield, looking like she has taken her game to a new level. Warriors forwards, Amy Chittick and Lauren O’Shea kicked four goals between them, while Rebecca Pryer played well off the halfback flank. The Grand Final replay will commence this week when Waratah faces off against a depleted Darwin Buffettes side. Waratah will try to make one last statement before the finals begin.

Weekend previews: NTFL Women’s – Round 17

ROUND 17 is here and with only two weeks to go in the competition, Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) fans are in for a treat. Palmerston is arguably the in-form team of the competition and after St Marys’ heavy loss last weekend, the Pies will walk in heavy favourites. The main event will follow when the Southern Districts meet Pint in a test to see if the Queen Ants can push the Crocs to their limit. On Sunday another intriguing battle will ensue with Nightcliff coming up against the Wanderers. It will be a battle of pride between the two teams and should prove entertaining for die-hard fans who need a win. Lastly, Tracy Village will host Waratah at home. Waratah has been the unstoppable machine for many years and it looks like history is about to repeat itself.

ST MARYS V PALMERSTON MAGPIES
Saturday, February 9 10:30am
TIO Stadium

It was a tough pill to swallow for St Marys as they were performing very well up until last week when they got fed to the Crocs. They will face an even tougher adversary in Palmerston who have an elite squad of young talent. Billie Byers has been a revelation down back, as Tabitha May continues to dominate the Pies midfield while Freda Puruntatameri has become an elite goalsneak. On the other side of the coin, Alana Coombes is no slouch, nor Katherine Dann up forward. However, the loss of Danielle Ponter has left a huge hole in St Marys’ midfield. This is the area of the ground where the Magpies are the complete opposite, with Natasha Medbury and Jessica Stassi likely to prove to be a handful when the game starts. The Saints will need to produce their best to win, but nothing is impossible.

PINT V SOUTHERN DISTRICTS
Saturday, February 9 12:00pm
TIO Oval No.2

Pint has hit their strides at the right time, but this week will face the Crocs in a match that should test the Queen Ants. Southern Districts has found a new spearhead in Rhiannon Busch who bagged four majors last week. But she was not alone as Tayla Thorn and Tahlia Holtze combined to destroy St Marys’ defense. Pint’s backline gun Erin Hetherington will need strong support from her fellow defenders to stop the trio. Defence is not the only concern for Pint, as the Crocs have a unique duo that feeds their rovers well. The ruck combination of Indy Sleeth and Ebony Miller gives the Crocs another huge advantage in this match. In order to negate this, Cassie Henderson, Samantha Barnett, and Samantha Freeman may need to shark the hit-outs and take control of the centre. If they accomplish this, the door will open up for forwards, Emma Greaves and Danielle Saddaby.

NIGHTCLIFF V WANDERERS
Sunday, February 10 10:00am
PSC BM Oval

There is no finals on the horizon for either of these teams in the coming weeks, with both sides struggling this season. Last week the Wanderers accepted an exhibition match to play against the Central Australian Pinktails. They were overwhelmed as the future talent shone against the Eagles. The Tigers were no different against against reigning premiers, Waratah. This is easily the most even match of the round, with the skill level of both sides seeming to be at a similar level. Arthurina Moreen has been the go-to forward for the Eagles, and could be in for a day out if her team can get the upperhand.

WARATAH V TRACY VILLAGES
Sunday, February 10 2:00pm
Tracy Village

Kristy Irvine and Zhoe Clarke should take a bow, as even in poor circumstances they have battled consistently through wins and losses. They are without a doubt the true champions of Tracy Village. Waratah, on the other hand, has no shortage of champions. Lately, however, a trio of Warriors forwards have become the ultimate scoreboard contributors. Lisa Miceli, Amy Chittick, and Lauren O’Shea are all ranked in the top three goal kickers of the league, each tallying a minimum of 18 goals – in reality, they are every defender’s worst nightmare. Tracy Village’s backline will be in serious strife if Waratah gets a rhythm going.