Category: State Leagues

NTFL Men’s Premier League preview: Round 10 – Top of the table clash headlines bumper weekend

A TOP of the table clash headlines a big weekend of Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Men’s Premier League action, with Southern Districts looking to close the gap on Nightcliff. St Mary’s and Darwin could benefit from the result of that game and jump into second with wins, while Tiwi will hope to continue its push for finals as Wanderers trail closely.

TIWI BOMBERS vs. DARWIN BUFFALOES
Saturday December 7, 1:30pm
Tiwi Oval

A fixture with implications on both sides’ finals hopes takes place as Tiwi Bombers host Darwin Buffaloes at Tiwi Oval on Saturday afternoon. The Bombers have thrown themselves into the mix and are in good form of late, going down by just six points to Nightcliff last time out but managing to hold on to fifth place. On the other hand, Darwin snatched a close win over Palmerston in Round 9 to put them up into third on the back of three consecutive victories. With Tiwi hoping to hang onto its top five spot and Darwin looking to break into the top two, there is plenty on the line either way.

The Bombers come in once again with a great lineup on paper, with the likes of Adam Tipungwuti, Brayden Rioli, and Ross Tungatalum resigned to the bench, but they look like being without ex-Cat Nathan Djerrkura for this clash in a blow to their midfield stocks, with Ashton Hams perhaps one to cover. The Buffs have bolstered their line-up with the signing of Ryan Pendlebury, the brother of Scott and an ex-VFL Team of the Year member. He should add value in the back half, adding to the experience of Cameron Stokes and Chris Williams further afield as Matt Campbell and Joe Anderson come out of the side.

While Darwin’s three wins on the trot and ladder position puts them in the category of favourite, Tiwi looks to be in slightly better form going off last week’s effort and should pose plenty of questions to the Buffs defence. It looms as a battle of the Bombers’ speed against some of the Buffs’ strength.

PALMERSTON MAGPIES vs. ST MARY’S
Saturday December 7, 2:30pm
TIO Stadium

St Mary’s will look to compound the misery of a bottom three side for the second straight week when it takes on Palmerston in the first game of a TIO Stadium double-header. The Saints have slipped to fourth, but could climb as high as second with results pending and will look to put their best foot forward with a top of the table clash following theirs. Given how St Mary’s handled Waratah last week, the winless Magpies could be in for another long day. But Palmerston’s form last week exceeded its current record, and a couple of close losses would have the Magpies eager to prove their worth.

Alwyn Davey Jnr joins his father in the Palmerston side, with Senior set to line up in midfield under Ezekiel Frank while Adam Diamond shifts to the forward half. They will have their work cut out for them, with the Saints naming David Armitage, Shaun Edwards, and Jackson Paine in midfield, while Jackson Calder is set to team up with the returning Jarrad Waite up forward. It all but guarantees plenty of goals, and plenty of excitement at the least.

On paper, it seems this clash could get ugly given the experience and firepower of the Saints, but do not discount the effort of Palmerston on its better days. Fans can look forward to seeing a heap of ex-AFL players either way, with a few favourite sons taking the field for both teams.

SOUTHERN DISTRICTS vs. NIGHTCLIFF
Saturday December 7, 7:00pm
TIO Stadium

The game of the round earns a prime time slot on Saturday night as Southern Districts look to get one back on Nightcliff and tighten the minor premiership race. The Crocs started their season with a loss to last season’s grand final foes, but have since steadied the ship and sit six points adrift in second. Such has been Nightcliff’s dominance, the Southern Districts is only one of a couple of sides to have truly challenged the reigning premiers, and will look to go a step further this time around. And with both sides coming in off consecutive wins, it seems an ideal time to do battle.

A couple of very handy ex-AFL players come into the Crocs side, with Jeff Garlett and Jared Brennan named. Garlett should team up nicely with the likes of Will Farrer and Beau Schwarze up forward, while Brennan may slot in up the other end in a key position post. There are no ex-AFL inclusions for the Tigers, who will be without Willie Wheeler, but a forward 50 featuring his ex-Williamstown teammate Leigh Masters alongside Trent Melville and Liam Holt-Fitz has been working a treat. Add the impact of John Butcher, Kaine Riley, and Cam Ilett across the ground, and you have a settled lineup ready for any challenge.

The Tigers will need to be at their best to quell the Crocs, which are snapping at their heels, but should have great confidence having aced all but one test put to them this year. Southern Districts will be hungry for a win with dual-meaning, getting one back while keeping touch at the top.

WARATAH vs. WANDERERS
Sunday December 8, 4:00pm
Gardens Oval

Wanderers will hope to re-enter the finals fold when it clashes with fellow bottom three side, Waratah in Sunday’s lone fixture. Both sides come in off disappointing losses, with Waratah’s 123-point thumping at the hands of St Mary’s a clear lowlight for the season. Wanderers has strayed after a promising start, looking to rectify a run of three-straight losses. With both teams somewhat underperforming at this stage and the mid-season break coming up, expect them to throw everything at getting a result here.

Abe Ankers is a very welcome addition to the Warriors side which looks like heading in without Brodie Carroll, while Michael Newton is set to resume a dangerous forward trio with Kim Kantilla and Henry Kerinaiua at the fall of his aerial contests. Joel Jeffrey is a big out for Wanderers as he takes up training with the Gold Coast Suns, but the Muk Muks still boast dangerous youngsters in the form of Mark White, Beau O’Connell and Ronald Fejo, with all three able to play across every line.

There looks to be a good amount of talent spread across both sides, with plenty of excitement in either attacking 50. Expect some neat highlights and a competitive game between two teams looking to do better than their ladder position would suggest.

NTFL Women’s Premier League weekend preview: Round 10 – Heat to prove extra challenge

ROUND 10 is set to have some interesting battles, with a few ladder-defining matches heading up the weekend. In a change from the usual scheduling all five matches this week take place at different locations, making for potential of a real mixed bag of results especially with temperatures expected to surge over the weekend in some parts of the Northern Territory this week.

Nightcliff v. St Mary’s
7/12/19 – Round 10
12:30pm
TIO Oval 2

Nightcliff are in an unprecedented position once more this week, sitting in fifth with five wins for the season so far coming up against eighth placed St Mary’s to open Round 10. Both sides were part of high-scoring clashes last round though the Tigers certainly will come in favourites given their solid 95-point victory over Big River Hawks while St Mary’s only managed eight points against Southern Districts. Nightcliff will look to tighten up the accuracy this week after booting 23 behinds last round. Last time these sides met Nightcliff came away with a solid 11-point victory so will look to back up that effort this time around. Saints’ Sharna Edwards and Yasmin Roe have played every match so far this season well and truly earning their spots in the lineup with their consistency. Nightcliff’s Eliza Morrison, Emma-Lou Wolsey and Mickayla Ward have also proved to be consistent performers throughout the season so far. 

Tracy Village v. Pint
7/12/19 – Round 10
2:00pm
Tracy Village

Tracy Village will look to get one back this week after a disappointing display last round against Waratah while Pint will be brimming with confidence after going toe-to-toe with Darwin Buffettes and given a draw for their efforts. While not far apart on the ladder, sitting ninth and seventh respectively, Tracy Village is sitting far below Pint on percentage making this a difficult task for the Razorbacks. One thing that will go in the side’s favour however is the home ground advantage with the match taking place at Tracy Village. The two sides did battle in Round 2 with Tracy Village going scoreless, entirely run down by Pint meaning the Tigers have a lot to prove this round. Pint’s Jasmyn Hewett, Emma Greaves and Erin Hetherington will look to continue their solid form while Razorbacks have the likes of Alexandra Biggs, Gabby Young and Tara Everett up their sleeve with plenty left to prove.

Big River Hawks v. Darwin Buffettes
7/12/19 – Round 10
2:30PM
Katherine Oval

Big River Hawks have another rough one coming up this week when they take on second-ranked Darwin Buffettes. The Hawks went scoreless last time they took on the Buffettes, with the Buffs booting 19.19 for the match. While the Buffs have had a shaky past few weeks on the track, they are unlikely to have a tough time against the Hawks who have struggled to put points on the board this season. The Hawks will have some confidence on home soil but with temperatures expected to peak upwards of 40 degrees celcius only time will tell whether they are able to put up a worthy fight. Jayde De La Coeur and Crystal Browne are two of the most consistent performers for the Hawks alongside Deanna Peckham. For the Buffettes, Kylie Duggan has been solid across her eight matches with three best on ground appearances while Tikesa Docherty-Cole has booted seven goals from two matches to prove herself as a key option forward for the Buffs.

Southern Districts v. Wanderers
7/12/19 – Round 10
5:00pm
TIO Stadium

The final Saturday match of the round will see fourth and sixth do battle with both sides on the same amount of winning points though Districts arguably have the better percentage and potential to get a win on the board in round 10. The Crocs had the winning points taken off for their last battle against Wanderers back in Round 2, so the side will surely want to prove they can get away with victory this time again. For Districts, Charles Deegan is key finding the footy while Ebony Miller has the ability in front of goal to be dangerous if left unattended, already having booted 27 goals for the season. The Wanderers will look to their stalwart trio of Morgan Johnston, Shekeine De Satge and Sophia Mauboy who have continued to perform across the board this season.

Waratah v. Palmerston Magpies
8/12/19 – Round 10
12:00pm
Gardens Oval

The final match of the round is set to be the biggest with Waratah hosting Palmerston Magpies. The two sides went  toe-to-toe in Round 2, ending with a 10 point margin Waratah’s way, so the Magpies are sure to ark it up this time with accuracy and forward pressure surely on the agenda. Both sides come into this matchup off solid wins in the past few rounds so expect another tight battle between two of the top sides of the competition. Iesha Ronberg has proved her consistency across a number of matches with consistency and cleanliness to boot, unafraid to go into the contest hard and earning six best on ground appearances for her efforts. Arthurina Moreen will be key for the Magpies alongside Ronberg with a real eye for the goals while Billie Byers and Janet Baird also have plenty to offer. For the ‘Tahs Rebecca Pryer has impressed throughout the season while Lauren O’Shea is the current leading goalkicker for the side with 12 from eight matches.

NTFL Women’s Premier League wrap: Round 9 – First draw of season as Waratah continue winning streak

ROUND 9 of the Northern Territory Football League Women’s (NTFLW) saw a mixed bag of results ranging from blowouts to narrow defeats making it an exciting round of action. It also marked the first draw of the season with Pint and Darwin Buffettes tied while top of the table Waratah continued their strong showing and pushed two and a half games ahead of the second placed Buffettes.

BIG RIVER HAWKS 0.0 | 1.0 | 1.0 | 1.0 (6)
NIGHTCLIFF 2.5 | 4.12 | 8.16 | 13.23 (101)

By: Taylah Melki

GOALS:

Big River Hawks: N/A.
Nightcliff: K. Simmons 3, E. Wolsey 3, J. Anyon-Smith 3, M. Ward 2, B. Richards, S. Miskin-Ripia.

BEST:

Big River Hawks: N/A
Nightcliff: M. Ward, S. Miskin-Ripia, E. Wolsey

It was another week of domination on behalf of Nightcliff who inflicted a wealth of pain on their opposition. Despite inaccuracy plaguing them throughout the entire game, Nightcliff still posted a hefty total and kept the Big River Hawks at bay denying them any opportunity to push forward and have a scoring shot. The Hawks were kept goalless in the opening quarter before nailing their sole major in the second term while Nightcliff continued to pile on the scoreboard pain. Shantel Miskin-Ripia imposed herself across the field once again nailing a goal and winning the ball time and time again while Katrina Simmons hit the scoreboard with three goals. Emma-Lou Wolsey and Jacqueline Anyon-Smith also converted three goals apiece with Mickayla Ward also popping up to contribute to the tally and being named in the bests once again. For the Hawks Zainab Mohamud and Crystal Browne were solid but could not do enough to quell the influence of their dominant opponents.

PINT 2.1 | 3.2 | 3.2 | 4.4 (28)
DARWIN BUFFETTES 1.0 | 3.0 | 3.0 | 4.4 (28)

By: Taylah Melki

GOALS:

Pint: J. Baksh, E. Greaves, J. Baumer, A. Pennefather.
Darwin Buffettes: N/A

BEST:

Pint: N/A
Darwin Buffettes: N/A

Neither side could be separated, ending with 28 points apiece in a match filled with half chances and plenty of excitement. Pint got off to a hot start establishing an early lead before the Buffettes fought back to get within striking distance but fell agonisingly short to come up with the first draw of the season. Neither the Buffettes nor Pint added to their half time total in the third quarter instead leaving the flurry of scoring opportunities until the final term thanks to the ball ping-ponging back and forth down the field. Jessie Baumer picked up where she left off from last round adding another goal to her growing tally, while teammates Emma Greaves and Amy Pennefather also contributed to the goal column. Kylie Duggan and Bianca Stokes were crucial for the Buffettes once again helping to lead their side back into contention. Youngsters, Dominique Carbone and Tayla Hart-Aluni were strong in their respective roles pushing hard across the ground to create options and pose a threat for the opposition.

WARATAH 4.4 | 6.10 | 9.14 | 14.18 (102)
TRACY VILLAGE 0.2 | 0.2 | 0.2 | 1.3 (9)

By: Sophie Taylor

GOALS

Waratah: L. O’Shea 5, T. O’Hehir 4, M. Campbell, M. Cooper, L. Roberts, A. Chittick, J. Singh.
Tracy Village: N/A.

BEST

Waratah: L. O’Shea, R. Pryer, I. Rapson-Staropoli, C. Fabris, M. Cooper
Tracy Village: N/A

Waratah proved once again they are the team to beat this season, defeating Tracy Village by a whopping 93 points. The ‘Tahs had the lead from the get-go against Tracy Village, with the Razorbacks ultimately unable to find their form against the top of the ladder. Waratah were clinical, peppering the posts with their number of forward options and once again proving that they do not need to be accurate as long as they have a volume of players forward. Lauren O’Shea earned best on ground honours for Waratah with a bag of five on Saturday, plying her trade inside 50 and creating opportunities for a further six players to get on the board – with Tarryn O’Hehir booting four goals to take her season tally to six. Rebecca Pryer and Isabella Rapson-Staropoli impressed also for Waratah, propelling the ball well down the field. 

SOUTHERN DISTRICTS 1.3 | 4.7 | 8.8 | 10.14 (74)
ST MARY’S 0.2 | 0.2 | 1.2 | 1.2 (8)

By: Sophie Taylor

GOALS

Southern Districts: T. Thorn 3, I. Hickling 2, C. Tielen , T. Maddock, C. Deegan, L. Niven, K. Patterson.
St Mary’s: N/A.

BEST

Southern Districts: C. Deegan, T. Holtze, T. Thorn, I. Hickling, M. Craufurd
St Mary’s: N/A

While Southern Districts did not have the best start in this matchup the second and third quarters saw the Crocs well and truly run away with their fifth win of the season, pulling into fifth and jumping ahead of Nightcliff with the victory. The side also got a nice percentage booster with the 66 point win. While St Mary’s had a slow start there was no excuse for their lacklustre performance, with the usual performers quiet and unable to spark the side into action against a strong Districts defensive unit. Tayla Thorn impressed once more with three goals this round after two last week, while Indianna Hickling put two on the board in her first match for the season. Charles Deegan was solid as ever with her kicking ability on show, cleanly finding the footy and putting a goal on the board of her own while aided by Tahlia Holtze who was also named among the best.

PALMERSTON MAGPIES 2.4 | 5.5 | 6.8 | 7.9 (51)
WANDERERS 0.0 | 1.1 | 3.3 | 3.4 (22)

By: Sophie Taylor

GOALS 

Palmerston Magpies: W. Barlow 2, S. Leedie, T. May, N. Medbury.
Wanderers: T. Davern, T. Bush, G. Halkitis.

BEST

Palmerston Magpies: T. Jeffrey, S. Kris, F. Puruntatameri, J. Brock, Y. Roe
Wanderers: S. Mauboy, L. Motlop, G. Halkitis, D. Totham, K. Anderson, M. Johnston

Despite a second-half effort from the Wanderers the Magpies were just far too good, putting on goals early and backing it up when the Eagles got back into the game to run home with a solid 29 point victory. For the Wanderers this is a frustrating chink in their so-far strong start to the season, however their second half effort proved the side has the capacity to build from this match where they may not have last season. Eagles’ Sophia Mauboy and Georgia Halkitis impressed with Halkitis booting one of the side’s goals alongside Tedisha Bush and Tishara Davern, while Wynona Barlow booted two for the Magpies in a solid effort up forward. Tulaha Jeffrey proved once more she has the capacity to carry a side with another key performance on the books, aided by Sodyla Kris in her first match of the season and Freda Puruntatameri who did not kick any goals in this outing but proved she can have an impact away from the posts.

NTFL Men’s Premier League wrap: Round 9 – Tigers, Buffs get up in thrillers

WHILE St Mary’s won big in Round 9 of the Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Men’s Premier League, Nightcliff and Darwin narrowly edged bottom four sides in an action-packed weekend of NT football. In the round’s other game, Southern Districts kicked away to return to the winners list after a tight three quarters.

PALMERSTON MAGPIES 2.1 | 8.4 | 10.5 | 11.5 (71)
DARWIN BUFFALOES 2.4 | 3.5 | 5.9 | 10.15 (75)

GOALS:

Palmerston: E. Frank 3, K. Holt-Tubbs 2, D. Gaykamangu, A. Diamond, M. Perry, D. Cox, J. Rhodes.
Darwin: B. Foster 4, J. Clarke 2, C. Williams, M. Quinn, B. Hogan, D. Shillabeer.

BEST:

Palmerston: E. Frank, A. Diamond, C. Williams, J. Berry, W. Shadforth, S. Brock
Darwin: L. McKenzie, J. Stokes, B. Foster, C. Williams, D. Lines

It took a final quarter comeback for the ages for Darwin to sneak over the top of Palmerston on the road and hold onto third place. The heartbreaking loss sees Palmerston remain winless, unable to deny the Buffs despite their efficiency in the 11.5 (71) to 10.15 (75) result.

A tight opening term was followed by Palmerston’s best quarter of footy for a long time, seeing the Magpies break out to a 29-point half-time lead on the back of six goals to one. But the Buffs chipped away after the main break to remain within striking distance, pouncing in the final term with 5.6 to one straight goal to snatch victory from the jaws of what would have been a very disappointing defeat.

Brodie Foster proved a handy addition to the Buffs’ forward 50, booting a game-high four majors to lead the line from usual goalsneak Jalen Clarke (two goals). But it was Lachlan McKenzie who was named Darwin’s best, with consistent features Jarrod Stokes and Christopher Williams also influential. Ezekiel Frank and Keidan Holt-Tubbs led the way in an improved scoring effort for the Magpies, with the former named his side’s best player. Adam Diamond, Jack Berry, and Sandy Brock were also named in the best half-dozen for the third game running, with Palmerston starting to form a more settled unit.

The win sees Darwin holt onto third place among what is becoming tight battle for second, with a tough assignment against Tiwi next in its sights. Meanwhile, Palmerston’s search for a win carries on into another round as St Mary’s awaits.

NIGHTCLIFF 2.5 | 3.8 | 8.10 | 11.12 (78)
TIWI BOMBERS 2.0 | 7.2 | 9.4 | 11.6 (72)

GOALS:

Nightcliff: M. Hagan 3, C. Ilett 2, T. Melville 2, L. Holt-Fitz, D. Bowles, L. Masters, K. Winter-Irving.
Tiwi: A. Darcy 3, H. Puruntatameri 2, A. Wonaeamirri 2, A. Tipungwuti 2, C. Molyneux, D. Munkara.

BEST:

Nightcliff: K. Riley, D. Bowles, J. Kickett, M. Hagan, N. Brown, J. Peris
Tiwi: J. Puruntatameri, A. Tipungwuti, C. Molyneux, A. Darcy, R. Baird, H. Puruntatameri

Nightcliff narrowly accounted for a plucky and more efficient Tiwi side to maintain its gap at the top, scraping over the line by six points. The Tigers pulled away when it mattered in the 11.12 (78) to 11.6 (72) result, proving their status as the NTFL’s best.

In what was a game of momentum swings, Nightcliff was able to pull ahead at the ideal time with the two sides level going into the final term. Earlier, the Tigers found themselves three goals adrift at the main break despite managing two more scoring shots for the half, before hitting back with 5.2 to even the ledger. In a tense closer, the reigning premiers managed to hold on to their one-goal buffer after creating enough opportunities to kick away more comfortably.

Both sides managed an even goalkicking spread, with Michael Hagan and Alastair Darcy booting a game-high three goals for their respective teams. Hagan was the only Nightcliff goalkicker to also be named among the best, with Kaine Riley leading the way from Daniel Bowles and Jayden Kickett. It was a slightly different story for the Bombers as Harley Puruntatameri (two goals), Adam Tipungwuti (two) and Charlie Molyneux (one) each troubled the scorers and were impactful overall, while Rodney Baird was solid up the ground.

While four points have been coming in aplenty for the Tigers, the win keeps the chasing pack at bay – eight points adrift – with a top two clash up next. Tiwi’s spot in the top five is at risk next week as the Bombers do battle with another finals-bound side in Darwin, heating up the finals race.

ST MARY’S 6.5 | 12.8 | 19.9 | 25.14 (164)
WARATAH 2.1 | 4.3 | 4.5 | 6.5 (41)

GOALS:

St Mary’s: A. Wilson 6, J. Calder 6, M. Rioli Jnr 3, T. Saunders 2, S. Rioli 2, J. Long, B. Rioli, P. Macfarlane, R. Smith, N. Paredes, J. Cheek.
Waratah: H. Kerinaiua 2, A. Hodgson, T. Schmid, K. Kantilla, W. Gorman.

BEST:

St Mary’s: J. Geary, R. Smith, M. Rioli Jnr, B. Rioli, D. Armitage, J. Calder
Waratah: N/A

A comprehensive 123-point drubbing of Waratah was not quite enough to see St Mary’s jump back into third on percentage, but the Saints well and truly sounded a warning to their competition on Saturday. A stacked Saints lineup looked ominous heading into the clash, and lived up to the bill with a 25.14 (164) to 6.5 (41) result.

After a six goals to two opener, the game was all but put to bed at the main break as the Saints led by 53 points, kicking on with another 13 goals to two in the second half to more than double that margin – managing no less than six goals across each quarter in a consistently ruthless performance. With Abe Ankers missing, the Warriors simply struggled for answers throughout, void of midfield grunt while also being shut down well up forward.

Anthony Wilson and Jackson Calder were the stars inside 50 with six goals each, joined by Maurice Rioli Jnr (three goals) as multiple goalkickers to also feature in the best. Jackson Geary was also again among the Saints’ best, joined by ex-St Kilda midfielder David Armitage. Henry Kerinaiua stood up in a losing effort for Waratah with two majors, but his forward partners in Steven Stroobants and Kim Kantilla were unable to truly break the shackles.

While positions have not changed, the result has a big bearing on the top end of the ladder with St Mary’s gaining some much-needed percentage and keeping entrenched in the top four. Another bottom three opponent in Palmerston is up next for the Saints, while Waratah will next face Wanderers as both sides’ finals hopes start to get desperate.

SOUTHERN DISTRICTS 2.6 | 8.6 | 8.9 | 13.13 (91)
WANDERERS 1.1 | 2.3 | 7.4 | 9.5 (59)

GOALS:

Southern Districts: W. Farrer 3, B. Schwarze 3, E. Barlow 2, J. Farrer, D. Williams, D. Hall, R. Tambling, N. Horbury.
Wanderers: M. White 3, L. Jurrah 2, D. Thompson, K. Stephens, B. O’Connell, M. Derrick.

BEST:

Southern Districts: J. Farrer, E. Barlow, T. Holman, D. Williams, D. McLachlan, M. Pemberton
Wanderers: L. Dyer, N. Sedgwick, B. O’Connell, D. Thompson, J. Priest

A strong final term helped Southern Districts keep clear in second, outlasting a young Wanderers side to come away 32-point winners. The Crocs were made to withstand a strong Eagles fightback, putting a winning 13.13 (91) to 9.5 (59) score on the board.

A tense opening term saw the Crocs edge in front, but a six goals to one second stanza broke the game open and proved the defining period of play. But the Muk Muks fought back to show all the finals credentials they had in previous weeks, trailing by just 10 points heading into the final turn. That was where the momentum stopped however, as the Crocs stormed home with 4.4 to 2.1 to claim a fighting win.

Will Farrer and Beau Schwarze resumed their forward 50 partnership for the Crocs with three goals apiece, joined by ex-AFL midfielder Ed Barlow (two goals) as multiple goalkickers. Both Farrer and Barlow were also among the winners’ best alongside Thomas Holman and Damian Williams, while Luke Dyer was named Wanderers’ best ahead of Nicholas Sedgwick. Goalsneak Beau O’Connell was also dangerous in the losing effort, while fellow small forward Mark White booted three goals in his second game for the year.

The Eagles will have to turn a losing skid around if they are to climb back into a finals spot, with Waratah next on the agenda after its heavy defeat. Meanwhile, the Crocs are poised for a top of the table clash against Nightcliff next time out in what is set to be a belter.

NTFL Men’s Premier League preview: Round 9 – Race for fifth hots up on super Saturday

ROUND 9 of the Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Men’s Premier League bounces down under Friday night lights, before a super Saturday poises top five teams Nightcliff and Tiwi against each other in what shapes as the game of the weekend.

PALMERSTON MAGPIES vs. DARWIN BUFFALOES
Friday November 29, 7:00pm
Palmerston Oval

The Darwin Buffaloes will look to press on with their top two charge when they travel to take on the winless Palmerston Magpies under Friday night lights. A big win over Waratah last time out means Darwin comes into this clash with consecutive victories, eyeing off a top two berth as just eight points split second and sixth. With Palmerston languishing in last and without a win to this point, this is the kind of game the Buffs’ simply must win if they are to remain a premiership contender. Joe Anderson is one of the only movers in a settled Darwin line-up, named in defence as the likes of Darren Shillabeer, Brodie Foster, and Matt Campbell take up forward 50 spots. Speaking of, Alwyn Davey sneaks into Palmerston’s forward pocket, hoping to add class on the full forward line alongside Ezekiel Frank and Keidan Holt-Tubbs, while Nigel Lockyer Jnr has been named on the bench. The Magpies will be hoping to rectify some poor previous form in front of a home crowd, but the Buffs are always tough opposition and have found a rhythm once again.

NIGHTCLIFF vs. TIWI BOMBERS
Saturday November 30, 2:00pm
PSC BM Oval

Two of the NTFL’s form sides meet on Saturday afternoon as Nightcliff and Tiwi do battle at PSC BM Oval, with finals implications in play. The Tigers continue to set the competition benchmark despite slipping up a couple of weeks ago against St Mary’s, and inadvertently helped Tiwi jump into fifth place with a big win over Wanderers in Round 8. The Bombers claimed a handy win of their own in the same weekend, trumping the Saints for a second time this season to make for an interesting equation of football maths in this fixture. Something that needs no working out is that Nightcliff’s side is omnipotent, with former-Williamstown duo Willie Wheeler and Leigh Masters continuing their NTFL stint, adding to the goal threat posed by Cam Ilett, Trent Melville, and Liam Holt-Fitz. The Bombers will hope to outgun their opponents though, naming Adam Tipungwuti up forward alongside Austin Wonaeamirri and Ross Tungatalum, while still possessing plenty of drive up the field. It shapes as being the game of the round, and a win for Tiwi would keep the minor premiership race interesting.

ST MARY’S vs. WARATAH
Saturday November 30, 2:30pm
TIO Stadium

The opportunity to bounce back from disappointing respective losses is up for grabs for both St Mary’s and Waratah as they meet at TIO Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The Saints endured a second upset defeat at the hands of traditional rival, Tiwi last time out, but remain in the top two hunt on the back of a much-improved start to the season. Waratah’s year to date has been a touch more hit-and-miss, and the Warriors were outclassed by Darwin after a couple of strong showings helped them break through for consecutive wins – their only ones for the season. Maurice Rioli Jnr is the most exciting inclusion among a star-studded Saints line-up, named on the bench while David Armitage and Michael Manteit make up the ex-AFL numbers. Meanwhile, Steven Stroobants is a handy addition for the Warriors to add to the firepower Kim Kantilla brings, but they look like going in without Abe Ankers in a huge blow to their chances. St Mary’s has looked formidable on paper all season, and that is no different this week as they look to prey on a bottom three opponent.

SOUTHERN DISTRICTS vs. WANDERERS
Saturday November 30, 7:00pm
TIO Stadium

Wanderers will hope to snap a two-game losing run when it closes out the round against Southern Districts on Saturday night at TIO Stadium. Both sides have endured wild momentum swings in their seasons thus far, but the Crocs have found a way to win more often and sit pretty in second spot. They would be even closer to the top had it not been for a draw in the first meeting between these two teams, with the result also a factor in Wanderers’ position just outside of the top five. With Tiwi on the up and the top four relatively settled, a win is crucial for the young Muk Muks line-up. They will have to perform without star swingman Joel Jeffrey this week, with NT Under-16 Mark White coming into the forward line to join Beau O’Connell and Davin Ferreira. The Crocs will back in their own forward firepower, with Ed Barlow named inside 50 alongside Beau Schwarze and Will Farrer, while Richard Tambling is also set to go around again. Those names make Southern Districts hard to pass up, but Wanderers can cause plenty of headaches.

2019/20 NTFL Women’s Premier League preview: Round 9 – Darwin looks to bounce back

WARATAH will be looking to extend their reign at top of the ladder with another strong performance while the Southern Districts will be wanting to keep in touch with the top four. It has been a trying season for the Big River Hawks who are yet to register a win but if they can muster up enough will power could give the seventh placed Nightcliff a run for their money.

Big River Hawks v. Nightcliff
30/11/19 – Round 9
2:30pm
Katherine Oval

Nightcliff will look to go for two wins in a row this round when it takes on the winless Big River Hawks. The side will be brimming with confidence after beating Southern Districts in a close encounter in Round 8 so are sure to go in hard to every contest this week to take their winning tally to five and hopefully move up the ladder in the process. For the Hawks, one thing they will have going for them is Nightcliff’s form in recent seasons, with consistency a real issue for the Tigers despite their good form to start the season. Youngster Shantel Miskin-Ripia has been in stellar form lighting up the field with her daring style of play for Nightcliff. Miskin-Ripia has been named in the “bests” for the past three weeks highlighting her dominance while teammate Michaela Ward is renowned for her ability to hit the scoreboard. Jade De Melo made a splash in her first game for the season and will be hoping to continue that form while River Hawks duo Sam Clarke and Zainab Mohamud have lifted their load in the past couple of matches.

Pint v. Darwin Buffettes
30/11/19 – Round 9
4:00pm
MCG

Darwin Buffettes will look to bounce back from a rough few weeks on the track, losing to Wanderers and Waratah in successive rounds to lose their undefeated status and top spot on the ladder. Two consecutive two-point losses are sure to spur the side into action, meaning Pint – who had a massive 159-point victory last round – will need to be at their best to get over the line against a tough Buffettes outfit. Pint have had some real shaky form in recent weeks, sitting in sixth with four wins from eight rounds but have a dominant percentage that could see them rocket up the ladder with a good week on the field. Coming off a bag of six goals last week expect Casey Morris to be the go to girl in the forward 50 with her uncanny ability to find the sticks while Jasmyn Hewett can find the ball and hit the scoreboard if given time and space. The Darwin Buffettes will be looking to right their wrongs of last week with the likes of Kylie Duggan and Bianca Stokes hoping to lead the way.

Waratah v. Tracy Village
30/11/19 – Round 9
5:00pm
TIO Oval 2

Waratah will look for a confidence boosting win this week when they take on Tracy Village, with the Razorbacks only having won one match for the season thus far, a close victory over cellar dwellers, Hawks. Tracy Village will need to limit Waratah’s scoring ability, with the side able to pepper the goal posts thanks to a number of players who can impact well in front of goal. For Waratah, the side once again had issues with inaccuracy last round so will need to tighten up inside 50. Joanna Kolodziej had a strong performance last week able to hit the scoreboard and have an influence across the board with her ball winning abilities while Gemma Cusack is a scoring machine and can cause a muck in the forward half. For Tracy Village, Alexandra Briggs, Gabrielle Young and Tara Everett can all band together to form a dominant trio.

Southern Districts v. St Mary’s
30/11/19 – Round 9
5:00pm
TIO Stadium

Southern Districts will look to bounce back this week after a difficult loss last round, and will certainly have a confidence boost when they take on a St Mary’s side that only put one behind on the board last round. The Saints have had an up and down season so far, unable to string multiple wins along but having some good patches along the way, making this a key match to put some goals on the board and bring back some consistency. The Southern Districts have host a key players in front of goal with the likes of Kelsey Patterson and Ebony Miller all getting on the board while first gamer Lucy Murray will be striving to keep up the good work after nailing her first goal last round. For St Mary’s Sharna Edwards has been nothing but consistent playing all eight games this season while Danielle Ponter knows how to cause an impact and will be hoping to bring some magic to the game to worry the opposition. Aaliyah Bailey is a handy player inside 50 given her scoring ability so except St Mary’s to look for her when pushing into the forward half.

Palmerston Magpies v. Wanderers
30/11/19 – Round 9
7:00pm
Palmerston Oval

Both the Magpies and Wanderers are coming off wins making this an interesting clash between the top four sides. Palmerston well and truly dismantled their opponent last round and will be looking to replicate that dominance heading into this match-up while the Wanderers will have plenty of confidence after coming from behind to clench victory. After a dominant performance in front of goal last round for the Wanderers, Shekeine De Satge will be wanting to influence the scoreboard once again if they are any chance to win. Maria Billias and Sophia Mauboy have also been key in recent weeks for the Wanderers and if can get on the board early will help to set the tone for the game. On the other hand the Magpies are not short of star-power in front of goal after nailing 16 goals last round with Arthurina Moreen and Jessica Stassi both scoring four majors apiece meaning if they can get loose in the forward 50 again they can do some serious damage. Iesha Ronberg has also been in hot form in recent weeks being named in the bests for the past three weeks.

NTFL Men’s Premier League wrap: Round 8 – Buffs move to third as in-form sides claim victories

NIGHTCLIFF got back on track after a rare loss, Southern Districts and Darwin got past their lowly ranked opponents, while Tiwi Bombers’ ripping form continued with yet another win in this round’s action of Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Men’s Premier League.

WANDERERS 2.1 | 3.3 | 4.5 | 5.5 (35)
NIGHTCLIFF 6.2 | 11.5 | 14.7 | 16.12 (108)

GOALS:

Wanderers: W. Williams 2, D. Thompson, D. Weetra, R. Fejo.
Nightcliff: M. Bricknell 4, L. Sharp 4, J. Butcher 3, L. Holt-Fitz 2, M. McGregor, S. Wilson, T. Melville.

BEST:

Wanderers: C. Haley, K. Stephens, B. McLean, W. Williams, D. Thompson
Nightcliff: K. Riley, L. Masters, J. Butcher, W. Wheeler, J. Peris, J. Budarick

Top-of-the-table Nightcliff continued its terrific season after bouncing back from a rare loss last week to hand down a smashing to Wanderers who slipped down to sixth by the end of the round. Nightcliff burst out of the blocks to pile on six goals to two in the opening term, and led by 50 points at half-time. The team refused to take the foot off after the main break, booting five goals to two to run out 73-point winners in the first game at TIO Oval. Matthew Bricknell and Lachlan Sharp booted four gaols apiece, while former Port Adelaide forward, John Butcher kicked three majors and was named among the best. Talented high flyer Liam Holt-Fitz booted two majors for the Tigers, while Kaine Riley and Williamstown players, Leigh Masters and Willie Wheeler were named in the reigning premiers’ best. For Wanderers, Warwick Williams was the sole multiple goalkicker with two majors, named among the best with Charlie Haley and Kade Stephens. Wanderers take on Southern Districts on Saturday night at TIO Stadium, while Nightcliff host the in-form Tiwi Bombers.

PALMERSTON MAGPIES 2.0 | 2.4 | 4.5 | 6.7 (43)
SOUTHERN DISTRICTS 1.3 | 5.5 | 9.12 | 14.18 (102)

GOALS:

Palmerston: W. Shadforth, D. Gaykamangu , B. Church, M. Chester, T. Freeman, A. Diamond.
Southern Districts: S. Barnett 3, D. Williams 2, C. McAdam 2, B. Schwarze, D. Hall, M. Joshua, T. Holman, K. Dingo, M. Rosier, J. Farrer.

BEST:

Palmerston: J. Berry, A. Diamond, R. Mungatopi, M. Chester, S. Brock, W. Shadforth
Southern Districts: M. Rosier, B. Lake, J. Farrer, C. McAdam, S. Barnett, T. Holman

Southern Districts kept in touch with Nightcliff following a 59-point victory over cellar dwellers, Palmerston Magpies. The Magpies poor start to the season continued with their eighth straight loss, while the Crocs are up and about having won five and drawn one from as many encounters as the Magpies. It was the underdogs who started strongly booting two goals to one in the opening term, but it was all the Crocs from there, leading by 19 points at half-time, then slamming home nine goals to four in the second half to skip away to the comfortable win on the road. The Crocs had no shortage of goalkickers with Sam Barnett (three majors), Charles McAdam (two) and Damian Williams (two) all getting on the board. Matthew Rosier was handed best on ground honours, while teenage star Brodie Lake and Josiah Farrer were also named among the best. For the Magpies, Jack Berry was named best on ground, while former Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels’ small forward Dale Cox also featured in the side, with Adam Diamond and Randy Mungatopi named in Palmerston’s best. Next weekend, Palmerston looks to break its winless drought against Darwin, while the Crocs host Wanderers.

WARATAH 2.0 | 4.4 | 8.4 | 10.9 (69)
DARWIN BUFFALOES 1.7 | 3.12 | 10.14 | 14.17 (101)

GOALS:

Waratah: K. Kantilla 5, B. Zobel, M. Newton, L. Fitzgerald, A. Ankers, M. Blake.
Darwin: D. Stafford 5, J. Stokes 3, D. Shillabeer, M. Coombes, B. Culhane, C. Williams, B. Hogan, M. Campbell.

BEST:

Waratah: N/A.
Darwin: I. Seden-Kurnoth, C. Williams, D. Stafford, B. Hogan, C. Atkinson

Fourth placed Darwin Buffaloes overcame some terrible inaccuracy in the first half of their clash with Waratah to get back on track for a 32-point win at TIO Stadium. The Buffaloes were able to leapfrog St Mary’s who went down in the next match, sitting percentage ahead of the Saints and only two points behind second placed Southern Districts. For Waratah, the Warriors remain six points away from sixth spot, and their season is slipping away. Darwin looked a bit shaky early despite leading at each break, but booted three goals from 15 scoring shots in the first half to hold a narrow two-point lead at the main break. They got their act together after that, as the Buffaloes booted 11.5 to Waratah’s 6.5 to record the solid victory. It was a shootout up both ends with Darwin’s Daniel Stafford and Waratah’s Kim Kantilla booting five majors apiece, but Stafford had more support around him. Jarrod Stokes kicked three majors and was one of eight individual goalkickers, while Kantilla was the only multiple goalkicker from Waratah’s six. Isaac Seden-Kurnoth and Chris Williams were named best on ground for their contributions in Darwin’s big win. Abe Ankers and Laine Fitzgerald were among the goalkickers in the Eagles side. Next weekend, Waratah takes on St Mary’s, while Darwin travels to Palmerston to meet the last placed Magpies.

ST MARY’S 2.1 | 3.5 | 4.6 | 7.8 (50)
TIWI BOMBERS 3.4 | 7.9 | 9.10 | 12.12 (84)

GOALS:

St Mary’s: S. Rioli 2, N. Paredes, J. Geary, L. Larson, T. Saunders, J. Cheek.
Tiwi: J. Best 4, A. Wonaeamirri 3, J. Monigatti 2, M. Kantilla, R. Tungatalum, D. Munkara.

BEST:

St Mary’s: B. Rioli, L. Larson, T. Davies, L. Daly, J. Geary, J. Cheek
Tiwi: A. Hams, L. Wale-Buxton, C. Jones, R. Baird, R. Puruntatameri, J. Puruntatameri

In the final game of the round, Tiwi Bombers’ great form of late continue with a vital 34-point win over St Mary’s. The game was considered an “eight-point” match with St Mary’s able to extend the gap between fourth and fifth out to 10 points, and 14 clear of the Bombers, while instead, Tiwi cut the deficit to just four points and percentage away from the top four. Tiwi controlled the match after a tight start, leading by 10 points at quarter time and 28 points by half-time. Whist the Saints managed to keep in touch after the main break, the damage was done and the Bombers celebrated a great win. Jake Best (four goals), Austin Wonaeamirri (three) and Jack Monigatti (two) all kicked multiple goals for the visiting side, as Shannon Rioli added two for St Mary’s. Former Essendon player, Ashton Hams was named best on ground and really impacted the contest, as did Liam Wale-Buxton and Rodney Baird. For the Saints, Ben Rioli was named the best, while Leroy Larson and Nathaniel Paredes both booted goals in defeat. Next week, the Tiwi Bombers travel to test themselves against Nightcliff, while St Mary’s host a must-win game against Waratah.

2019/20 NTFL Women’s Premier League wrap: Round 8 – Thrillers and blow outs and not much inbetween

ROUND 8 of the Northern Territory Football League Women’s (NTFLW) was a mixed bag of results with some matches extremely close and others big blowouts highlighting the extreme level of difference within the competition.

SOUTHERN DISTRICTS 1.3 | 2.5 | 3.5 | 3.8 (26)
NIGHTCLIFF 0.1 | 2.2 | 3.5 | 4.4 (28)

GOALS
Southern Districts:
L. Murray, K. Patterson, E. Miller
Nightcliff: M. Ward 2, J. Anyon-Smith, S. Politis

BEST
Southern Districts:
N/A
Nightcliff: J. de Melo, S. Miskin-Ripia, M. Ward

After a slow start Nightcliff built its way back into the game to run out victors by two points in what was an upset win. They did not let a goalless first quarter dictate their match working hard in the second to have four shots on goal and limit the higher placed Southern Districts to three drawing within in three points at half time. Nightcliff kept plying its trade in the third before putting the nail in the coffin in the final term to notch up their fifth win of the season. It was a tight battle between the two sides with neither willing to give an inch but inaccuracy ultimately cost District. Mickayla Ward did plenty of damage on the scoreboard with two goals highlighting her impressive goal nous while teammates Jacqueline Anyon-Smith and Sophia Politis added to the match winning total. Youngster Shantel Miskin-Ripia left her mark on the game with her signature run and carry a real feature of her game while Jade De Melo was also recognised in the bests for her efforts throughout the match. Southern Districts also had a handful of key players that set the tone for its side with the likes of Kelsey Patterson converting a major along with the likes of Ebony Miller who had a quiet game in comparison to her 10 goal haul last week. In her first game of the season Lucy Murray did not muck around nailing a goal to keep her side in touch of their opponents but it was not enough to get them over the line.

WARATAH 1.5 | 2.5 | 3.6 | 4.10 (34)
DARWIN BUFFETTES 0.1 | 2.2 | 3.3 | 5.3 (33)

GOALS
Waratahs:
G. Cusack, J. Kolodziej, J. Singh, L. O’Shea.
Darwin Buffettes: N/A.

BEST
Waratahs:
G. Cusack, J. Kolodziej, C. Fabris, R. Pryer, I. Rapson-Staropoli
Darwin Buffettes: N/A

The second game of the round resulted in another nail-biter with the margin coming down to a mere one point in favour of the Waratahs. The ‘Tahs skipped out to an early lead in the first quarter but were plagued with inaccuracy unable to capitalise on their opportunities in front of goal. The Buffettes came out with a point to prove in the second term piling on two goals to reduce the margin to three points heading into the main break. The deficit remained three points up into the third before missed chances by Waratah in the last quarter almost handed their opponents the game, scoring 1.4 compared to the Buffettes straight two goals. The goal scoring was evenly spread across Waratahs with Gemma Cusack maintaining her recent consistency in front of goal making it three consecutive weeks in which she has scored a major. Jenna Singh, Joanna Kolodziej and Lauren O’Shea rounded out the goal scorers while teammate Isabella Rapson-Staropoli was influential across the ground.

PINT 7.5 | 12.8 | 17.14 | 23.21 (159)
BIG RIVER HAWKS 0.0 | 0.0 | 0.0 | 0.0 (0)

GOALS
Pint:
C. Morris 6, J. Baumer 3, J. Hewett 3, E. Ryan 3, K. Smits 2, R. Fecht, E. Markussen, J. Downey, C. Evans.
Big River Hawks: N/A.

BEST
Pint:
N/A
Big River Hawks: S. Clarke, Z. Mohamud, J. Daniels, F. Joshua, C. Browne, C. Delacoeur

It was a complete and utter demolition with Pint simply running rampant for a full four quarters against their last placed opposition. Big River Hawks had no answers for Pint who outclassed them at every turn using their clever ball movement, speed and accuracy to really punish the Hawks. It is fair to say it was game on from the opening bounce with Pint piling on seven goals to set the tone and highlight their intent. They did not let up throughout the match not conceding a single point credit to their extreme defensive pressure paired with their attacking prowess. Casey Morris caused havoc in the forward half with her six goals while Ellie Ryan, Jasmyn Hewett and Jessie Baumer contributed three goals apiece to add further pain to the already struggling Hawks side. Kristen Smits clearly did not want to miss out on the goal scoring action with two majors of her own while an additional four players got on the scoreboard. Despite things not going their way throughout the match Sam Clarke, Zainab Mohamud and Johanna Daniels worked gallantly to try and give their side a fighting chance.

PALMERSTON MAGPIES 7.4 | 11.9 | 12.10 | 16. 14 (110)
ST MARY’S 0.0 | 0.0 | 0.1 | 0.1 (1)

GOALS:
Palmerston Magpies:
A. Moreen 4, J. Stassi 4, N. Medbury 2, I. Ronberg, W. Barlow, J. Brock, B. Byera.
St Marys: N/A.

BEST:
Palmerston Magpies:
A. Moreen, B. Byers, J. Baird, I. Ronberg, M. Singh, G. Garling
St Mary’s: N/A

Despite scores drying up in the third term, the Palmerston Magpies had things all their own way for much of the match thanks to a dominant start to the game. The Magpies kept St Mary’s scoreless in the first half thanks to their intense pressure and own goal scoring ability to simply deny their opponents any opportunity to push forward. Palmerston showed why they are in the top four claiming their fifth win of the season sitting on equal points with the Wanderers meaning the percentage boost could not have come at a better time. Arthurina Moreen and Jessica Stassi led the way in attack for the Magpies nailing four goals apiece with the duo proving to be a real thorn in their oppositions side. Natasha Medbury, Iesha Ronberg, Billie Byers, Jessie Brock and Wynona Barlow could not be denied in front of goal adding to the total. Unfortunately, the same could not be said for St Mary’s who failed to trouble the scoreboard.

TRACY VILLAGE 1.0 | 3.1 | 3.2 | 3.3 (21)
WANDERERS 1.2 | 1.3 | 3.3 | 6.6 (42)

GOALS
Tracy Village: N/A.
Wanderers: S. De Satge 2, M. Billias, P. Koulakis, T. Bush, K. White.

BEST
Tracy Village: N/A
Wanderers: M. Johnston, T. Davern, S. Mauboy, S. De Satge, M. Billias, L. Motlop

A mere two points separated the ninth placed Tracy Village and fourth placed Wanderers at quarter time before the tables quickly turned. Tracy took control of the game to make the most of their opportunities and open up a handy lead heading into half time. But the Wanderers refused to back down, kicking it up a gear to get the game back on their terms and eventually run out 21 point victors thanks to a final quarter blitz. Shekeine De Stage threw her weight around in the forward half to boot two majors while Maria Billias made no mistake in front of goal nailing one goal for the game. Sophia Mauboy featured in the bests for the second consecutive week along with Morgan Johnston who made her presence felt on the footy field with her damaging style of play. In her second game of the round Karita White continued her merry goal scoring way, with another major to help get her side over the line.

NTFL Men’s Premier League preview: Round 8 – Traditional rivals square off

TRADITIONAL rivals St Mary’s and Tiwi meet again in Round 8 of the Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Men’s Premier League, chasing slightly different goals among the top five places. Meanwhile, all four Round 7 losers will look to bounce back as they face off against each other, with Darwin and Waratah resuming their interesting recent duel on Saturday evening.

WANDERERS (5th, 3-3-1) vs. NIGHTCLIFF (1st, 6-1)
Saturday November 23, 2:30pm
TIO Stadium

Seldom do two top five sides meet after respective losses, but that is exactly the case as Wanderers and Nightcliff prepare to do battle on Saturday afternoon. While the Muk Muks have struggled to string wins together in a season full of promise, Nightcliff had been a figure of consistency in its premiership defence before tasting defeat for the first time in Round 7. The Tigers’ loss to fellow premiership contender St Mary’s did not set them back in terms of ladder standing, but Wanderers’ defeat at the hands of Darwin saw the two sides swap spots to put the Eagles in danger of dropping out of the top five should they fare no better in this contest.

While three Motlops have been named in an extended Wanderers side, Marlon Motlop is not one of them. Nonetheless, ex-AFL experience remains in the form of Liam Patrick, while Liam Jurrah and Brett Eddy feature on the 12-man interchange. Nightcliff’s side becomes a touch scarier with the inclusions of former Williamstown pair Willie Wheeler and Leigh Masters, set to inject class in the forward half. The Tigers’ depth and dynamism is clear as the likes of Kaine Riley and Trent Melville look set to start from the pine.

With both sides looking to return to the winners list, it will be a case of who responds best and wants it more. The Tigers remain the team to beat, so should come in as favourites but will have to be switched on against an Eagles outfit keen to remain in the finals hunt.

PALMERSTON MAGPIES (8th, 0-7) vs. SOUTHERN DISTRICTS (3rd, 4-2-1)
Saturday November 23, 5:00pm
Palmerston Oval

The remaining two losers out of Round 7, Palmerston and Southern Districts have the opportunity to make amends on Saturday evening as they clash at Palmerston Oval. While the Crocs looked to be angling for a top two spot before an upset loss to Tiwi, the Magpies have been season 2019/20’s cellar dwellers with a winless record to this point. A win would still leave them at least four points behind the pack as their finals hopes dwindle, but it would be a welcome change of fortune in front of home fans. On the other hand, a fifth win would put the Crocs back on track as they push to jump into the top two with St Mary’s and Nightcliff facing slightly tougher fixtures respectively.

The Crocs’ spine looks strong as ever, with the middle strengthened by the rare inclusion of ex-Tiger Richard Tambling, pushing Nikolaus Rokahr to the bench as Josiah and Will Farrer look set to be key absentees. Alwyn Davey‘s Palmerston’s side is still without the same real ex-AFL starpower and experience, but forward movers Kyle Emery and Keiden Holt-Tubbs are always dangerous inside 50 and Aaron Lonergan adds value through midfield.

While it would be easy to dismiss this contest based on looks on-paper, the Magpies should be well buoyed by their home support and the chance to finally get on the board. But their opposition is fearsome and will come in fired up after a loss to bottom-three opposition.

WARATAH (7th, 2-5) vs. DARWIN BUFFALOES (4th, 4-3)
Saturday November 23, 5:00pm
TIO Stadium

Waratah can continue its climb up the NTFL ladder with a third official win for the year, but face stiff opposition in the form of Darwin on Saturday evening. The Warriors have the wood over the Buffs, boasting four consecutive wins over their weekend opponents dating back to last season’s finals series – despite what this year’s records show. While the Round 3 result came somewhat controversially, there can be no debate about Waratah’s recent form over the Buffs. But Darwin look primed to make amends after a big win over fellow finals hopefuls, Wanderers last time out. But Waratah’s 89-point drubbing of Palmerston in the same weekend makes them tough opposition at this stage, and poises the clash as a cracker.

Waratah’s extended bench alone is as formidable as they come, with last week’s six-goal hero Kim Kantilla featuring among the likes of Abe Ankers, ex-Bendigo Pioneer Laine Fitzgerald, and former Melbourne forward Michael Newton. All four add enormous value and experience to the lineup led by centreman, Brodie Carroll. Brayden Culhane and Jalen Clarke are Darwin’s own bench threats, with ex-AFL pair Joe Anderson and Matt Campbell leading the Buffs’ lineup from the forward half.

With experience and class on each line, expect the fourth place side to come in well equipped to turn its fortunes around and solidify a finals spot. But recent results will be fresh in the Warriors’ minds, and an improved starting lineup will make them strong through the mid-season period.

ST MARY’S (2nd, 5-2) vs. TIWI BOMBERS (6th, 3-4)
Saturday November 23, 7:30pm
TIO Stadium

Potentially the game of the round again features St Mary’s, as it looks to rectify an early-season loss to Tiwi when the two sides meet to close out Round 8. The Bombers enter Saturday night’s clash in good form after a solid win over Southern Districts last time out, and can be further assured by a fighting shootout victory over the Saints in Round 3. But St Mary’s come in having shown just as formidable form in a win over the previously undefeated Nightcliff, stamping its authority as a genuine premiership threat.

While Nicholas Yarran looks like being a key absentee this week, Saints club legend and eight-time premiership player Peter McFarlane has been named in a forward line featuring former Collingwood-listed utility Michael Manteit, while draft hopeful Kieren Parnell starts on a wing. They will all be important in the face of a relative full-strength Tiwi side, with the Bombers’ pace through Adam Tipungwuti, Dion Munkara and Harley Puruntatameri posing problems for each side. The former-AFL midfield pair of Ashton Hams and Nathan Djerrkura should also prove vital in Tiwi’s hopes of a win.

The Bombers are one of just two sides the Saints are yet to beat this season, so the opportunity to claim another scalp should ring true for the better-placed side. Either way, this clash should provide a raft of real highlights if the first encounter is anything to go by.

NTFL Women’s Premier Division: Round 8 – Waratah and Buffettes go head-to-head for top spot

IN Round 8 of Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Women’s Premier Division expect plenty of action, with the headlining match the table-topping clash between 2018/2019 premiers, Waratah and this season’s dominant force in Darwin Buffettes. Meanwhile, the ladder will be well and truly changed up again this round, with wins to teams in the top five likely to provide plenty of separation to the ladder for the first time this season.

Southern Districts v. Nightcliff
23/11/19 – Round 8
12:30pm
Norbuilt Oval

Nightcliff is in for a tough slog this week, only one win behind Southern Districts according to the ladder, but it is worth taking into consideration that the Crocs have had points taken off them on two occasions for fielding extra players, meaning the side cannot be underestimated. While Nightcliff have had some fairly good form to start the season, they have scored a lot less points than Districts have to start the season so will need to either put on some serious firepower or apply a lot of defensive pressure to get over the line in this match. Crocs’ Ebony Miller will be one to watch this round, booting 10 goals last week to take her season tally to 24 while the likes of Charles Deegan and Lateesha Jeffrey can provide solid options wherever needed on the field. For the Tigers, Emma-Lou Wolsey and Eliza Morrison have proved to be two of the side’s most consistent players, going in hard to every contest. Nightcliff will require at least one of their key forward options to front up, with Shantel Miskin-Ripia and Jacqueline Anyon-Smith both impressive performers in front of goal when given the chance.

Waratah v. Darwin Buffettes
23/11/19 – Round 8
2:30pm
TIO Oval 2

Ultimately the biggest match of the round will see an early battle between first and second on the ladder, with both sides dominating majority of their contests to start the season. With the match played on neutral territory in the first of a double header at TIO Oval 2, either team could realistically run away with this one but also com down to a close encounter, given the strength in both the respective forward and defensive 50s. The Buffettes will need to take advantage of Waratah’s inaccuracy in this match to get a win on the board, and with both sides having a number of players who can impact the scoreboard, it is vital they shut down as many options as possible. With 17 and 18 individual goalkickers respectively, both sides have proven time and time again that they have the firepower to get the job done, with Kylie Duggan and Dominique Carbone among the Buffettes’ most consistent, while Waratah will look to Lisa Roberts and Madeline Gault.

Pint v. Big River Hawks
23/11/19 – Round 8
5:00pm
TIO Oval 2

Big River Hawks will look to take control in this match, with a relatively achievable contest this round against Pint. While the Bullants have won three games of seven, they have only defeated lower sides and only one by a solid margin. While the Hawks will still have a tough time against them, if they can lock down their defence and keep possession of the footy they may actually have a good chance of putting goals on the board. Emma Greaves and Erin Hetherington have been solid for Pint in the early stages of the season so are sure to team up once more with Jacqueline Downey and Jasmyn Hewett to impact on the board. For Hawks, Crystal Browne, Jayde De La Couer and Deanna Peckham have proved time and time again that they will not stop regardless of the margin.

Palmerston Magpies v. St Mary’s
23/11/19 – Round 8
7:30pm
Palmerston Oval

Another interesting match will play out between sides only one win apart, with Palmerston Magpies on four wins in third while St Mary’s is in sixth on three wins. The Magpies have been fortunate in a few of their games, winning off the back of some solid defence rather than firepower forward, so will need to really unleash forward to ensure a good match against St Mary’s. For the Saints the main issue will be the Magpies’ impressive run through the midfield, making them tough to stop when heading forward. Iesha Ronberg has had a solid start to the season for the Magpies alongside Billie Byers and Janet Baird, while Arthurina Moreen has kicked true early with 12 goals to her name making her a key option inside 50 for the Saints to stop. For St Mary’s, Danielle Ponter and Sharna Edwards have been relatively consistent and the real core of the side, so will need to be those solid players who stand up if the Magpies take control.

Tracy Village v. Wanderers
24/11/19 – Round 8
2:30pm
Tracy Village

The final match of the round will see two of last season’s bottom sides go head to head, but ultimately with their positions switched as Wanderers come into this game with four wins under their belt to the Razorbacks’ one. However, with the match played at Tracy Village the Razorbacks will have a much-needed home ground advantage, meaning the Wanderers will need to well and truly bring their A-game. For Tracy Village, the likes of Tara Everett and Zhoe Clarke will need to stand up, and with only two players in Bonnie McDougall and Nickesha Jones on multiple goals for the season the side will really want to spark up forward to make this a contested match. For the Wanderers, Shekeine De Satge and Morgan Johnston will want to continue their respective strong form starting the season with a real chance this match to continue the Eagles’ great ladder position.