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2020/21 NTFL Women’s Premier League weekly wrap – Round 18

THE FINAL Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Women’s Premier League regular season round for 2020/21 was run and done over the weekend, with all eyes now turning to finals. Minor premier, Pint rounded out a flawless home-and-away campaign after thumping St Mary’s, while Southern Districts topped Darwin in the other battle between finals-bound teams. Elsewhere, Waratah bested Nightcliff and Wanderers finished its season on a high by knocking off Tracy Village once again.

SOUTHERN DISTRICTS 1.1 | 3.4 | 4.6 | 6.6 (42)
DARWIN BUFFETTES 1.0 | 3.1 | 3.3 | 5.5 (35)

GOALS:

Districts: G. Mulvahil 3, R. Hewitt, M. Nankervis, K. Toy
Darwin: N/A

BEST:

Districts: R. Busch, D. Lee-Feeney, G. Mulvahil, M. Nankervis, K. Toy
Darwin: N/A

Southern Districts bounced back onto the winners list on finals eve with an important seven-point win over fellow postseason-bound side, Darwin on Saturday. The Crocs led at every break but almost had the result turned on its head in the final term as Darwin surged ahead. Two late goals to Rhania Hewitt and Malory Nankervis saw Districts home though, 6.6 (42) to the Buffs’ 5.5 (35).

Rhiannon Busch was named best afield in the winning side ahead of D’Kota Lee-Feeney, while young gun Grace Mulvahil was dangerous up forward with a game-high three goals. Darwin stalwart Machaelia Roberts celebrated her 150th Premier League outing and was among the Buffettes’ best players alongside midfielder/forward Dominique Carbone and Michelle Ellis. Darwin takes on St Mary’s in this week’s qualifying final, while Districts faces Nightcliff in an elimination bout.

WARATAH 1.0 | 2.0 | 4.2 | 6.2 (38)
NIGHTCLIFF 1.0 | 1.2 | 2.2 | 3.3 (21)

GOALS:

Waratah: L. Miceli 3, I. Rapson-Staropoli, T. O’Hehir, M. Hunter
Nightcliff: M. Ward, K. Hill-Carter, K. Irvine

BEST:

Waratah: N/A
Nightcliff: A. Moliere, M. Ward, S. Hatzismalis, E. Morrison, O. Hatzismalis, K. Hill-Carter

Waratah landed a parting blow on the finals-bound Nightcliff to end its season, winning by 17 points but missing finals for the first time in Warriors history. The two teams were all-square at quarter time, but Tahs led at every other break and kicked away with four goals to two in the second half to salute 6.2 (38) to Nightcliff’s 3.3 (21).

Lisa Miceli led the scoring with three majors in the red and white, seeing her top the competition’s goalkicking charts with 37 majors. An even team performance saw the Warriors overcome their higher-ranked opponents having crucially fallen short in similar fixtures this season. Andi Moliere was named the Tigers’ best ahead of goalkicker Mickayla Ward as they look to carry good from into their elimination final bout with Southern Districts.

WANDERERS (64)
TRACY VILLAGE (10)

GOALS:

Wanderers: N/A
Tracy Village: R. Myatt

BEST:

Wanderers: N/A
Tracy Village: B. Trappett, R. Myatt, T. Collings, Z. Clarke, K. Marschall, I. Hughes

Wanderers finished its season on a high, trumping Tracy Village by 54 points on the road on Saturday to make it three wins in 2020/21. On the other hand, Tracy Village has gone winless throughout its campaign but was able to find a positive by snaring a major score for the first time in three matches. In the end, the Razorbacks still did not have enough to withstand the Muk Muks, who won their second game on the trot, 64 to 10.

Sophia Mauboy booted three goals in the winning effort, while Tishara Davern was again among Wanderers’ best players. Rhiarna Myatt claimed Tracy Village’s sole goal of the game and was also among her side’s most impactful players, beaten out only by Brianna Trappett in the loss. With no finals on the cards for either sides, they will regroup and look to fire next season.

ST MARY’S 1.0 | 1.0 | 2.0 | 2.0 (12)
PINT 3.4 | 4.9 | 9.15 | 12.18 (90)

GOALS:

St Mary’s: M. Long, A. Coombes
Pint: J. Baumer 3, C. Fabris 3, H. Grubb 2, G. Cusack, J. Reid, J. Hewett, C. Henderson

BEST:

St Mary’s: J. Anderson, T. De Araujo, E. Forshaw, S. Peris, N. Long, S. Stevens
Pint: G. Cusack, K. Streader, R. Hicks, C. Morris, A. Chittick

Pint capped off a flawless home-and-away campaign by comprehensively beating the third-ranked St Mary’s by 78 points on Saturday night. The Queenants broke away early and never looked back, leading at every break and piling on eight goals in a one-sided second half. They also kept St Mary’s scoreless in the second and fourth terms, setting up the dominant 12.18 (90) to 2.0 (12) final scoreline.

Claudia Fabris and Jessie Baumer each booted three goals to lead Pint’s charge, while the likes of Gemma Cusack and Katie Streader hit their stride beautifully on the eve of finals. Alana Coombes and Michaela Long were St Mary’s only goalkickers, with Jasmine Anderson unsurprisingly at the forefront once again. While the Saints take on Darwin in this week’s qualifying final, Pint will enjoy a week off after taking out the minor premiership.

Image Credit: Felicity Elliott/AFLNT Media

Weekend preview: 2020/21 NTFL Men’s Premier League – Round 18

THE FINAL home-and-away round of Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Men’s Premier League action sees the top four sides tussle in fixtures which could well prove to be postseason previews. Elsewhere, Tiwi’s search for points this season goes down to the wire when the Bombers face Palmerston, while Darwin will hope to hold winning form on the eve of finals when it takes on Southern Districts. That, and more in our weekend preview.

TIWI BOMBERS (8th, 0-17) vs. PALMERSTON MAGPIES (7th, 2-15)
Saturday February 20, 2:30pm
TIO Stadium

Tiwi will get a last-chance dig at securing points in season 2020/21 when it kicks off Round 18 against Palmerston at TIO Stadium on Sunday afternoon. The Bombers have gone winless throughout this campaign and after showing some promise, have taken a turn for the worst since returning after the Christmas break. Palmerston has not fared much better, but boasts two wins this season having bettered the Bombers twice – in Round 2 and 10. The third meeting between these sides has a few ramifications despite what their ladder position suggests; with Palmerston looking to send off coach Alwyn Davey on a positive note, while Tiwi will obviously be out to avoid a season without any premiership points. Expect the undermanned Bombers to take the game on.

SOUTHERN DISTRICTS (6th, 6-11) vs. DARWIN BUFFALOES (5th, 10-7)
Saturday February 20, 4:00pm
Norbuilt Oval

Darwin will look to build a winning streak heading into finals as it takes on Southern Districts at Norbuilt Oval on Saturday. The Buffs have won three of their last four games, including a bounce-back performance against Waratah last week as both sides prepare to face off in next week’s elimination final. Districts’ fate has already been decided as they just missed the top five cut, but remain the best of the rest in this year’s competition. The Crocs’ only victory in the last six rounds came against Tiwi, with overcoming stiff top-end opposition proving the thorn in their side this campaign. Darwin has taken out both fixtures between these sides in 2020/21, including as recently as Round 14, so will hope for a clean sweep and strong run into finals.

ST MARY’S (2nd, 13-4) vs. WANDERERS (3rd, 12-4-1)
Saturday February 20, 5:00pm
TIO Stadium

Second spot is up for grabs as St Mary’s and Wanderers lock horns at TIO Stadium on Saturday evening, with a mental edge also on the line ahead of their qualifying final clash next week. Both sides have already locked in a second finals chance after stellar seasons, most consistently putting their hands up as Nightcliff’s closest premiership rival. Plenty will be revealed as they go head-to-head for a third time this season, with the ledger all square at one win apiece. The Saints come in riding a serious wave of form, winning 10 of their last 11 games to catapult right into the flag hunt. Wanderers has gotten the job done with wins in four of its last five outings, but the Muk Muks will have to click up a gear if they are to live up to what should be a finals-like intensity.

WARATAH (4th, 10-7) vs. NIGHTCLIFF (1st, 14-2-1)
Saturday February 20, 6:30pm
Gardens Oval

Minor premier Nightcliff has lifted the intensity in the lead-up to finals, and will have Waratah firmly in its sights as the two sides meet at Gardens Oval on Saturday night. The Tigers have again been dominant this season and look to be peaking at just the right time; boasting a nine-game unbeaten run and wins well in excess of 100 points over the last three weeks. Waratah’s true premiership credentials have been tested in that time, with the Warriors’ four-game win streak halted by two consecutive losses against finals-bound opponents. Tahs have been competitive against Nightcliff in two losses this season, but will need to be at their absolute best to overcome the yellow and black army which has been in devastating touch of late.

Image Credit: Aaron Black/AFLNT Media

Weekend preview: 2020/21 NTFL Women’s Premier League – Round 18

THE FINAL Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Women’s Premier League regular season round for 2020/21 gets underway on Saturday, with all fixtures set to play out on a single day at four seperate venues. In a weekend which could set the standard ahead of finals, first meets third and second faces fourth with the top five order still yet to be officially decided. Elsewhere, Waratah and Nightcliff do battle, while a bottom-of-the-table clash takes place between Wanderers and Tracy Village.

SOUTHERN DISTRICTS (4th, 9-4-2) vs. DARWIN BUFFETTES (2nd, 12-3)
Saturday February 20, 12:00pm
Norbuilt Oval

Darwin will be seeking to lock in second spot when it faces Southern Districts at Norbuilt Oval on Saturday afternoon, with a double finals chance already in the bag. The Buffettes had a seven-game winning run snapped last week by the undefeated Pint, but were competitive and look in good shape to recapture the right kind of form ahead of finals. Districts also went down to a fellow finals contender last week in Nightcliff, bringing an end to their own four-game win streak. These two sides have only met once this season, all the way back in Round 2 when Darwin got up by 49 points. The Crocs will need to flip that script, and some, if they are any chance to finish third, but can otherwise settle for an elimination final dig against Nightcliff next week.

WARATAH (6th, 6-8-1) vs. NIGHTCLIFF (5th, 8-6-1)
Saturday February 20, 2:30pm
Gardens Oval

Nightcliff will hope to continue its winning form ahead of the postseason when it travels to face Waratah at Gardens Oval on Saturday afternoon, guaranteed a fifth-place finish. The Tigers crucially took out Southern Districts last week in what was an elimination final sighter, making it two wins on the trot with the potential for three in this fixture. Waratah also picked up points last time out and has been largely competitive against top five opposition, but is set to miss finals for the first time in its history – at least in the women’s competition. Nightcliff took out the Round 2 meeting between these sides by 25 points, and will have to be on form to repeat the feat in what looms as a danger game on the eve of finals.

WANDERERS (8th, 2-13) vs. TRACY VILLAGE (9th, 0-15)
Saturday February 20, 4:00pm
Tracy Village

The competition’s bottom two sides face off on Saturday as Tracy Village takes on Wanderers, with the Razorbacks still out to claim their first points in season 2020/21. There has not been much to cheer about this year for the winless team, rooted to the bottom of the table and being held scoreless in nine games – including their last three. Wanderers secured a rare win last time out by overcoming Palmerston, and may well fancy another in this clash. With a sizeable percentage boost, the Eagles could even move up to seventh spot. The Round 2 meeting between these sides saw Wanderers run out 62-point victors, but the positive of finding a goal on the day should give Tracy Village some spirit coming into this fixture.

ST MARY’S (3rd, 11-4) vs. PINT (1st, 15-0)
Saturday February 20, 7:35pm
TIO Stadium

Another enticing top four battle takes place on Saturday as St Mary’s and Pint lock horns under lights at TIO Stadium, with the Queenants’ undefeated record on the line. The minor premiers have been perfect thus far and only need one more win to complete a flawless regular season, before enjoying a bye in the first week of finals. The Saints should be fresh having just completed a bye of their own, though a shaky last three outings – albeit with two wins over solid opposition – may have somewhat stuttered their confidence. Pint’s 11-point win over St Mary’s back in Round 2 may serve as a slight mental edge, but the contest should be fierce either way as both sides have something to play for on the final day of the home-and-away season.

Bye: Palmerston Magpies

Image Credit: Celina Whan/AFLNT Media

2020/21 NTFL Men’s Premier League weekly wrap – Round 17

NIGHTCLIFF wrapped up the 2020/21 Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Men’s Premier League minor premiership in Round 17, labelled NO MORE Round as the competition takes a stand against family and domestic violence. The Tigers were emphatic in victory on the eve of finals, as was St Mary’s, while Wanderers had a trickier time handling a pesky Palmerston outfit and Darwin claimed a confidence-boosting win over top five rival, Waratah. That, and more in our weekend wrap.

TIWI BOMBERS 4.1 | 4.2 | 6.2 | 6.3 (39)
ST MARY’S 7.5 | 12.14 | 18.22 | 26.26 (182)

GOALS:

Tiwi: B. Kantilla, K. Councillor, J. Tipiloura, P. Heenan, P. Puruntatameri, G. Alimankinni
St Mary’s: J. Calder 8, J. Landt 6, N. Paredes 3, D. Landt 2, L. Ferreira 2, J. Cheek, L. Taylor, R. Clarke, B. Grenfell, L. Fiore

BEST:

Tiwi: N/A
St Mary’s: N. Paredes, J. Landt, D. Landt, L. Taylor, J. Calder, L. Ferreira

NO MORE Spirit of the Game Award: Brendan Kantilla (Tiwi), Lachlan Taylor (St Mary’s)

St Mary’s took its time to click into gear and accelerate away from Tiwi on Saturday, but did so in emphatic fashion with a 143-point triumph at TIO Stadium. The 26.26 (182) to 6.3 (39) result saw the Saints conjure 52 scoring shots to Tiwi’s nine, with a 60-point half time lead merely a sighter of what was to come. Earlier, the Bombers hit the front in an 11-goal opening term but their ascendancy was short-lived as St Mary’s turned up the heat to come away big winners with one round left before finals.

Jackson Calder was the key destroyer, booting eight goals as St Mary’s spearhead and backed well by Jack Landt (six goals), who enjoyed a move further afield among the engine room. Nate Paredes (three) also found the big sticks in an impactful display from midfield, while Lachlan Taylor earned the Spirit of the Game award for his efforts. Brendan Kantilla took out the same honours for Tiwi as his side’s best afield, contributing well alongside the dependable likes of Paddy Heenan and Adam Tipungwuti. St Mary’s takes on Wanderers next week in a battle for second, while Tiwi will hope to finally get a win on the board next week having already been handed the wooden spoon.

SOUTHERN DISTRICTS 2.0 | 3.1 | 3.2 | 4.3 (27)
NIGHTCLIFF 5.3 | 14.4 | 18.7 | 21.16 (142)

GOALS:

Districts: B. Rolfe 2, J. Breed, D. Robertson
Nightcliff: T. Melville 4, J. Hammond 3, J. Butcher 3, A. Moniz Wakefield 2, S. Wilson 2, K. Emery 2, D. Bowles, R. Nyhuis, D. Brew, B. Henderson, M. McGregor

BEST:

Districts: M. Bowden, L. Ogden, L. Kiel, B. Lake, B. Rolfe, D. Robertson
Nightcliff: D. Bowles, D. Brew, B. Filo, A. Moniz Wakefield, S. Wilson, J. Hammond

NO MORE Spirit of the Game Award: Brodie Lake (Southern Districts), Andy Moniz Wakefield (Nightcliff)

Nightcliff wrapped up the 2020/21 minor premiership with a statement of intention, thumping Southern Districts to the tune of 115 points at Norbuilt Oval on Saturday. A nine-goal to one second term saw the game ripped open, as Districts failed to recover and managed just one goal after half time in the face of the Tigers’ roar, culminating in the one-sided 21.16 (142) to 4.3 (27) scoreline. Nightcliff’s deep forwardline dynamic and slick running game earned it 37 scoring shots to seven and a week off for the first round of finals.

Andy Moniz Wakefield was terrific for the victors, booting two goals and finding plenty of the ball. Jack Hammond was also thereabouts and snared three majors, matched by John Butcher and only beaten by Trent Melville (four goals) on the day. The likes of Daniel Bowles and Kaine Riley were also impactful further afield. Billy Rolfe (two goals) was Districts’ lone multiple goalkicker, while young gun Brodie Lake took out the Spirit of the Game award ahead of the likes of Michael Bowden and Dean Staunton.

DARWIN 3.2 | 7.3 | 8.6 | 11.7 (73)
WARATAH 2.2 | 4.4 | 6.7 | 7.12 (54)

GOALS:

Darwin: N. Cooper 3, J. Collinson 2, C. Abala 2, B. Foster 2, N. Lowden, R. Matricardi
Waratah: D. Collis 2, H. Kerinaiua, D. Hemphill, A. Kirby, J. McGrath, J. Simson

NO MORE Spirit of the Game Award: Timothy Eldridge (Darwin), Jack Cattanach (Waratah)

Darwin gained an early mental edge over Waratah before their elimination final bout in a fortnight, trumping their rivals by 19 points at TIO Stadium on Saturday evening. After a tense opening stanza, the Buffs pulled away with four goals to two in the second term to set up a game-defining lead, before finishing strongly to run out 11.7 (73) to 7.12 (54) winners. With one less scoring shot than the Warriors, Darwin made its opportunities count at the right times.

Nathaniel Cooper was one of four Buffs to boot multiple goals, managing three as Joey Collinson, Cade Abala, and Brodie Foster each snared two. Timothy Eldridge earned Spirit of the Game honours, an award also taken out by Jack Cattanach for the Warriors. Dylan Collis was his side’s sole multiple goalkicker, one of Waratah’s better performers alongside Sam Godden. The win came at a cost for Darwin, who lost key men Michael Coombes and Michael Hagan to injuries on the eve of finals.

PALMERSTON 4.3 | 4.3 | 5.5 | 6.7 (43)
WANDERERS 1.4 | 4.5 | 5.8 | 10.8 (68)

GOALS:

Palmerston: C. Williams 2, T. Kunoth, M. Sutton, A. McAdam, M McMasters
Wanderers: B. Eddy 3, A. Motlop, M. Totham, D. Braun, E. Simpson, D. Thompson, B. Newman, T. Motlop

BEST:

Palmerston: N/A
Wanderers: B. Newman, S. Tipiloura, D. Braun, J. Cubillo, D. McFarlane

NO MORE Spirit of the Game Award: Eric Guthrie (Palmerston), Brodie Newman (Wanderers)

Wanderers will play off against St Mary’s for second spot next week after sneaking past Palmerston by 25 points at Cazalys Arena on Saturday night. The Muk Muks secured their double finals chance but were made to earn it, falling behind early before clawing back ahead by under a goal at the second and third breaks, and eventually kicking away late. Five goals in the final term saw them earn a fighting 10.8 (68) to 6.7 (43) victory, still two points adrift of second place.

Competition leading goalkicker Brett Eddy added three majors to his season tally to lead Wanderers’ attack, which boasted eight individual goalkickers. Defender Brodie Newman was among them, earning best afield honours for his work while Deacon Braun and Thomas Motlop were other Eagles to impress. Eric Guthrie earned Palmerston’s Spirit of the Game award, returning a typically trying shift alongside the likes of Chris Williams (two goals) and Matthew Dennis.

Image Credit: Felicity Elliott/AFLNT Media

Weekend preview: 2020/21 NTFL Men’s Premier League – Round 17

THE top five sides will likely be finalised in Round 17 of the Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Men’s Premier League, with the minor premiership also in Nightcliff’s sights as finals time draws ever closer. Waratah and Darwin are the only teams within the finals spots set to face off this weekend, while the remaining postseason hopefuls will look to flex their muscle against lowly opposition. That, and more in our preview of the penultimate regular season round.

TIWI BOMBERS (8th, 0-16) vs. ST MARY’S (2nd, 12-4)
Saturday February 13, 2:30pm
TIO Stadium

St Mary’s will look to strengthen its hold on a second finals chance when it takes on Tiwi at TIO Stadium on Saturday afternoon, with time running out for the Bombers to claim their first points in season 2020/21. The Saints have been one of the form sides of the competition lately and it has shown with nine wins in their last 10 outings. Conversely, Tiwi has been increasingly undermanned and outgunned since coming back from the break, tagged with an average losing margin of over 140 points in that time. This will be the third time these teams meet this season, presenting an opportunity for St Mary’s to complete a clean sweep. With an average winning margin of 65 points against Tiwi during this campaign, the Saints should have no issue putting their opponents away once again here.

SOUTHERN DISTRICTS (6th, 6-10) vs. NIGHTCLIFF (1st, 13-2-1)
Saturday February 13, 4:00pm
Norbuilt Oval

Nightcliff has one hand on the minor premiership, with the opportunity to secure it and end Southern Districts’ finals hopes in one fell swoop presenting as the two teams meet at Norbuilt Oval on Saturday. The reigning premiers have been at their typical best this year and look to be roaring at just the right time, going undefeated in their last eight outings while also taking out their last two games by a combined 279 points. Districts have been the best of the rest among the bottom three with six wins and boast a surprise win over Nightcliff this season. The ledger between these sides sits evenly at 1-1, with this tiebreaker acting as a useful finals warm-up for the Tigers. That being the case, they should trump the Crocs, but cannot take anything for granted given their opponents’ recent inclusions.

DARWIN (5th, 9-7) vs. WARATAH (4th, 10-6)
Saturday February 13, 5:00pm
TIO Stadium

Darwin and Waratah do battle in the weekend’s only top five clash, locking horns at TIO Stadium on Saturday evening in what should be a belter. The Warriors have been in hot form of late with two losses to St Mary’s the only blemishes on their record over the past nine rounds. After an inconsistent start to the campaign, they looked primed to challenge come finals time with a formidable squad on paper and their top stars aligning. Darwin has gone 2-2 since the Christmas break but looks like earning the final top five spot regardless of this result, pending Southern Districts’ efforts. Still, the Buffs’ fate remains in their hands should they win here. This is another matchup where the ledger sits even this season, though Waratah should bounce back to take this one out before they potentially meet again in finals.

PALMERSTON (7th, 2-14) vs. WANDERERS (3rd, 11-4-1)
Saturday February 13, 7:00pm
Cazalys Arena

Wanderers remains in the hunt for a top two spot and will hope to pounce on any slip-ups by taking out Palmerston at Cazalys Arena on Saturday night. Magpies coach Alwyn Davey will step down from his role as coach at season’s end, but his side has the chance to send its club legend off on a positive note and add to the two wins they have managed thus far. It will be tough if form is anything to go by, with Palmerston losing its last six games. On the other hand, Wanderers has rocketed into premiership contention this season and despite a couple of hiccups in its last five outings, will look to surge towards the postseason in style. The Muk Muks have beaten Palmy twice already this season by an average margin of 30.5 points, but should look to put an exclamation mark on this one.

Image Credit: Celina Whan/AFLNT Media

Weekend preview: 2020/21 NTFL Women’s Premier League – Round 17

THE PENULTIMATE round of Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Women’s Premier League action bounces down on Saturday, with all games spread out across the day and set to be played at four separate venues. A top-of-the-table clash between Pint and Darwin headlines the fixtures list, while Southern Districts’ meeting with Nightcliff serves as the sole other top five battle. That, and more in our weekend preview.

SOUTHERN DISTRICTS (4th, 9-3-2) vs. NIGHTCLIFF (5th, 7-6-1)
Saturday February 13, 12:00pm
Norbuilt Oval

Nightcliff will be out to make its top five safety concrete when it travels to face Southern Districts at Norbuilt Oval on Saturday afternoon. The Tigers are two games clear in fifth with as many games left, with this clash against the fourth-placed Districts potentially serving as an elimination final preview. If the Round 8 meeting between these sides is anything to go by, we should be in for a belter. They were unable to be separated after a high-scoring affair in that instance, but face much different propositions seven match-days later. The Crocs have won six of their last seven games, while Nightcliff has lost thrice in that period and cannot climb any higher than its current ladder position. Still, plenty remains up for grabs – especially for the Crocs as they could advance their position with a handy percentage booster given St Mary’s (second) enjoys a bye.

PALMERSTON (7th, 3-12) vs. WANDERERS (8th, 1-13)
Saturday February 13, 3:00pm
Cazalys Arena

Two sides in close proximity to each other on the ladder in Palmerston and Wanderers will be battling for consolation points on Saturday afternoon when they lock horns at Cazalys Arena. The Magpies have won just three games in season 2020/21, but that is still enough to put them eight points clear of their weekend opponents. With that factor, and a four-goal triumph over Wanderers in the back of their minds, the Magpies should come in confidently despite losing in six of their last seven outings. The Eagles have not tasted victory since Round 2, but have a couple of late opportunities to come away from this campaign with better memories and some bonus premiership points.

TRACY VILLAGE (9th, 0-14) vs. WARATAH (6th, 5-8-1)
Saturday February 13, 4:00pm
Tracy Village

Waratah’s finals hopes hinge on securing victory in the final two rounds, starting with an away clash against the winless Tracy Village on Saturday. The Warriors sit two games outside of the top five and will be hoping that fifth-placed Nightcliff slips up at the death, with their slim postseason chances potentially decided this weekend. Tahs have been in good form since the break despite a 2-2 record in 2021, defeating teams below them but falling just short of top three opposition. Their 176-point drubbing of Tracy Village in Round 8 remains the biggest score and win of the season, meaning signs are ominous for the competition’s cellar dweller. With their entire campaign to play for, Waratah should come out firing in this one.

DARWIN BUFFETTES (2nd, 12-2) vs. PINT (1st, 14-0)
Saturday February 13, 7:35pm
TIO Stadium

A top-of-the-table clash between Darwin and the undefeated Pint headlines Round 17, with the two sides set to provide a finals preview at TIO Stadium on Saturday. Pint is just two wins away from completing a flawless regular season and should come in the fresher side having enjoyed a bye last round. Darwin has won seven-straight games as the other form side of the competition, edging some stiff competition and feasting on the bottom sides. But the Buffettes’ last loss came at the hands of Pint in Round 8, with a thriller at DXC Arena decided by just two points. With revenge and confidence to be gained heading into finals, the Double Blues should be up for a terrific contest against the league’s benchmark team. The Queenants have risen to every challenge thus far though, so will be tough as ever to beat.

Bye: St Mary’s

Image Credit: Tymunna Clements/AFLNT Media

2020/21 NTFL Women’s Premier League weekly wrap – Round 16

ROUND 16 of the Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Women’s Premier League saw the sides between second and fifth claim important wins on the eve of finals, while undefeated ladder leader Pint enjoyed a week off. With just two regular season rounds remaining, the top five has all but officially fallen into place and looks set to produce an intriguing crescendo to the 2020/21 competition. Catch up on all the results and fallout in our weekend wrap.

NIGHTCLIFF 1.3 | 4.4 | 9.9 | 12.13 (85)
PALMERSTON 0.0 | 0.3 | 1.3 | 1.3 (9)

GOALS:

Nightcliff: L. Gooden 5, K. Irvine 2, T. Taylor-Kickett 2, B. Richards, J. Anyon-Smith, K. Hill-Carter
Palmerston: K. White

BEST:

Nightcliff: E. Morrison, J. Puautjimi, J. Anyon-Smith, O. Hatzismalis, B. Richards
Palmerston: I. Ronberg, T. May, B. Byers, B. McDougall, J. Guthridge, S. Leedie

Nightcliff is in the box seat to secure fifth spot after thumping Palmerston by 76 points at Nightcliff Oval on Saturday afternoon, putting the Tigers two games clear in fifth with as many left to play. The Magpies were kept scoreless in the first and fourth terms, while the Tigers piled on 11 of their 12 majors after quarter time to accelerate towards the 12.13 (85) to 1.3 (9) result.

Lauren Gooden booted five majors to spearhead Nightcliff’s scoring effort, while the likes of Eliza Morrison and Jamie-Lee Puautjimi featured at the forefront of their side’s dominance around the ground. Kristy Irvine and Tahlia Taylor-Kickett also finished with multiple goals (two each) for the winners. Kiara White was Palmerston’s only major scorer, with Iesha Ronberg and Tabitha May among the best in black and white.

TRACY VILLAGE 0.0 | 0.0 | 0.0 | 0.0 (0)
SOUTHERN DISTRICTS 4.3 | 8.5 | 14.14 | 18.18 (126)

GOALS:

Tracy Village: Nil.
Southern Districts: G. Mulvahil 11, S. Hoogeveen-Hill 2, R. Busch, D. Lee-Feeney, N. Seton-Scott, R. Hewitt, B. Clarke

BEST:

Tracy Village: Z. Clarke, S. Wilson, K. Marschall, E. Irving, L. Toner, C. McDermid
Southern Districts: G. Mulvahil, R. Busch, B. Clarke, R. Hewitt, J. Brock

Southern Districts kept its top three hopes alive with a comprehensive 126-point dismantling of league cellar dweller Tracy Village on Saturday, spearheaded by an incredible 11 goals from Grace Mulvahil. The young forward was in everything, leading up the ground and causing headaches inside 50 as her Crocs dined on their lowly opponents in the 18.18 (126) to 0 thumping.

The likes of Rhiannon Busch and Bella Clarke were also recognised among the Crocs’ best players, while Samantha Hoogeveen-Hill was the game’s only other multiple goalkicker. The ever-reliable Zhoe Clarke again featured atop Tracy Village’s bests, with Emma Irving another to continue her solid form among the Razorbacks’ winless side.

WANDERERS 1.0 | 2.0 | 2.0 | 2.12 (24)
DARWIN BUFFETTES 2.2 | 5.3 | 10.8 | 15.10 (100)

GOALS:

Wanderers: K. Armstrong, S. Mauboy
Darwin: N/A

BEST:

Wanderers: T. Davern, R. Fecht, T. Parriman, F. Koulakis, S. De Satge, I. Schober
Darwin: N/A

A 10-goal second half saw Darwin kick away from Wanderers for a 76-point win at Tracy Village on Sunday, strengthening the Buffettes’ standing in second spot. A three-goal half time buffer saw the Muk Muks enter the second half with a sniff, but that was quickly taken away as the Double Blues flexed their muscle to come away comfortable 15.10 (100) to 2.12 (24) victors.

The midfield combination of Ashanti Bush and Dominique Carbone worked wonders in breaking the game open when it was on the line, as Bush booted seven majors to emphatically steer her side clear after the main break. Rhiannon Fecht and Tishara Davern were named the Muk Muks’ best players, with Sophia Mauboy and Kaitlyn Armstrong their only goalkickers for the match.

WARATAH 1.1 | 2.1 | 2.2 | 2.2 (14)
ST MARY’S 1.1 | 2.3 | 2.7 | 2.9 (21)

GOALS:

Waratah: L. Miceli 2
St Mary’s: S. Stevens, I. Porter

BEST:

Waratah: N/A
St Mary’s: J. Anderson, J. Bryant, S. Peris, A. Melnikas, E. Shannon, S. Stevens

St Mary’s won out by seven points against Waratah under changing weather conditions on Sunday afternoon, keeping the Saints alive in the race for a second finals chance. Both sides went goalless in the second half after booting a goal apiece in each of the first two terms, with the Saints’ greater weight of scoring opportunity seeing them edge ahead 2.9 (21) to 2.2 (14) by game’s end.

Lisa Miceli backed up her nine-goal haul from last week with both of her side’s two majors this time out, while Isabelle Porter and Shakirah Stevens finished as St Mary’s only goalkickers. Jasmine Anderson put in another best afield shift for the Saints, who were held up strongly in defence by the likes of Shailyn Peris and Eliza Shannon.

Bye: Pint

Image Credit: Aaron Black/AFLNT Media

Weekend preview: 2020/21 NTFL Men’s Premier League – Round 15

ROUND 15 of the Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Men’s Premier League got underway on Tuesday, as Waratah defeated Wanderers by 38 points to take out the Foundation Cup. There are still three games left to play out though, with all of them scheduled for Saturday in what could be the day this season’s finalists are confirmed. Nightcliff, St Mary’s, and Darwin will be out to strengthen their standings in the top five and forge some winning form in the last month of action before finals.

Nightcliff (1st, 11-2-1) vs. Tiwi Bombers (8th, 0-14)
Saturday January 30, 2:30pm
TIO Stadium

Nightcliff meets Tiwi at TIO Stadium on Saturday afternoon in a battle between first and last, with the winless Bombers still searching for their first points of the season. Rooted to the bottom of the table, Tiwi has lost its first two games after the Christmas break by a combined 331 points, conceding 426 points in said outings to see their tally of 50-plus point losses rocket to nine overall. On the other hand, Nightcliff is riding a six-game undefeated run and has a wealth of prime movers who should be full of confidence after the Northern Territory’s representative triumph last week. The previous meeting between these two sides came in Round 9 as the Tigers got up by just 15 points, but signs are looking ominous as they prepare to lock horns once more. Tiwi has something to play for as club stalwarts Paddy Heenan and Bradley Palipuaminni play their 200th games, but expect the reigning premiers to show no mercy against a depleted Bombers outfit.

St Mary’s (4th, 10-4) vs. Southern Districts (6th, 5-9)
Saturday January 30, 5:00pm
TIO Stadium

An opportunity to move up to second spot beckons for St Mary’s when it faces Southern Districts at TIO Stadium on Saturday evening, with the Crocs fighting to stay alive in season 2020/21. The Saints had their seven-game winning run ended last time out by Nightcliff, but remain one of the form teams of the competition heading into the final month of home-and-away action. Districts are all but officially out of finals contention having lost five of their last six games, sitting three games out of the top five with just four rounds left. The Saints got up by 38 points in the Round 9 reverse fixture and with double the amount of wins as their weekend opponents, will come in as deserving favourites. The pressure of needing to be perfect will inevitably either spur on or freeze Southern Districts, making for an intriguing end to the Crocs’ campaign – starting here.

Palmerston Magpies (7th, 2-12) vs. Darwin Buffaloes (5th, 8-6)
Saturday January 30, 7:00pm
Cazalys Arena

Darwin will be out to cement finals qualification when it travels to face Palmerston at Cazalys Arena on Saturday night, with some top five jostling still to do. The Buffs are three games clear in fifth but two games off fourth spot, making it almost certain they will finish the regular season as they are. They still have a sniff at the top two though and will look for a big percentage booster in this clash. The lowly Palmerston has only beaten Tiwi thus far (twice) to sit seventh, suffering four-straight losses of late. Having already twice gone down to Darwin this season for a combined margin of 88 points, the Magpies will be up against it once again here. They can compete when at their best, but the Double Blues comfortably have their measure.

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

Weekend preview: 2020/21 NTFL Women’s Premier League – Round 15

ROUND 15 of the Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Women’s Premier League bounced down on Tuesday as Waratah thumped Wanderers by 73 points, but there are still three more fixtures left to play on Saturday. The top four sides will all be in action, with the game of the round pitting St Mary’s (second) against Southern Districts (fourth) under lights at TIO Stadium. Elsewhere, Pint takes on Tracy Village in a top-versus-bottom clash, while Darwin will look to win big against the seventh placed Palmerston Magpies. That, and more in our weekend preview.

Palmerston Magpies (7th, 3-10) vs. Darwin Buffettes (3rd, 10-2)
Saturday January 30, 3:00pm
Cazalys Arena

Darwin will be looking for a percentage boost as it continues to push for second spot, but the seventh placed Palmerston Magpies stand in the Buffettes’ way on Saturday afternoon. While the Magpies are fresh off a breakthrough 44-point win over Tracy Village, a 40-point loss to the Buffs in Round 9 sparked a run of five consecutive losses before that. On the other hand, Darwin sprung off the Round 9 result to win five-straight games and gain a foothold in the top three. The Buffs will hope to bolster their finals positioning with just four rounds left, but Palmerston is all but officially out of the postseason running at this point. Darwin’s prime movers should be riding the high of last Saturday’s representative victory and are in good shape to continue that form here, with a big margin in mind.

Pint (1st, 13-0) vs. Tracy Village (9th, 0-12)
Saturday January 30, 4:00pm
DXC Arena

First meets last as Pint takes on Tracy Village at DXC Arena on Saturday, with plenty separating the two sides in season 2020/21. The Queenants remain undefeated across 13 outings and have been far and away the best side thus far. On the other hand, Tracy Village is yet to claim premiership points at 0-12 and has long been planted to the bottom of the ladder. Only confirming the gap between these teams, the points for and against totals show that Pint boasts the best attack and defence, while Tracy Village ranks last in both categories. Their previous meeting saw Pint triumph 20.10 (130) to nil, with the Queenants’ only higher score coming just last round as they hit the ground running post-break. Tracy Village conceded its first total under 100 points since Round 4 last time out and also managed its first major in 2021, but remain a step off the competition and will again find the going tough in this fixture.

St Mary’s (2nd, 10-3) vs. Southern Districts (4th, 7-3-2)
Saturday January 30, 7:35pm
TIO Stadium

The game of the round sees St Mary’s lock horns with Southern Districts in the weekend’s lone top four clash, with plenty to play for in terms of the finals race. The Saints are currently locked into second at 10-3 and look back on track having accumulated four-straight wins after a couple of surprise losses. One of those came against the Crocs, who took out the two sides’ Round 9 meeting by 10 points en route to winning four of their last five games. The Crocs have only played once in 2021 though and while they are undefeated after beating the eighth placed Wanderers, are also coming off a bye. With such a high-stakes game ahead, that kind of context is perhaps unideal. Expect the Saints to either come out hot or take over in the latter stages, but the Crocs should prove plucky customers as they look to cement fourth spot.

Bye: Nightcliff

Image Credit: Celina Whan/AFLNT Media

NT troops trump Glenelg as rep footy returns to the Top End

REPRESENTATIVE football returned to the Northern Territory on Saturday as an out-of-season Glenelg outfit took on the Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) rep side at TIO Stadium. The NTFL Buffaloes won out by 24 points in a competitive outing played amid soggy conditions, finishing the game strongly with three goals to Glenelg’s nil in the final term.

NT captain Cam Ilett took home the Australia Day medal as best afield, leading a side packed with a mix of local talent and guns from around the nation. Territorians Neil Vea Vea and Marlon Motlop were among the Bays’ most valuable players, providing physicality and spark going forward. The game was the first NT representative fixture in 15 years, and the first hitout against Glenelg in 36 years.

>> SCROLL for the final scores, goalkickers and best players

The hosts readied themselves for battle and came out the better side early, applying smothering defensive pressure and locking the ball in their front half for much of the opening term. It translated to the scoreboard too, as the rushed and undisciplined Bays gifted two goals via 50-metre penalties to trail by 11 points at quarter time.

An elongated team talk at the first break spurred Glenelg into action though, with former Richmond key forward Liam McBean booting his second major and Reid Kuller adding another in quick time to put their side ahead. A Nate Paredes bomb from nothing helped steady the NT, who remained ahead by five points at half time as the sides began to trade goals.

The scoring dried up as the rain began to fall harder in the second half, but that did not stop Lachie Hosie from expertly roving a pack and putting Glenelg back ahead. Both sides showed a bit of feeling as the stakes were raised, with the goal-for-goal streak continuing in term three but resulting in Glenelg gaining the ascendancy as the final turn approached.

It was all NT from there, with the likes of James Tsitas and Abe Ankers popping up to show their class in the clutch moments. The in-season factor proved telling as Glenelg fell away late and went scoreless in the final term, a period which was capped by Shaun Edwards‘ game-sealing snap. The celebratory major made for a game-high lead and put the cherry on top of NT’s terrific showing.

While Ilett earned another piece of silverware for his extraordinary personal collection, ball magnet Dane McFarlane was unlucky not to be recognised as the NT’s best player. Rebounding key defender Brodie Newman was also exceptional, while bigman Matthew Dennis battled hard in the ruck, Harley Puruntatameri was lively up forward, and Paredes had patches of dominance.

Vea Vea’s physicality was a highlight for Glenelg as he rotated forward through the ruck, while Motlop came up clutch with a handy third term goal to aid the Bays’ Territorian influence. McBean proved a reliable target up forward and Hosie was dangerous at his feet, with Brady Searle a handy factor down back and Darcy Bailey influential between the arcs.

Earlier, the NTFL Women’s representative team took on their Glenelg counterparts in an historic meeting between the two sides. The wet weather wreaked havoc but did not stop the Territorians from establishing a three-goal lead in the first half, before seeing out a 28-point victory; 5.5 (35) to 1.1 (7). NT standout Jasmyn Hewett won the Australia Day medal, while Mickayla Ward booted two goals.

The night’s other featured match saw the Alice Springs Redtails defeat Katherine’s Big Rivers Football League side by 50 points in an exciting interleague clash. Nigel Lockyer Jnr was among the victors’ best, booting an equal game-high three majors as his team ran out 12.18 (90) to 5.10 (40) winners, largely credit to their superior fluency with ball in hand.

FINAL SCORES:

NTFL BUFFALOES | 3.1 | 5.2 | 6.5 | 9.12 (66)
GLENELG TIGERS | 1.2 | 4.3 | 6.6 | 6.6 (42)

GOALS:

NTFL: B. Eddy, R. Turnbull, C. Ilett, N. Paredes, H. Puruntatameri, J. Stokes, J. Tsitas, A. Ankers, S. Edwards
Glenelg: L. McBean 2, R. Kuller, D. Bailey, L. Hosie, M. Motlop

DC BEST:

NTFL: D. McFarlane, B. Newman, M. Dennis, C. Ilett, H. Puruntatameri, N. Paredes
Glenelg: N. Vea Vea, L. McBean, M. Motlop, D. Bailey, R. Kuller, L. Hosie, B. Searle

Australia Day Medal: Cam Ilett (NT)

Featured Image: The NT Buffaloes and Glenelg Tigers join for a photo post-match | Credit: Felicity Elliott/AFLNT Media