Category: Northern Territory

Weekend preview: 2020/21 NTFL Women’s Premier League – Round 5

JUST one team remains at the top of the Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Women’s Premier League ladder heading into Round 5, and one side that was knocked off their perch with a loss last round will look to execute the same result this round when Pint and Nightcliff go head-to-head. A renewed looking Palmerston Magpies will look to continue their rise up the ladder after a sloppy start to the season, while Tracy Village will have their work cut out for them. As per usual, all four matches will play on Saturday afternoon, while Waratah was handed the bye.

Southern Districts vs. Wanderers
Saturday, October 31

Reigning premiers Southern Districts will be chomping at the bit after a bye last round, with no wins on the board yet in season 2020/21 and plenty to play for. The Crocs are possibly in their best position to win this round after the shaky tart, with fresh legs and a similarly struggling opposition in the Wanderers. While the Wanderers had a similarly shaky opening round, they were fortunate to take on Tracy Village in Round 2 which built up some confidence but have struggled since then. While their form is technically in better shape than Districts’ at this point in time, the reigning premiers cannot be underestimated given their scoring ability when they get going and plenty of pride coming into this match. 

Wanderers’ Kaitlyn Armstrong may have been rendered goalless last round but has proven to be a huge threat up forward so far this season, but if she can be held off by the Crocs this week the Wanderers could be in trouble with just four other players managing to get on the board thus far. Djimila Totham and Shekeine De Satge have been named in the best on three occasions, while for the Crocs they will be looking to not only bring a little bit of consistency to their game but also some excitement from Ebony Miller and Tayla Thorn.

Pint vs. Nightcliff
Saturday, October 31

A huge top three battle is set between the undefeated Pint and Nightcliff, with the former holding mantle at the top of the ladder and the latter looking to avenge their frustrating Round 4 loss last week. Both teams have had an excellent start to the season and have rarely faltered out the front, with the Queen Ants ultimately coming into this match as favourites credit to their firepower and proven ability to win under pressure. While Nightcliff have plenty of talent of their own inside their forward 50, with 237 points for compared to Pint’s 252, they have conceded the most points of the teams within the top four so will need to ensure their back end matches the firepower up forward.

Nightcliff’s Emma-Lou Wolsey still leads the goal tally following Round 4 with 11 majors to her name, with Jacqueline Anyon-Smith zipping up the leaderboard with three goals last round, stepping up as Wolsey was kept quiet by the Saints. But while Wolsey has dominated up forward for the Tigers, Pint’s Jasmyn Hewett and Casey Morris have been sharing the footy around, combining well up forward and providing a couple of crucial targets on a list with 12 proven goalkickers just across the opening four rounds. Between the two teams, Pint centurion Cassie Henderson is the lone player to have been named in the best three times.

Tracy Village vs. Darwin Buffettes
Saturday, October 31

Collecting two wins under their belts from three matches, the Buffettes will look to capitalise here and look to break into the top three when they take on the lowly Tracy Village. Always a tough ask, The Darwin side has dropped just one game in a close encounter, and otherwise have been fairly consistent this season. They outlasted a tough Waratah outfit last round and have plenty of exciting names across the field, so will hope to put some real pressure not only on the scoreboard this round but also on the three teams sitting above them on the ladder. The Razorbacks are yet to score more than single digits per game throughout the season so far, and while they have only played three matches from four rounds, they have struggled to not only put goals on the board but also negate their opposition – something Darwin will hope to capitalise off with its flurry of consistent goalkickers.

With just two goals for the season so far, Meagan Wylie and Indianna Hughes will hope to provide a spark up forward for the Razorbacks, and with both named in the best two and three times respectively, they can be relied on to do just that with their continuous hunt on the ball. For the Buffettes, Zoe Anderson and Machaelia Roberts lead the goalkicking tally, with a flurry of other handy options able to put goals on the board where required making for a hugely unpredictable side up forward.

St Mary’s vs. Palmerston Magpies
Saturday, October 31

The final match of the round will see St Mary’s host Palmerston Magpies, with the Saints sitting up in second on the ladder on percentage and the Magpies sitting in sixth after finally getting their first win on the board last round. While the Saints certainly have the winning form going into this round, only defeated by ladder-leading Pint in Round 2 by a close margin, there is no doubt the Magpies’ excellent 87-point win over the Razorbacks last round will give the side plenty of confidence heading into this matchup.

One of the intriguing things about St Mary’s this season is their winning ability regardless of the high turnover of players each round. Watch out for Michaela Long who has booted six goal across her four outings while five other player have booted more than one goal this season. Megan Williamson has been named among the best in all four matches, while Claudia Whitfort has been named in the best three times and booted four majors. For the Magpies, Arthurina Moreen (four goals) and Natasha Medbury (three) were crucial in last round’s victory, both playing just their second games for the season and will look to overwhelm the Saints’ defence this week.

2020/21 NTFL Women’s Premier League wrap: Round 4

ROUND 4 of the Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Women’s Premier League saw Palmerston and Pint secure blowout victories, while St Mary’s and Darwin got the better of fellow top five opponents on what was a super Saturday of play. The results see Pint remain the sole undefeated side atop the ladder, while Tracy Village is still searching for its first win and Southern Districts freshened up with a bye. All that, and more in our weekend wrap.

PALMERSTON MAGPIES | 3.1 | 4.5 | 9.8 | 14.12 (96)
TRACY VILLAGE | 0.1 | 0.2 | 1.3 | 1.3 (9)

GOALS:

Palmerston: A. Moreen 4, N. Medbury 3, T. May 2, I. Ronberg, E. Pretlove, M. Brown, C. Byers, J. Baird.
Tracy Village: M. Wylie.

BEST:

Palmerston: J. Guthridge, J. Baird, T. May, A. Moreen, M. Brown, B. Byers
Tracy Village: I. Hughes, K. Battel, K. Marschall, L. Toner, Z. Clarke, R. von Prott

Palmerston got on the board for season 2020/21 at the third time of asking, thumping the winless Tracy Village by 87 points at Cazaly’s Arena on Saturday. The Magpies took an early lead and never looked back, setting up their victory with four goals to nil in the first half. The damage was only compounded after half time despite the Razorbacks getting on the board, as Palmerston piled on a further 10 goals to storm home 14.12 (96) to 1.3 (9) winners.

Arthurina Moreen (four goals) and Natasha Medbury (three) combined to claim half of the Magpies’ majors, while Tabitha May rounded out the multiple goalkickers with two. Meagan Wylie was Tracy Village’s lone player to find the big sticks, as her side was soundly outdone going forward. The likes of Janet Baird and Michaeline Brown were others to both be named among the best and hit the scoreboard for Palmerston, but it was Jo Guthridge who earned best afield honours. Indianna Hughes gained the same credit for Tracy Village in the loss.

WANDERERS | 0.0 | 0.0 | 0.0 | 1.3 (9)
PINT | 2.2 | 7.5 | 12.7 | 16.7 (103)

GOALS:

Wanderers: C. Ormsby.
Pint: C. Morris 5, K. Smits 3, G. Cusack 2, J. Hewett 2, R. Pryer 2, S. Ingram, K. Streader.

BEST: 

Wanderers: M. Johnston, T. Davern, D. Peckham, C. Ormsby, S. De Satge, T. Parriman
Pint: A. Chittick, C. Henderson, J. Hewett, C. Morris, K. Streader

Pint maintained its flawless start to the season with a resounding 94-point win over Wanderers at TIO Oval on Saturday morning. The Queen Ants started steadily with a two-goal buffer at the first break, before piling on five goals in both the second and third terms to set up the big victory. All the while, Wanderers went scoreless, with Cassie Ormsby converting the Eagles’ first six-pointer in the final term en route to the 16.7 (103) to 1.3 (9) scoreline. It did little to arrest Pint’s momentum, as the victors also put through another four majors.

Casey Morris led a remarkable group of five multiple goalkickers for Pint, bagging a handful of goals while Kristen Smits (three) managed the next-best haul. Jasmyn Hewett was another to trouble the scorers with two majors as she was named among the Queenants’ best behind Amy Chittick and Cassie Henderson. Meanwhile, Morgan Johnston and Tishara Davern led the way for Wanderers alongside goalkicker, Ormsby as the Eagles fell to a second-consecutive defeat to sit seventh at 1-3. Pint is still riding high in top spot having knocked over every challenger thus far.

ST MARY’S | 3.1 | 7.2 | 9.8 | 11.10 (76)
NIGHTCLIFF | 1.2 | 2.2 | 4.2 | 5.2 (32)

GOALS:

St Mary’s: J. Anderson 3, A. Coombes 3, M. Long 2, J. Bryant, C. Whitfort, D. Ponter
Nightcliff: J. Anyon-Smith 3, L. Gooden, E. Wolsey

BEST:

St Mary’s: A. Coombes, D. Ponter, M. Williamson, S. Peris, J. Anderson, C. Whitfort
Nightcliff: K. Simmons, L. Gooden, J. Anyon-Smith

Finals ramifications were in play when St Mary’s and Nightcliff went to battle at TIO Stadium on Saturday morning, and it was the Saints who gained a big boost by becoming the first side to defeat the Tigers this season. The 44-point victory saw St Mary’s jump its opponent into second spot, with both sides currently boasting 3-1 records within the top five. A five-goal to one second term in favour of the victors did most of the damage, as Nightcliff failed to match the Saints’ firepower and fast ball movement throughout the contest.

Jasmine Anderson and Alana Coombes snared three goals apiece for the green and gold, with Michaela Long (two goals) rounding out St Mary’s multiple goalkickers. Up the other end, Jacqueline Anyon-Smith spearheaded the Tigers’ attack with three majors, as fellow goal-getter Lauren Gooden was named among the best behind Katrina Simmons. Coombes was adjudged St Mary’s best afield in front of Adelaide Crows AFLW livewire Danielle Ponter, as well as the likes of Megan Williamson and Claudia Whitford, who have enjoyed strong starts to the season among others.

WARATAH | 1.0 | 4.4 | 5.4 | 6.7 (43)
DARWIN | 2.3 | 4.4 | 5.8 | 7.8 (50)

GOALS:

Waratah: L. Miceli 5, L. Roberts
Darwin: J. Dodsworth 2, A. Bush, D. Ah Wang, S. Henry, M. Gargan, Z. Anderson

BEST:

Waratah: N/A
Darwin: M. Roberts, T. Hart-Aluni, K. Kurnoth, K. Hazlett, J. Iacono

Another top five clash rounded out the weekend proceedings, as Darwin defeated Waratah by seven points in by far the closest game of the round. Tahs’ were simply unable to catch the Buffettes back up after drawing level at half time, with a two-goal to one final term sealing the 7.8 (50) to 6.7 (43) win for Darwin. The result sees the Double Blues return to the winners list and gain a positive record, while Waratah slides to 1-2-1 and has not won since the opening round. However, the Warriors remain fifth having clinched a draw last time out.

It was not all bad for Waratah, especially given Lisa Miceli bagged an equal round-high five goals, with Lisa Roberts their side’s only other goalkicker. A more even spread saw Johanna Dodsworth (two goals) finish as Darwin’s lone multiple goalkicker, as five more Buffettes’ found the big sticks across the day. Unsurprisingly, Machaelia Roberts and Tayla Hart-Aluni fronted Darwin’s best players, with Jemma Iacono also instrumental in the win from defence. After the hotly-contested match, Waratah will look to rebound on the back of a bye next week.

Featured Image: Action from the NTFL Women’s Premier League clash between Darwin and Waratah | Credit: Celina Whan/AFLNT Media

2020/21 NTFL Men’s Premier League weekly wrap – Round 4

ROUND 4 of the Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Men’s Premier League saw St Mary’s exact revenge on reigning premier, Nightcliff, while Darwin kept its perfect record in tact, Southern Districts claimed its maiden victory, and Wanderers’ winning form continued. All that, and more in our weekend wrap.

PALMERSTON | 2.1 | 6.2 | 7.6 | 11.8 (74)
WANDERERS | 2.3 | 9.8 | 14.11 | 18.14 (122)

GOALS:

Palmerston: A. Davey 3, J. Harvey 2, N. Lockyer Jnr, M. Sutton, M. Rankine, E. Kelly, J. Berry, H. Brown
Wanderers: B. Eddy 7, S. Bates 5, M. Mummery, D. McFarlane, B. Hodgson, J. Cubillo, J. Cubillo, S. Mannagh

BEST:

Palmerston: M. Dennis, E. Guthrie, C. Williams, R. Armstrong, T. Lui, J. Harvey
Wanderers: S. Bates, M. Totham, D. McFarlane, B. Newman, B. Eddy

Wanderers’ hot start to the 2020/21 season continued on Friday night, as the Eagles accounted for Palmerston by 48 points to climb into second spot. The 18.14 (122) to 11.8 (74) result at Cazalys Arena was built on the back of Wanderers’ ruthlessness, with the Muk Muks consistently able to apply scoreboard pressure and pull away after quarter time. Palmerston had no real answer in the end, only really running with their opponents for half of the four quarters.

Simon Bates was arguably best afield after booting 5.3, only outdone on the scoreboard by Brett Eddy‘s 7.3. Meanwhile, the midfield pairing of Dane McFarlane (33 disposals, seven inside 50s, one goal) and Shaun Mannagh (28 disposals, six clearances, one goal) worked wonders for the winners. Ronald Fejo was another to impact going forward with nine inside 50s, while Warwick Williams and Brodie Newman combined for 11 rebound 50s down back.

Palmerston player-coach Alwyn Davey led his side’s scoring effort with three majors, while prolific bigman Matthew Dennis (17 disposals, 17 hitouts) again made a case for being the best Magpie afield. Chris Williams, who has made an outstanding start to the season collected 27 disposals and four clearances, aided by Eric Guthrie (21 disposals, six clearances), with Michaelis McMasters (26 disposals, seven marks) also finding plenty of the ball.

ST MARY’S | 3.2 | 5.9 | 10.11 | 11.16 (82)
NIGHTCLIFF | 2.6 | 3.9 | 8.15 | 8.15 (63)

GOALS:

St Mary’s: J. Paine 5, J. Calder 2, N. Paredes, S. Edwards, D. Landt, B. Tedcastle
Nightcliff: C. Ilett 3, L. Goonan 2, M. Rivett, P. Lewis-Smith, K. Emery

BEST:

St Mary’s: T. Saunders, J. Paine, L. Taylor, R. Smith, N. Paredes, J. Landt
Nightcliff: C. Gikas, J. Peris, P. Wills, C. Ilett, M. Rivett, D. Brew

St Mary’s produced some vintage form to make it two wins on the hop, becoming the first team to defeat Nightcliff in season 2020/21 with a 19-point win at TIO Stadium. Under Friday night lights, the Saints looked a much more assured side and worked hard to deliver a monster four-quarter effort which saw them run out 11.16 (82) to 8.15 (63) victors. Having held a lead of two goals or thereabouts throughout the contest, St Mary’s kept an unusually wasteful Nightcliff outfit scoreless in the final term to consolidate the win.

Nate Paredes comfortably led all comers with 27 disposals as he continues to run the Saints’ engine room alongside Shaun Edwards (19 disposals, four clearances). The forwardline was again spearheaded by Jackson Paine, who booted 5.2 from his nine disposals, while Tylah Saunders looked lively and Jackson Calder also snared multiple goals (two). Further afield, import Dylan Landt was again impressive with 19 touches and seven rebound 50s.

The Tigers’ maiden loss did not come without its fair share of solid contributors, with Dom Brew and Brodie Filo each managing 20 disposals, five clearances, and four inside 50s. Veteran Cam Ilett added a few highlights to his illustrious reel with a nice hanger and three goals up forward, while Victorian Luca Goonan booted two majors from his 14 disposals. After snagging 11 goals in his previous two outings, Kyle Emery was kept to just one by the stingy Saints defence.

TIWI BOMBERS | 4.3 | 4.6 | 8.12 | 8.12 (60)
SOUTHERN DISTRICTS | 2.3 | 6.9 | 12.13 | 17.16 (118)

GOALS:

Tiwi: H. Puruntatameri 3, A. Byrne 2, N. Ebinger 2, P. Heenan
Districts: A. Boseley 5, J. Dahlhaus 4, L. Kiel 3, J. Farrar 2, J. Tsitas, N. Rokahr, J. Salmon

BEST:

Tiwi: J. Monigatti, A. Byrne, P. Heenan, H. Puruntatameri, N. Ebinger
Districts: J. Tsitas, Z. Smith, J. Dahlhaus, C. McAdam, A. Boseley, D. Staunton

One team’s ‘0’ had to go when the winless Tiwi Bombers and Southern Districts met on Saturday afternoon, and it was the Crocs who ran away 58-point winners on enemy turf. In very warm conditions on Bathurst Island, Districts’ fitness shone through after quarter time as the home side ran out of legs, going goalless in the second and fourth quarters. A raft of Geelong-themed recruits helped the Crocs overpower Tiwi, slamming home a total of 33 scoring shots.

Angus Byrne and Harley Puruntatameri were at the forefront of Tiwi’s hot start, each snagging multiple goals in the opening term to give their side a short-lived edge. The latter would go on to boot one more major, with Nick Ebinger also troubling the scorers twice. Bigman Jack Monigatti won 26 hitouts in a mammoth effort, aiding the cause of Nathan Scagliarini (26 disposals, six clearances) and Fletcher Carroll (25 disposals, five clearances). Meanwhile, Mason De Wit again took up his defensive post and registered 11 rebound 50s.

Former Tiger and Woodville-West Torrens premiership midfielder James Tsitas was phenomenal upon his return to the Top End, collecting a game-high 33 disposals and six clearances. Fellow SANFL gun Nikolaus Rokahr was also prominent with big numbers of 25 disposals, 11 marks, and 10 inside 50s, while skipper Dean Staunton managed 29 touches. A Geelong-themed forwardline of Andrew Boseley (five goals), Jay Dahlhaus (four), and Luke Kiel (three) also did plenty of damage for the Crocs.

WARATAH | 0.4 | 3.6 | 6.9 | 15.9 (99)
DARWIN | 5.2 | 10.5 | 14.9 | 16.9 (105)

GOALS:

Waratah: C. Searle 4, C. Arnold 3, J. Sutton 2, R. Turnbull 2, J. McGrath, J. Carmichael, B. Carroll, B. Orval
Darwin: M. Campbell 5, B. Foster 4, J. Collinson 2, J. Stokes 2, R. Matricardi, J. Clarke, R. Pendlebury

Darwin maintained its perfect start to the season, taking out a thriller against Waratah by six points on Saturday afternoon. In what would prove to be a danger game at Gardens Oval, the Buffs led comfortably by eight-straight goals at three quarter time, before fatigue kicked in and the Warriors hit back with nine goals in the final term. Tahs fell just short in the end, with the 16.9 (105) to 15.9 (99) result seeing them sit fourth at 2-2. Meanwhile, the Buffs are riding high in top spot on the back of their 4-0 run.

Jarrod Stokes played a major role for the Double Blues, with his two clutch goals coming from a total of 19 disposals, seven clearances, and seven inside 50s. Fellow experienced head Matt Campbell reverted back to a role in the forwardline, snaring five goals to justify a masterstroke from coach Cameron Stokes. Prolific forward Brodie Foster had plenty of chances and finished with 4.4, while Joey Collinson bagged two majors. Jalen Clarke (16 dispsoals, one goal) and Ryan Pendlebury (16 disposals, six marks, seven inside 50s) were other impactful players for the Buffs.

Waratah was serviced well by Joshua Carmichael, who managed a team-high 22 disposals and eight clearances. Robert Turnbull and Jake Sutton both breached the 20-disposal mark and booted two goals each, while Callum Searle notched four majors from his 17 touches. Rounding out the multiple goalkickers, Cameron Arnold slammed home three for the home side in what was another valiant team effort.

Featured Image: Darwin’s Chris Atkinson flies for the ball | Credit: Che Chorley/NT News

Weekend preview: 2020/21 NTFL Men’s Premier League – Round 4

THREE rounds of Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Men’s Premier League action are down for season 2020/21, seeing the competition roll on into Round 4 this weekend. In a first for the new season, four different venues will be used to hold each fixture, with two games played under lights on Friday night, and the remaining two on Saturday afternoon. All that, and more in our weekend preview.

Palmerston Magpies vs. Wanderers
Friday October 23, 7:30pm
Cazalys Arena

Two sides with perfectly opposite records meet as Palmerston takes on Wanderers to open Round 4 proceedings at Cazalys Arena. The 1-2 Magpies moved back into the negative after a loss to Darwin last week, but have shown some promise with a fresh raft of recruits seeming to come together nicely in patches. Wanderers sit pretty at 2-1, with the Muk Muks’ only loss coming by 10 points at the hands of undefeated reigning premier, Nightcliff.

Palmerston key forward Daniel Stafford is one of the moving parts coming into good form, fresh off a four-goal haul against his former side. Fellow ex-Buff Chris Williams has enjoyed a dazzling start to the season along with Eric Guthrie and reliable ruckman Matthew Dennis. The run and rebound of Michaelis McMasters and Tyrrell Lui has also been important thus far, while Nigel Lockyer Jnr will have to get back to scoring form this week to help overcome the promising Eagles.

Nichols Medallist Beau O’Connell looks like being a massive in for Wanderers, returning to the Premier League after appearing in Division 1. The likes of Simon Bates and Brett Eddy have already proven their scoring threat, with Victorian imports Shaun Mannagh and Brodie Newman looking to continue their high-level starts to life in the NTFL. Dane McFarlane and Michael Mummery bring some more potency having gotten some games under their belts, making for a dynamic Wanderers lineup.

St Mary’s vs. Nightcliff
Friday October 23, 7:30pm
TIO Stadium

A second 2019/20 Grand Final rematch is set to go down within the first month of the new season, as St Mary’s takes on Nightcliff at TIO Stadium. It has been business as usual for Nightcliff, who dispatched the Saints by 52 points in Round 1 en route to remaining undefeated to this point. The Saints have had it harder, losing their first two games before a much-needed drought breaking win came against Tiwi last week.

There have been some green shoots for St Mary’s, most significantly after Under 18 talent Beau Tedcastle kicked three goals on his senior debut last time out. Jackson Paine comes in off a six-goal haul, while the likes of Nate Paredes, Jacob Long, and Shaun Edwards are ticking along nicely. Kieren Parnell looms as a nice addition as the Saints continue to field some fresher faces, including Jeremy Goddard and Charlie Furphy from Victorian. They both have turned out this season, along with Jack and Dylan Landt, who have made an impact.

The Tigers could also blood some imported talent, namely Calder Cannons graduate Daniel Mott after his impressive Division 1 showings. In the top flight, Kyle Emery has justified his switch from Palmerston with 11 goals in the last two games, fronting up well with the likes of Brodie Filo, Daniel Bowles, and Phillip Wills delivering from further afield. Tom Boyd is another looking to continue his good form, with the reigning premiers looking strong as ever.

Tiwi Bombers vs. Southern Districts
Saturday October 24, 12:30pm
Wurrumiyanga Oval

Barring a draw, either Tiwi or Southern Districts will break their duck for season 2020/21 when they square off at Wurrumiyanga Oval on Saturday. While both sides are winless at 0-3, it is the Bombers who sit bottom of the ladder after three losses by over 50 points. The Crocs have shown signs of improvement and amid a tough draw, have had a couple of tight losses. Last week’s heartbreaker against Waratah should serve as adequate motivation.

Districts has a distinct Geelong feel about it this week, with former Nightcliff midfielder James Tsitas lining up alongside good mates Luke Kiel and Andrew Boseley. More recent Geelong Falcons graduates Jesse Clark and Jay Dahlhaus are also set to take the field, having already impressed in the top flight. Nikolaus Rokahr is another brilliant addition, fresh off a solid SANFL season for Norwood.

The Bombers look like banding together some of their favourites once again, with the likes of Cyril Rioli and Austin Wonaeamirri named in hopes of boosting their side’s form. Jack Monigatti also looms as a great inclusion, with the likes of Angus Byrne and Mason Dewit already staking their claims in the squad. Given Harley Puruntatameri, Henry Kerinaiua, and Adam Sambono have also been named, the Bombers look like posing their usual threats of speed and forward firepower.

Waratah vs. Darwin Buffaloes
Saturday October 24, 3:00pm
Gardens Oval

Darwin will once again put its perfect record on the line when it faces Waratah at Gardens Oval on Saturday, with both sides looking to continue their promising starts to the season. The Buffs are top of the table after three rounds, proving a bunch of doubters wrong under new coach Cameron Stokes. Waratah’s only blemish thus far was dealt by Nightcliff, with the Warriors looking a much more settled side in season 2020/21.

The Buffs boss looks to have named himself in the side this week, only adding to the experience and class of Matt Campbell and Jarrod Stokes. Jalen Clarke has been in ripping form for the Double Blues, while the likes of Brodie Foster and Ishmael Palmer will once again look to team up for bags of goals up forward. Isaac Seden-Kurnoth is another to keep an eye on, as well as Ryan Pendlebury down back.

Tahs have had some consistent performers too, with skipper Brodie Carroll coming off a game-winning effort and the likes of Callum Searle down back, Abe Ankers through the middle, and the Collis boys making for an even team spread. Jake Sutton and Jae McGrath are also dangerous up forward, and will be sure to make up a heap of goals in response to Darwin’s potency.

Featured Image: Brodie Newman in action for Wanderers | Credit: Celina Whan/AFLNT Media

Weekend preview: 2020/21 NTFL Women’s Premier League – Round 4

ROUND 4 of the 2020/21 NTFL Women’s Premier League season will see all four matches played on Saturday once more, with reigning premiers Southern Districts having a week off with the bye this round. Nightcliff and Pint still sit atop the ladder on three wins straight, while one of the three winless teams will get points on the board in the opening match of the round. A battle between ladder-leading Nightcliff and third placed St Mary’s looms as the match of the round, though the battle to stay off the bottom of the ladder could prove much more significant with three teams sitting on just the one win – making a big move up the ladder a viable outcome at the end of the round.

Palmerston Magpies vs. Tracy Village
Saturday, October 24

One of the three winless sides will get points on the board this round when Palmerston and Tracy Village go head-to-head, and while the two cellar dwellers have only played two matches apiece thanks to respective bye rounds, both teams need to get something on the board this week to give them a chance of bouncing back from the rough start. Ultimately, neither team has been a real worry on the scoreboard, combining for just 32 points throughout the opening rounds. That being said, there have been some consistent performers across the field for both teams, with Magpies’ Iesha Ronberg, Khani White and Shanoah Leedie named in the best twice, as have Razorbacks’ Indianna Hughes – the side’s lone goalkicker – Meagan Wylie and Sarah Wilson. Expect a tight match between these two, although the Magpies’ success and winning mentality over past seasons will surely work in their favour against the Razorbacks.

Wanderers vs. Pint
Saturday, October 24

The Wanderers have a tough battle this week, coming up against a Pint outfit that still sits undefeated after three rounds and have shown no signs of stopping. While Wanderers do have the one win on the board from Round 2, the side’s main issue has been a lack of opportunity up forward, tending to crumble under tight defensive pressure. Pint, however, have found some excellent form with the help of a couple new names from down south, and weathered the storm well when required to showcase how their defensive outfit can be just as cohesive as their exciting frontline. With plenty of firepower out the front and six of their eight goalkickers on multiple majors, Jasmyn Hewett and Jessie Baumer (five goals from three games and four from two, respectively) are big targets while Cassie Henderson has been influential time and time again. For Wanderers, Djimila Totham has been critical around the ground, named in the best three times while Kaitlyn Armstrong has proved hard to stop when she gets going, booting 10 majors in three games to be equal-leading goalkicker.

St Mary’s vs. Nightcliff
Saturday, October 24

A top battle is expected when ladder-leading Nightcliff head to take on third placed St Mary’s, with the Saints’ Round 3 victory over the Buffettes injecting plenty of confidence into the side. Both teams are more than capable of maintaining pressure and composure even in a close contest while firepower is no issue for either side, with Nightcliff boasting the current equal-leading goalkicker in Emma-Lou Wolsey (10 goals) and Mickayla Ward (equal second with five goals, two bests). While St Mary’s does not feature in the top five for scoring, that is more due to the shared load out the front than a lack of opportunity with 10 individual goalkickers so far this season and three who have booted more than one. Ash Melnikas and Michaela Long (four goals apiece) are the ones to watch inside 50, with the former and Megan Williamson named in the best three times from three matches. 

Waratah vs. Darwin Buffettes
Saturday, October 24

These two sides come into an unprecedented matchup in at fourth and fifth, though Buffettes have only played two games – only winning one – thanks to the bye while Waratah won by default in the first round and were faced with a draw in Round 3. While Waratah has been competitive in patches, expect the firepower of the Buffettes to control proceedings with so many players capable of shouldering the load. Both Zoe Anderson and Machaelia Roberts boast not only goal sense but also plenty of composure with five and four goals to their name, while Waratah’s Jenna Singh has been consistent as ever, booting three goals alongside Caitlin Couch who has booted three from two outings. Lauren O’Shea and Lisa Roberts are excitement machines when they get going, and while both have put a goal on the board to start the season they will hope to explode out of the blocks.

2020/21 NTFL Women’s Premier League wrap: Round 3

ROUND 3 of Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Women’s saw Nightcliff keep their winning record intact with a come-from-behind victory while Southern Districts and Waratah played out the first draw of the season. Tracy Village had a bye this week, keeping them stuck at the bottom of the ladder while Pint flexed their muscles to claim an impressive 44-point win.

ST MARYS 2.3 | 3.3 | 4.3 | 5.3 (33)
DARWIN BUFFETTES 0.1 | 1.4 | 1.4 | 3.5 (23)

St Marys were on-song from the opening bounce, skipping out to a handy lead in the first term thanks to a two goal to zip start and never really looked back. Despite having a wealth of opportunities to hit the scoreboard inaccuracy plagued the Buffs who simply could not find their range while St Marys made it count where it hurt, on the scoreboard. In the end it was a case of too little, too late for the Buffettes who strung two goals together but could not overrun their opponents as St Marys brought home a 10-point victory.

There were no multiple goal kickers for either side, instead the scoring was scattered across a number of players with Claudia Whitfort once again popping up for St Marys and proving to be a menace in and around goals. Whitfort was also named amongst the best for her performance against the Buffettes while teammates Alana Coombes and Jasmine Anderson boasted a similar stat line with a goal and nod in the bests. Ashlea Melnikas returned to the goal kicking brigade this round to take her tally to four for the season while Madison Ludwig also found the big sticks. For the Buffettes, Martha De Santis showed what she is capable of snagging a goal while Zoe Anderson continued her hot form in front of goal with a major of her own. Bianca Stokes impressed in her first outing for the Buffs while Kiera Kurnoth settled into the line-up and earned a spot amongst the best.

SOUTHERN DISTRICTS 2.0 | 2.2 | 2.3 | 4.4 (28)
WARATAH 1.0 | 4.3 | 4.4 | 4.4 (28)

The first draw of the season took place on Saturday with Southern Districts and Waratah unable to be split at the final siren. After a sluggish first quarter, Waratah put the foot down in the second to steal the ascendancy heading into the main break thanks to three unanswered goals. However they plateaued in the second half unable to find a major and only registering one point  while the Crocs found their mojo in the final term to pile on two goals and secure a draw.

Michala Shaw made her presence felt in front of the goals nailing two majors in her first appearance of the season for the Crocs, while Tayla Thorn managed a goal of her own and was named amongst the bests. The only other goal scorer for Southern Districts was Kelsey Patterson. Ebony Miller was recognised for her four quarter performance for the Crocs as was Indianna Hickling and Makayla Siddons. The scoring was shared in the Waratah camp as Caitlin Couch, Monet Hunter, Danica Pedersen and Jenna Singh all slotted one with the latter making it three weeks straight she has hit the scoreboard.

PINT 1.2 | 6.8 | 7.8 | 9.10 (64)
PALMERSTON MAGPIES 1.3 | 1.4 | 2.6 | 2.8 (20)

A blistering second term from Pint all but gifted the home side the win, blowing the Magpies out of the water, piling on five goals to nothing. Down by a point at the first change Pint came out with a real pep in their step in the second and could have inflicted more scoreboard damage had they been more accurate slotting four behinds to accompany their five goals. The Magpies had their chances to strike but simply could not find the big sticks and suffered from inaccuracy much like Pint.

Jessie Baumer was a menace inside 50 for Pint kicking a bag of three while Gemma Cusack navigated the goals with ease in her first appearance for the season piling on two majors. Cara Evans and Jasmyn Hewett also popped up with two goals apiece in a collective effort for Pint with the latter also named amongst the bests for her performance. Cassie Henderson was influential for Pint as was Amy Chittick. For the Magpies their goals came from Arthurina Moreen and Tyra McKay as the duo slotted a major each while Iesha Ronberg was once again named in the bests for her efforts across the ground. Billie Byers and Shanoah Leedie also plied their trade in the losing side, working hard for every possession.

WANDERERS 0.3 | 3.3 | 3.4 | 3.4 (22)
NIGHTCLIFF 1.0 | 3.1 | 3.2 | 6.5 (40)

A dominant final quarter from Nightcliff saw the current table toppers come from behind and clinch a victory against Wanderers. Unable to generate their usual flow in the second and third terms, they ramped up the pressure in the last quarter to wrestle the game back onto their terms and stop the Wanderers from scoring. Nightcliff managed to add three goals to their half time tally as opposed to the Wanderers mere point, ultimately handing them the 18-point victory and keeping their undefeated record intact.

Although goals were hard to come by for some, that was not the case for Wanderers forward Kaitlyn Armstrong who slotted three majors to keep her side in the contest. She was the only real avenue to goal, making the most of her opportunities that came her way up forward. Armstrong was named amongst the best as was Morgan Johnston for the second consecutive week. Georgia Halkitis backed up her performance from last week while for Nightcliff a couple of familiar faces were once again at the forefront of the action with Lauren Gooden finding the big sticks twice. She was not the only one to kick a bag with in-form goal kicker Emma-Lou Wolsey slotting two with teammates Jacqueline Anyon-Smith and Gracie Reid also adding some scoreboard pressure. Hannah Turnbull earned a spot in the bests as did Laura de Hommel in what was a gritty performance by the ladder leaders.

Tracy Village bye

Picture: NT News

2020/21 NTFL Men’s Premier League weekly wrap – Round 3

NIGHTCLIFF and Darwin remain the only two undefeated sides after Round 3 of the Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Men’s Premier League. The Tigers and Buffs once again proved too strong for their opponents, while St Mary’s finally got on the board in season 2020/21, leaving rival team Tiwi bottom of the ladder alongside Southern Districts. All that, and more from a super Saturday of footy in our weekend wrap.

ST MARY’S | 2.2 | 9.4 | 13.7 | 15.12 (102)
TIWI BOMBERS | 4.2 | 5.3 | 6.6 | 7.9 (51)

GOALS:

St Mary’s: J. Paine 6, B. Tedcastle 3, J. Landt 2, T. Gilbert, N. Paredes, D. Landt, H. Williams
Tiwi: G. Turner 2, J. Tipiloura 2, K. Dunn, D. Munkara, B. Ngalkin

BEST:

St Mary’s: L. Taylor, T. Saunders, N. Paredes, J. Paine, J. Landt, J. Long
Tiwi: J. Tipiloura, M. Kantilla, D. Munkara, P. Heenan, H. Moloney

Third time proved a charm for St Mary’s, as the Saints kicked well clear of Tiwi to claim their maiden win of season 2020/21 to the tune of 51 points on Saturday afternoon. While the Bombers made a better start in the opening term, some key adjustments to stifle Tiwi’s run and transition play helped St Mary’s hit back with seven goals to one in the second term. It proved a match-defining period, with Tiwi unable to conjure the firepower required to blow down St Mary’s defensive wall. A 15.12 (102) to 7.9 (51) scoreline was the result at TIO Stadium.

Following on from a strong outing last week, Jackson Paine was among the goals this time out with a bag of six to lead the Saints’ scoring charge. Debutant and young gun Beau Tedcastle booted three in a promising showing, with fellow multiple goalkicker Jack Landt (two) featuring among the Saints’ best players. Lachlan Taylor was top of the tree though, followed closely by the likes of Nate Paredes and Tylah Saunders, while Jacob Long also continued his terrific form to start the season.

Gibson Turner and John Tipiloura were Tiwi’s only multiple goalkickers with two apiece, as milestone man Dion Munkara also found the big sticks. Another to do so was Baydon Ngalkin, as he and fellow fresh face Adam Sambono gave glimpses into what they may bring to the Bombers’ side. Matthew Kantilla was among the best behind Tipiloura, rounding out some solid contributors despite Tiwi’s third-consecutive loss of over 50 points.

DARWIN BUFFALOES | 4.6 | 8.12 | 10.13 | 13.17 (95)
PALMERSTON MAGPIES | 1.0 | 4.1 | 7.1 | 8.3 (51)

GOALS:

Darwin: J. Stokes 4, M. Campbell 2, J. Collinson, N. Lowden, R. Pendlebury, S. Ahmat, L. McKenzie, D. Kaipara, B. Foster
Palmerston: D. Stafford 4, C. Williams, N. Lockyer Jnr, R. Warfe, J. Berry

BEST:

Darwin: J. Stokes, I. Seden-Kurnoth, C. Wilson, J. Collinson, M. Campbell
Palmerston: E. Guthrie, M. Dennis, D. Stafford, C. Williams, M. Mcmasters, R. Armstrong

Darwin continues to storm out of the gates under new coach Cameron Stokes, most recently downing Palmerston by 44 points at TIO Stadium on Saturday evening. The Double Blues looked in control throughout proceedings, forming an early lead after piling on 10 scoring shots to one in the opening term, before holding off a brief third term swoop from the Magpies and running out 13.17 (95) to 8.3 (51) victors. The result sees Darwin remain top of the Premier League standings with a perfect record, while Palmerston sits sixth at 1-2 after picking up a win in Round 2.

Having found the goals in his first two outings, Jarrod Stokes claimed best afield honours with a bag of four majors this time out, while Matt Campbell continued his two-goal streak to be Darwin’s only other multiple goalkicker. Up the other end, former Buffs bigman Daniel Stafford booted four majors in his first meeting against his former side, but it was hardly enough to carry the Magpies home. Elsewhere, Isaac Seden-Kurnoth keeps on impressing for Darwin, while Joey Collinson was again among the goals. Spearhead Brodie Foster was kept to just one goal, though a spread of nine individual goalkickers proved enough for the Buffs.

Along with Stafford, another former Darwin player in Chris Williams was again prominent for Palmerston as he found the big sticks from midfield. Big ruckman Matthew Dennis was also reliable as ever through the engine room, while Michaelis McMasters proved a repelling force from defence. Eric Guthrie was the man recognised as the Magpies’ most valuable player though, continuing his fine start to the season having been named in the best half-dozen players across each round thus far.

WANDERERS | 1.2 | 3.5 | 7.7 | 9.10 (64)
NIGHTCLIFF | 1.5 | 4.7 | 6.11 | 10.14 (74)

GOALS:

Wanderers: S. Bates 4, M. Mummery, D. McFarlane, M. Motlop, S. Mannagh, J. Cubillo
Nightcliff: K. Emery 5, R. Mu 2, B. Filo, C. Ilett, M. Bricknell

BEST:

Wanderers: M. Totham, B. Newman, S. Bates, S. Mannagh, D. McFarlane
Nightcliff: H. Drogemuller, B. Filo, M. Rivett, T. Boyd, C. Gikas, R. Mu

Season 2020/21 is proving business as usual for Nightcliff, after the reigning premiers knocked off another dangerous competitor in Wanderers under the Saturday night TIO Stadium lights. 10 points was the final margin of victory after the Tigers were made to endure a mighty scare, leading at the first two breaks but falling just behind at the last. As all good sides do, Nightcliff hit back with four goals to Wanderers’ two in the fourth quarter to claim a gutsy 10.14 (74) to 9.10 (64) victory.

Fresh off a six-goal haul last week, boom recruit Kyle Emery continued his fairytale homecoming with a bag of five to spearhead Nightcliff’s attack. Up-and-comer Ryan Mu booted two majors as the Tigers’ only other multiple goalkicker, while Simon Bates (four goals) was the lone Eagle to do so. Bigman Hugo Drogemuller earned praise for his solid role in Nightcliff’s win, in front of reigning Nichols Medallist Brodie Filo and outstanding import Tom Boyd. Another youngster in Christos Gikas was also named among the best.

While Bates headed Wanderers’ attacking efforts, it would have been pleasing for Muk Muks fans to see Michael Mummery get among the goals alongside Josh Cubillo and Dane McFarlane. VFL gun Shaun Mannagh also hit the scoreboard and featured among the best half-dozen players behind Calder Cannons graduate Brodie Newman. The solidly-built defender continues to go from strength to strength, but it was Marcus Totham who was named as Wanderers’ best player afield.

STH DISTRICTS | 4.1 | 8.4 | 9.7 | 10.8 (68)
WARATAH | 10.10 (70)

GOALS:

Districts: A. Boseley 3, J. Bell 2, B. Vallance 2, W. Farrer, L. Kiel, B. Rusca
Waratah: N/A

BEST:

Districts: B. Vallance, L. Kiel, J. Dahlhaus, C. McAdam, J. Bell
Waratah: N/A

A goal in the dying stages from Waratah skipper, Brodie Carroll helped the Warriors sneak home by two points in a thrilling encounter against Southern Districts on Saturday. On home turf at Norbuilt Oval, the Crocs were unable to hold onto their early lead in the second half, falling behind when it mattered and remaining winless despite the valiant effort. Waratah now improves to a positive record at 2-1, sitting pretty in third behind the two undefeated teams.

Bradley Vallance was named Districts’ best player for his two-goal effort, while Andrew Boseley booted three majors and former VFL gun Luke Kiel also found the big sticks while featuring among the best. Debutant Jay Dahlhaus, the cousin of Luke was also lively, impressing alongside fellow former Geelong Falcon, Jesse Clark. Speaking of debuts, Cam Wild made his for Warath, contributing well among an even team effort.

Featured Image: Darwin and Palmerston players fly for the ball | Credit: Celina Whan/AFLNT Media

Weekend preview: 2020/21 NTFL Men’s Premier League – Round 3

TWO rounds of Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Men’s Premier League action are down for season 2020/21, seeing the competition roll on into Round 3 this weekend. All four games are again set to be played on what shapes up as a super Saturday of football, headlined by a TIO Stadium triple-header. The first ball bounces down as St Mary’s takes on Tiwi, while Southern Districts is the only true host as it welcomes Waratah to Norbuilt Oval. All that, and more in our weekend preview.

St Mary’s vs. Tiwi Bombers
Saturday October 17, 2:30pm
TIO Stadium

Tiwi’s milestone men will hope to drag the Bombers off the bottom of the ladder when they face St Mary’s to open the round on Saturday afternoon. The two sides take to TIO Stadium with 0-2 records, as a mix of underperformance and stiff opposition has rendered them winless across the opening rounds. But that is all set to change come this weekend, barring a draw, as the two traditional rivals square off.

If their meetings from season 2019/20 are anything to go by, this bout should be a belter. Tiwi got the better of the Saints in the first two digs, but St Mary’s squared the ledger at 2-2 after solid wins in Round 17 and the qualifying final. The 37-goal Round 3 shootout was the most eye-catching result, making for sensational neutral viewing.

Tiwi 150-gamers Michael Dunn and Dion Munkara will hope all their flair and carry on the outer can propel the Bombers to victory. Fresh off a bag of goals, Harley Puruntatameri should also shine in that department, while prolific talent Adam Sambono is a chance to come into the side. Down back, Mason Dewit has been super on the rebound.

Under 18s wonderkid Beau Tedcastle looks set to make his senior debut for the Saints, a lively small forward who knows where the goals are. Former NAB Leaguer Jeremy Goddard is also poised to make his first Premier League appearance, and both should have terrific support in the form of mainstay figures Raphael Clarke, Nate Paredes, and Shaun Edwards, who have all been in good nick.

Southern Districts vs. Waratah
Saturday October 17, 4:00pm
Norbuilt Oval

The winless Southern Districts will be out to halt its skidding start to the season when Waratah comes to town on Saturday, with the two sides set to face off at Norbuilt Oval. 0-2 after the opening pair of rounds, Districts will have some young talent come in to bolster their squad. Meanwhile, Waratah sits at 1-1 after last week’s tight loss to Nightcliff, with plenty of positives to take out of its first two outings in season 2020/21. The Warriors side looks much more settled than in their last campaign.

AFL Draft prospect Brodie Lake looms as a big in for the Crocs, with the 18-year-old fresh off a terrific SANFL season with Central District. He promises to add some grunt through midfield or run from defence, on top of the obvious class he possesses. After being named in the best half-dozen players last week, former Geelong Falcons co-captain Jesse Clark looks like being joined in the side by fellow NAB League graduate Jay Dahlhaus. The latter is the cousin of Geelong’s Luke, and is likely to play a similar small forward role.

Sticking with the theme set by their opponents, the Warriors are also set to unleash a former NAB League talent. Murray Bushrangers standout Cam Wild looks like entering the Premier League fold after knocking down the door in Division 1, having also spent time in South Australia with Central District. Tahs boast a pretty solid spine, with the likes of Abe Ankers and Brodie Carroll holding down midfield, while Jae McGrath continues to spearhead the forwardline. Victorian Callum Searle has also proven a great addition in defence, giving Waratah balance on each line. It may prove too much for the Crocs to handle.

Darwin Buffaloes vs. Palmerston Magpies
Saturday October 17, 5:00pm
TIO Stadium

Darwin will put its perfect record is on the line when it meets the ever-improving Palmerston on Saturday evening, the second game of a TIO Stadium triple-header. Under new coach Cameron Stokes, the Buffs are sitting pretty atop the Premier League table despite a heavy offseason turnover. Meanwhile, the Magpies have already matched their wins tally from last season after victory in Round 2, and look like providing the Double Blues with their toughest assignment to date.

Young utility Tyrrell Lui is fresh off his Rising Star nomination, having provided terrific rebound from defence thus far. He is joined once again in the back six by Sandy Brock, while Chris Williams will look to run the show once again from midfield. He is one of a few ex-Darwin players looking to impress against their former side, with big forward Daniel Stafford another who will be keen to find some form. He will be joined up forward by Nigel Lockyer Jnr, who has been finding the big sticks with ease having booted nine goals in two games.

But Darwin boasts some firepower of its own, with Brodie Foster continuing to set the competition alight. The goalsneak boasts 11 majors across his first two outings, and while Ishmael Palmer may not be there in support once again, Isaac Seden-Kurnoth looms as a major factor inside 50. The experienced Matt Campbell also looks to be in hot form, with Ryan Pendlebury another to settle the side in his defensive duties. Darwin’s mainstays have started the season emphatically and will fancy a third-consecutive win here, but should take nothing for granted against the rising Magpies.

Wanderers vs. Nightcliff
Saturday October 17, 7:30pm
TIO Stadium

Someone’s ‘0’ will go when undefeated sides Wanderers and Nightcliff do battle at TIO Stadium, making for an exciting finish to a big round of action. The Muk Muks have again started the season well, knocking off two 2019/20 finalists en route to taking on the formidable reigning premier. Nightcliff has been ticking along strongly, too, taking out a Grand Final rematch in Round 1 and managing to halt Waratah’s head of steam last time out with ruthless efficiency.

The returning Kyle Emery has added yet another dimension to the Tigers’ side, with his six-goal haul last week a warning shot for Wanderers defenders. Should 2019/20 Chaney Medal winner Trent Melville also take his spot in the side, this game looms as a must-watch. The likes of Cam Ilett and Daniel Bowles have been reliable as ever, while Phillip Wills is set to celebrate game 200. Victorian recruit Tom Boyd has been superb thus far, and the Tigers will hope former Calder Cannons standout, Daniel Mott can have a similar impact through midfield after strong Division 1 performances.

The Eagles are no slouches either though, with a bunch of high-end talent filling each line. Brett Eddy is fresh off a six-goal haul and has looked sharp up forward, while Braedon McLean has led steadily from defence. Newcomers Shaun Mannagh and Brodie Newman have given Wanderers an extra edge too, and Michael Mummery is one who could break the game open having gotten some game time under his belt last week. With a good amount of class scattered across either lineup, this should be a cracking contest.

Featured Image: Aaron Black/AFLNT Media

2020/21 NTFL Men’s Premier League weekly wrap – Round 2

THREE Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Men’s Premier League sides remain undefeated after two rounds of action, while a further three are still on the hunt for their first set of premiership points in season 2020/21. Palmerston was the biggest winner out of Round 2, but it is Darwin who currently holds top spot after another spirited victory. All that, and more in our Premier League weekend wrap.

PALMERSTON | 5.1 | 13.4 | 18.10 | 21.15 (141)
TIWI BOMBERS | 1.1 | 4.4 | 5.6 | 10.8 (68)

GOALS:

Palmerston: N. Lockyer Jnr 5, T. Kunoth 4, C. Williams 2, J. Berry 2, E. Guthrie 2, F. Wilson, M. Rankine, K. Groves, M. Dennis, M. Chester, J. Harvey
Tiwi: H. Puruntatameri 4, N. Ebinger 2, D. Munkara 2, N. Scagliarini, P. Kantilla

BEST:

Palmerston: M. Dennis, E. Guthrie, N. Lockyer Jnr, C. Williams, H. Brown, L. Flanagan
Tiwi: D. Munkara, M. De Wit, R. Puruntatameri, N. Scagliarini

Palmerston recorded its first win of the season on Saturday, consigning Tiwi to consecutive defeats with a 73-point thrashing at TIO Stadium. The Magpies’ formidable-looking mix of mainstays and new recruits clicked at the second time of asking, pouring on 13 goals to the Bombers’ four in the first half en route to a 21.15 (141) to 10.8 (68) scoreline.

Fresh off a four-goal haul in Round 1, Nigel Lockyer Jnr went one-better with five this time out to lead Palmerston’s attack. He was supported well by four majors from Toshie Kunoth, while former-Darwin midfielder Chris Williams was one of three Magpies to snare two goals. Eric Guthrie was one of them, named among his side’s best behind prolific ruckman Matthew Dennis, who also found the big sticks.

Harley Puruntatameri forged Tiwi’s main goalscoring response with a bag of four, while best afield Bomber Dion Munkara managed two. Boom recruit Nathan Scagliarini again proved a class above and booted an eye-catching goal on the run, while fellow Victorian Mason De Wit was also prominent in the loss. Currently sitting bottom of the ladder, there is still plenty of time for Tiwi to catch the leading pack.

NIGHTCLIFF | 4.1 | 8.1 | 12.3 | 13.4 (82)
WARATAH | 0.5 | 4.9 | 7.11 | 9.15 (69)

GOALS:

Nightcliff: K. Emery 6, C. Ilett 2, J. Butcher 2, K. Niki, M. Bricknell, A. Jorgensen
Waratah: J. Sutton 3, J. McGrath 2, S. Godden, J. Carmichael, K. Kantilla, A. Ankers

BEST:

Nightcliff: K. Emery, N. Brown, T. Boyd, J. Peris, C. Ilett, M. McGregor
Waratah: A. Moloney, C. Searle, J. Sutton, A. Kirby, D. Collis

The art of conversion proved a deciding factor as Nightcliff maintained its undefeated premiership defence on Saturday, defeating Waratah 13.4 (82) to 9.15 (69). In front of a home crowd at Nightcliff Oval, the Tigers started brightly with four goals to the Warriors’ one opening term, maintaining a lead throughout to come home 13-point winners despite managing seven less scoring shots than their opponents.

Former Palmerston forward Kyle Emery showcased his dynamism inside attacking 50 with a game-high six goals, while Tigers veteran Cam Ilett and ex-Port Adelaide forward John Butcher each contributed two. Nathan Brown was again strong down back, as newcomer Tom Boyd further proved his worth with another solid outing.

Victorian Jake Sutton led Waratah’s scoring charge with three majors, while Jae McGrath (two) was the only other Warrior to bag multiple goals. Prominent Port Melbourne defender Callum Searle continued his fine start to life in the NTFL, but it was Alexander Moloney who claimed best afield honours for his side. Tahs still sit within the finals places at 1-1 after a solid showing against the competition’s benchmark, while the Tigers sit second via percentage at 2-0.

DARWIN BUFFALOES | 2.4 | 4.6 | 9.9 | 12.11 (83)
SOUTHERN DISTRICTS | 3.1 | 6.4 | 7.6 | 8.8 (56)

GOALS:

Darwin: B. Foster 5, I. Palmer 3, M. Campbell 2, J. Clarke, J. Stokes
Southern Districts: B. Rolfe 3, W. Farrer 2, M. Bowden, L. Kiel, D. Staunton

BEST:

Darwin: J. Clarke, B. Foster, J. Collinson, M. Campbell, I. Palmer
Southern Districts: L. Kiel, J. Clark, J. Farrar, Z. Smith, K. Jones, C. McAdam

Darwin continues to exceed expectations, claiming a 2-0 start to season 2020/21 with a 12.11 (83) to 8.8 (56) victory over Southern Districts on Saturday evening. The Buffs overcame deficits at the opening two breaks to edge ahead in the third term, before extending their lead with a second-consecutive three-goal to one term to run out 27-point winners at TIO Stadium.

Goalkicking ace Brodie Foster was again right in the thick of the action with five goals, emphatically backing up his bag of six in Round 1. Young gun Ishmael Palmer was another to continue his scoring form with three majors, while classy veteran Matt Campbell added another two to his season tally. Jalen Clarke was among the best Buffs, with Joey Collinson another to perform strongly as new coach Cameron Stokes keeps his perfect record in tact.

In a losing effort, Luke Kiel was again terrific for the Crocs, while 2019 Geelong Falcons captain Jesse Clark proved his worth on debut. The likes of Jonathan Farrar and Zach Smith also stood up as Lionel Ogden celebrated his 150th game, and the goalkicking efforts were led once more by Billy Rolfe (three goals) and Will Farrer (two). After consecutive close losses, the Crocs boast the best percentage of the sides sitting 0-2, falling just outside the finals placings.

ST MARY’S | 4.6 | 6.6 | 8.8 | 10.9 (69)
WANDERERS 1.1 | 4.4 | 7.8 | 14.11 (95)

GOALS:

St Mary’s: J. Calder 2, H. Williams 2, J. O’Brien, T. Long, J. Landt, J. Musgrove, T. Gilbert, D. Walters
Wanderers: B. Eddy 6, S. Mannagh 2, S. Bates, M. Mummery, A. Motlop, D. McFarlane, B. Hodgson, B. Culhane

BEST:

St Mary’s: R. Clarke, H. Williams, J. Long, L. Taylor, L. Jellyman-Turner, T. Saunders
Wanderers: B. Newman, B. Eddy, W. Williams, B. McLean, S. Mannagh

Wanderers continued its winning form to start the season, knocking off 2019/2020 Grand Finalist St Mary’s in the round’s final fixture on Saturday night. The Muk Muks were jumped at the off, and trailed at each of the first three breaks before flicking the switch with seven goals to the Saints’ two to run away 14.11 (95) to 10.9 (69) winners. The dominant final term showcased Wanderers’ scoring power, while also proving its finals credentials given the opposition.

Brett Eddy was among the goals in a big way with six majors, with VFL coup Shaun Mannagh (two) the only other Eagle to snag multiple goals. Brodie Newman was again outstanding in the winning effort, as the Calder Cannons product was named best afield in front of the aforementioned pair, Warwick Williams, and Braedon McLean. Crafty goalsneaks Brayden Culhane and Michael Mummery also found the big sticks.

Harry Williams was joined by Jackson Calder in contributing two goals to St Mary’s cause, with veteran Raphael Clarke named his side’s best afield. Lachlan Taylor and Lucas Jellyman-Turner were again terrific for the Saints, while Victorians Jack Landt, Dylan Landt, and Liam Fiore showed signs in their NTFL debuts. While the Eagles are soaring, St Mary’s already looks off the pace, with plenty of catching up to do.

Featured Image: Wanderers’ Brodie Newman gets a kick away | Credit: Felicity Elliott/AFLNT Media

Weekend preview: 2020/21 NTFL Men’s Premier League – Round 2

AFTER an action-packed weekend to kick off the season, the 2020/21 Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Men’s Premier League rolls on into Round 2. All four games are set to be played on what shapes up as a super Saturday of football, headlined by a TIO Stadium triple-header. The first ball bounces down as Palmerston takes on Tiwi, while Nightcliff is the only true host as it welcomes Waratah to Nightcliff Oval.

Palmerston Magpies vs. Tiwi Bombers
Saturday October 10, 2:30pm
TIO Stadium

Both Palmerston and Tiwi will be out to rectify Round 1 losses, when they do battle at TIO Stadium in the weekend’s opening fixture. The Magpies were soundly trumped by Waratah last time out, while Tiwi was outlasted by Darwin in a high-scoring shootout. The combined losing margin between the teams in Round 1 was 133 points, so suffice to say, there is plenty of room for improvement either way.

Magpies recruit Daniel Stafford will hope for a far more fruitful outing this time around, having been held to three disposals and a goal against Waratah. Support comes from Nigel Lockyer Jnr, who is fresh off a four-goal haul, while bigman Matthew Dennis will again look to supply Chris Williams with a bunch of opportunities at the stoppages. The midfield battle will be key to any Palmerston success; taking some heat off young defenders in Sandy Brock and Tyrrell Lui, while also providing the dangerous Magpies forwards with quick and favourable entries.

Tiwi’s pace and fluent movement could cause some headaches in transition, with the Bombers’ losing score of 94 from last week still a better effort than what half the other teams managed. Victorian recruits Nathan Scagliarini and Angus Byrne have already shown they’ll be terrific additions to the side, while Mason Dewit was also handy down back in his NTFL debut. The likes of Harley Puruntatameri, Henry Kerinaiua, and John Tipiloura will all need to provide their usual spark going forward, with the Bombers’ wide range of goal sources somewhat depleted compared to last season.

Expect a close contest in this one, with both sides out to notch their first win of the season. Palmerston will understand the importance of getting on the board early, but may need some time to gel having taken in a number of key recruits. The Bombers stand as a fearsome test.

Nightcliff vs. Waratah
Saturday October 10, 4:00pm
Nightcliff Oval

Two-time reigning premier Nightcliff meets fellow Round 1 victor, Waratah on home turf this Saturday, as both sides look to carry on their winning form. As they often do, the Tigers sent a resounding statement to the rest of the competition in their defeat of St Mary’s in last week’s Grand Final rematch, with the usual suspects combining well alongside a range of fresh faces. Waratah also earned a stylish win in the season’s curtain-raiser, thumping Palmerston under the new Gardens Oval lights on Friday night.

The hardness and maturity of Nightcliff’s side continues to shine through, with the likes of Daniel Bowles, Cam Ilett, and Brodie Filo all finding plenty of the ball last week. Dominic Brew‘s 17 disposals, 13 tackles, and seven clearances were also mighty impressive, with the Tigers’ midfield depth and versatility a tough match for any team. Combine that with the sturdiness of Nathan Brown down back, and the goal threat of Liam Holt-Fitz, Kyle Emery, and Matthew Bricknell up forward, and you have a well-balanced unit which boasts a range of weapons.

Waratah’s Ned Stevens is coming off a performance which earned him a Rising Star nod, competing well against Dennis, Palmerston’s established ruckman. He’ll have more of a rotation to face this time out alongside Zach Westerberg. At their feet, the likes of Sam Godden, Dylan Collis, and Joshua Carmichael should provide good forward drive against stiff opposition, along with usual suspect, Abe Ankers. Jae McGrath has proven again that he is able to spearhead the attack, with Brodie Carroll, Tom Fields, and Kim Kantilla all capable of hitting the scoreboard, too.

After such a promising season initiation last week, a true test of Waratah’s credentials will come against the competition’s benchmark. Nightcliff seldom puts in a bad performance, so the Warriors will have to be at their best to outdo the reigning premiers and remain undefeated.

Darwin Buffaloes vs. Southern Districts
Saturday October 10, 5:00pm
TIO Stadium

Darwin proved many a doubter wrong in Round 1, and will look to continue that trend heading into its Saturday evening clash with Southern Districts. The Double Blues stormed away to a 64-point romping over Tiwi, while the Crocs slumped to a narrow four-point loss at the hands of Wanderers. The two sides last met in week one of last year’s finals series, with Districts getting the better of the Buffs on that occasion to the tune of 71 points. But a lot has changed since then and there will be a decent personnel turnover coming into this battle.

Experienced heads in Jarrod Stokes and Matt Campbell continue to serve their Darwin side well along with the returning figure of Brodie Foster, who comes in fresh off a six-goal haul. Ishmael Palmer and Joey Collinson were others to showcase Darwin’s scoring prowess in last week’s effort, with good potential to carry on such form agains the Crocs. Districts have lost some of that firepower and only managed six goals last week, but can rely on the likes of Lionel Ogden and Dean Staunton to drive standards. Billy Rolfe also snared half of his side’s total goals in Round 1, so will have a big role to play once again.

It’d be easy to turn on the Crocs after a disappointing Round 1 result, though Wanderers look a much-improved side and only just got the better of them. Darwin has been a notoriously hot started over the last few seasons, so will hope that trend continues here in what should be a cracking contest.

St Mary’s vs. Wanderers
Saturday October 10, 7:30pm
TIO Stadium

Season 2019/20 Grand Finalist St Mary’s readies for battle with Wanderers, looking to get on the board in the new campaign. The Saints were again outdone by Nightcliff in their opening game, while a revamped Wanderers snuck home by four points over Southern Districts. A perfect start to 2020/21 is up for grabs for the Muk Muks given the stiff opposition they’ve faced, with St Mary’s hoping it doesn’t fall too far behind the leading pack early on.

Star Victorian recruits Shaun Mannagh and Brodie Newman were terrific last time out for Wanderers, while familiar faces in Braedon McLean and Brett Eddy will hope to continue their leading of the side. Goals were hard to come by against Districts, but the likes of Brayden Culhane and Shane Thorne should again be thereabouts for the Eagles. The Saints were another side to only manage six goals in Round 1, with the likes of Nate Paredes and Shaun Edwards having to contribute from midfield. The returning Jackson Paine started strongly, while fellow bigman Brandyn Grenfell will again look to impact.

Wanderers is a side on the rise and will have to work hard to get the most out of a couple of tough early-season assignments. St Mary’s will be hungry to hit back hard after last week and have the cattle to do so, led by some experienced campaigners.

Featured Image: Action from the Round 1 Darwin vs. Tiwi clash | Credit: Celina Whan/AFLNT Media