Tag: ash melnikas

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.

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

ROUND 3 of the 2020/21 NTFL Women’s Premier League season will see all four matches played on Saturday once more, with bottom of the ladder Tracy Village set to sit out with the bye this round. Nightcliff and Pint still remain undefeated at the top of the ladder after solid starts to the season, while this round will be headlined by a 2019/20 grand final rematch between Southern Districts and Waratah with both sides sitting towards the lower end of the ladder after two rounds.

St Mary’s vs. Darwin Buffettes
Saturday, October 17

Darwin Buffettes may have only played the one match for the season so far but well and truly exploded out of the blocks last week, compared to St Mary’s who showcased impressive form in Round 1 but could not consolidate on a huge third quarter fight back and eventually went down in a close affair with Pint. With so many quality players across the field and both teams seemingly in solid form heading into this match, expect the Saints to explode out of the blocks and the Buffs to use their flurry of forward targets to apply plenty of scoreboard pressure. Machaelia Roberts and Zoe Anderson fired on all cylinders last round for Darwin, booting four goals apiece, while both Michaela Long and Ash Melnikas have been handy goalkickers for the Saints. Melnikas and Megan Williamson have been named among the best in both matches for the Saints, while Molly Althouse impressed for the Buffs last round.

Southern Districts vs. Waratah
Saturday, October 17

Southern Districts need a win this week in the grand final rematch to restore some of their 2019/20 dignity after a rough start to the season, going down by 48 points in Round 1 and 49 points in Round 2. While the Crocs are by no means lacking options up forward, they have seemed to lack that forward push and volume up forward, and this could be the side’s best chance to do so against Waratah with the Warriors also coming in off the back of a loss in Round 2 and a default victory in Round 1 – although the default came when the side was ahead. Just two players have hit the scoreboard more than once for Waratah, with usual suspect Jenna Singh and newbie Caitlin Couch kicking two apiece over the first two matches, while Danica Pedersen and Eliza Straford have been solid across the ground. For Districts, Megan Crauford is a solid target. 

Pint vs. Palmerston Magpies
Saturday, October 17

Palmerston will head into this round renewed after the bye, but come in against an improved Pint outfit that sits in second on the ladder with two wins from two. Pint has proved it has a heap of firepower and while an excellent first round victory showcased the side’s winning ability, it was a low-scoring victory in Round 2 that makes this battle so interesting given the side’s ability to outlast under pressure. Look for Amy Chittick and Jasmyn Hewitt inside 50 when it comes to Pint with both players able to hit the scoreboard, while Jacinta Reid, Rebecca Pryer and Cassie Henderson have had solid starts to the season. For the Magpies, fans will hope that Cassie Ormsby can return to the fray after a first round high hit that saw the match finish at half time. Meanwhile, Tabitha May is always a force to be reckoned with.

Wanderers vs. Nightcliff
Saturday, October 17

The lone match between two Round 2 winners, Nightcliff will come into this battle with plenty of confidence given they sit atop the ladder with a significant percentage boost ahead of Pint in second. Meanwhile, Wanderers have one win on the board which came in Round 2 and the significant margin in that match will see the side certainly take it up to Nightcliff. Expect an intriguing matchup here, with the top four goalkickers in the competition likely to take the field in this battle. That being said, three of the four are from Nightcliff who are arguably the team to beat at the moment given their firepower up forward and multitude of options inside forward 50. Emma-Lou Wolsey (eight goals), Mickayla Ward (five goals) and Darcy Elliston (four) have proved to be constant and consistent goalkickers out the front, sitting first, third and fourth on the leading goalkicker tally at this stage, with second spot taken by Wanderers’ Kaitlyn Armstrong who is just one goal behind Wolsey on seven. Just two players across the two teams have been named in the best twice – showcasing the calibre of talent across the two teams – with Ward (Nightcliff) and Djimila Totham (Wanderers) those players.

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

ROUND 2 of NTFL Women’s Premier League saw a huge super Saturday of matches, with all four games producing some solid performances and three matches finishing in blown out scorelines. Nightcliff and Pint continued their winning ways to sit 2-0 apiece at the top of the ladder, while Southern Districts and Tracy Village are the cellar dwellers and Palmerston Magpies had a bye. 

Nightcliff 8.6 (54) defeated Waratah 3.11 (29)

An excellent start bode well for Nightcliff, latching onto their early momentum and building throughout thanks to Waratah’s inaccuracy in front of goal. While Nightcliff failed to score in the final term, an excellent four-goal third quarter allowed the Tigers to run away with the solid 25-point victory, staving off every attempt from the Warriors. Nightcliff’s Emma-Lou Wolsey proved she was more than capable of holding down the front-end once more with three more goals added to her tally, and was assisted by Mickayla Ward and Jacqueline Anyon-Smith who booted two majors apiece. For Waratah, Jenna Singh, Lisa Roberts and Jordan Smyth found the big sticks, with the latter named in the best among Eliza Straford and Isabella Rapson-Staropoli.

Tracy Village 1.3 (9) defeated by Wanderers 10.11 (71)

It was a great return from the Wanderers after last week’s effort, this week putting 71 points on the board to run away with an excellent 62-point win against the Razorbacks who had a couple of issues getting a score on the board once more. That being said, Tracy Village did not let up throughout and were only beaten well in the first and final quarters where they allowed the Wanderers to boot four apiece. For Tracy Village, Indianna Hughes booted the lone goal in the final quarter and was named among the bests alongside Kiri Marschall, Kaitlin Battel and Sarah Wilson – who was back in the best this week after last round. For the Wanderers, Kaitlyn Armstrong was just about unstoppable out the front with five goals on the board, aided by Aleesha Hobbs and Tasheena Rankine who booted two apiece and Georgia Halkitis and Djimila Totham who were named in the best.

Pint 4.4 (28) defeated St Mary’s 2.5 (17)

It was a low-scoring thriller between Pint and St Mary’s, with the former gaining the early ascendancy and the latter fighting back well in the third to draw even on 15 points apiece at the final change. While both sides contested hard in the final term, it was Pint who were able to not only capitalise on their forward 50 entries but also pull away, eventually running away with the 11-point victory. Jasmyn Hewitt booted two for Pint, joined by Amy Chittick and Cara Evans while Kati Streader and Cassie Henderson were both named in the best. For the Saints, Danielle Ponter and Madison Harris booted a goal apiece – both in the second half – while Tesharna Maher and Ash Melnikas were named among the best in the low-scoring matchup.

Darwin Buffettes 11.5 (71) defeated Southern Districts 3.4 (22)

Darwin Buffettes started their season with a quality win over the reigning premiers, obliterating the Crocs by 49 points with a 30-point final quarter effort getting the job done. The Crocs were outplayed for much of the game, unable to compete with the feisty Buffettes outfit and having little opportunity to put scores on the board. Machaelia Roberts was a huge target as ever up forward for the Buffs and was a force to be reckoned with alongside Zoe Anderson, booting four goals apiece and providing multiple options. Roberts was named best on ground for her efforts whilst Molly Althouse was also solid for the victors, and three individuals put a goal on the board for the winners.

Picture: Aaron Black/AFLNT Media

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

ROUND 2 of the 2020/21 NTFL Women’s competition is set to see some intriguing battles, with Darwin Buffettes entering the competition for the first time this season after a bye to open their campaign, while Palmerston Magpies will take this week off to regroup after a disappointing and disjointed start to the season. The top four teams will all go head-to-head with a battle between Nightcliff and Waratah, and Pint and St Mary’s to follow.  Meanwhile, Southern Districts will look to overturn a sloppy start when they take on the Buffs and Tracy Village will take on the Wanderers sitting in fifth.

Nightcliff vs. Waratah
Saturday, October 10

A huge top two clash opens the day’s proceedings, with both Waratah and Nightcliff looking to back up strong showings after last round. Whilst Nightcliff sits comfortable atop the ladder with a huge 108-point margin last week, Waratah will be feeling less than comfortable only having played a half against Palmerston before the match was called off. Waratah booted five goals in a strong second quarter showing, however Nightcliff matched that easily with five goals scored in the third quarter alone and four in the second and fourth quarters to run away with the huge victory. That being said, Nightcliff will come up against an arguably stronger side than their Round 1 opposition in Tracy Village, so will need to ensure their backline holds up well against Waratah’s expanse of viable goalkickers. Emma-Lou Wolsey (five goals) and Darcy Elliston (four goals) were the real firepower last round so expect the Tigers forward to be in the drivers seat once more, while Eliza Morrison and Mickayla Ward were both named in the best. For Waratah, Caitlin Couch was the lone multiple goalkicker last round in her first outing at the club.

Tracy Village vs. Wanderers
Saturday, October 10

The second match of the round will see two first round losers go head-to-head, with significantly different ladder positions all that realistically separates the two sides. While Wanderers suffered a 63-point loss against St Mary’s, the Razorbacks could not contend with Nightcliff and failed to really hit the scoreboard. The main difference between these two sides is the work rate in the second half last week, with Tracy Village conceding nine goals and failing to score after the final change. While the Wanderers conceded five in the third quarter to a runaway St Mary’s outfit, they booted two goals back and only allowed the Saints to kick one major in the final term with a much better defensive effort stemming the flow. Kaitlyn Armstrong was the lone goalkicker last round for the Wanderers, making her a huge target this round while the likes of Deanna Peckham and Sophie Armitstead were also named among the best. For the Razorbacks, there is really no other way to go than up, with solid performances from Meagan Wylie, Sarah Wilson and Zhoe Clark showcasing some of their skill, just needing to finetune it.

Pint vs. St Mary’s
Saturday, October 10

Another battle of Round 1 victors, this is one of the intriguing matches of the round given the changes made over the off-season. While Pint were mildly successful last season, bumped out of the semi finals after finishing sixth, St Mary’s finished in eighth but ultimately have a new-look team this season with a number of new recruits from down south. Both coming away with excellent wins last round – with Pint’s coming against the reigning premiers, Southern Districts – and conceding a combined 3.5 across the two matches, this match will be a real test given they clearly have the scoring ability but could have come away with even bigger victories if not for patches of inaccuracy. Amy Chittick and Jacqueline Downey booted two goals apiece for the Queen Ants, backed up by four individual goalkickers and Jacinta Reid and Katie Streader finding the ball with ease, while for the Saints it was Michaela Long (four goals) and Ash Melnikas (three) who heaped on the offensive pressure. Alongside the aforementioned duo, Claudia Whitfort booted two to be named in the best among some exciting talent.

Darwin Buffettes vs. Southern Districts
Saturday, October 10

Darwin Buffettes enter the round at the bottom of the ladder but with a completely clean slate given they had an extra week on the sidelines. The Crocs, on the other hand, frankly had a rough start to the season and will want to rectify that immediately – but will need to watch the Buffs who have a heap of firepower that will be itching to have an impact. Booting just one goal last round, with a heap of names who can have a huge influence on the scoreboard, the Crocs will need to be far cleaner around the ground and make the most of their forward 50 entries. Megan Craufurd was the lone goalkicker in the Crocs camp last round, named in the best among the likes of Essie Grose and Malory Nankervis. For the Buffettes, Machaelia Roberts was hugely impactful last season before heading down to Melbourne for the AFL Women’s season, nabbed by Collingwood in the 2019 draft, while young gun Dominique Carbone and Kylie Duggan were two of the most consistent players last season making for an intriguing battle. In what is a rematch of their 2019/20 semi final, expect both teams to come out with something to prove here.

2020/21 NTFL Women’s Premier League weekly wrap – Round 1

THE opening round of the 2020 NTFL Women’s Premier League season saw a number of blowouts, with Nightcliff, St Mary’s, Pint and Waratah getting huge wins on the board. Darwin Buffettes had the first bye of the season, watching on as some intriguing matches played out to open the season with a bang. A couple of new recruits, a milestone and a loss to the reigning premiers set the tone, and more in the first of our weekly women’s league wrap.

Wanderers 2.2 (14) defeated by St Mary’s 11.11 (77)

St Mary’s opened up their season and the 2020/21 season in style with an excellent 63-point victory over the Wanderers. While the Saints had a tougher time in the final quarter registering just seven points, it was a five-goal third term that pushed the side out to their excellent lead. St Kilda VFLW’s Claudia Whitfort was named among the best alongside Williamstown recruit Ash Melnikas, with the side seeming to gel with ease despite a heap of debutants, and continuing to push throughout. For the Wanderers, it just was not their day, although a couple of goals in the second half – both to Kaitlyn Armstrong – as well as the better defensive effort in the final quarter will give the side some solid moments to build off in the coming rounds, with Sophie Armitstead and Deanna Peckham named among the best.

Pint 8.9 (57) defeated Southern Districts 1.3 (9)

A victory in Cassie Henderson’s milestone 100th match was just what the doctor ordered for Pint in an excellent 48-point victory over the reigning premiers, Southern Districts to start the season. While a great first half saw a 27-point buffer at half-time, the Queen Ants did not let up knowing the Districts’ ability to score quickly, and conceded just the one goal in an excellent outing. Amy Chittick and Jacqueline Downey booted two goals apiece while Katie Streader had the ball on a string and Jacinta Reid was a force to be reckoned with off the half back, while for the Crocs Megan Crawfurd was the lone goalkicker, named among the best alongside Essie Grose and Malory Nankervis who were relentless in their hunt for the footy. 

Nightcliff 16.14 (110) defeated Tracy Village 0.2 (2)

It was a comprehensive and altogether dominant victory from Nightcliff, with the Tigers far too strong and with everything to play for after an improved 2019. Slipping straight up to top spot and not conceding a major throughout, Nightcliff had a complete day out with nine goals in the second half alone proving they had the firepower to get the job done. Emma-Lou Wolsey booted five goals to lead the tally, while Darcy Elliston (four goals), Mickayla Ward (three) and Rose Russell (two) all made their mark. With so much firepower up forward, Tracy Village just could not keep up with the Tigers despite the continued efforts of Meagan Wylie and Sarah Wilson who were named among the best. While the Tigers’ second half was not quite as accurate, booting eight behinds, Ward, Elliston and Eliza Morrison were excellent providing firepower across the field and proved that the Tigers could be a real team to watch this season. 

Waratah 6.6 (42) defeated Palmerston Magpies 0.1 (1)

A highly defensive effort was showcased in an intriguing battle that was cut short to finish the opening round, with the Magpies’ frontend failing to fire early but defensively showcasing some great attributes. Injury early in the second half saw the match finish on a difficult note, with Magpies’ Cassie Ormsby taken high and the match ended prematurely due to an ambulance call. Newcomer Caitlin Couch kicked two goals to start her season off well, and was a handy addition to the Waratah frontline slotting in nicely as the side kicked five unanswered goals, while Tabitha May, Khani White and Ormsby were named among the best for the Magpies. While the match ended abruptly, both teams have plenty to take out of this battle while Palmerston will be glad to have a bye in Round 2 to regroup and reset ahead of the coming weeks. 

Picture: Tymunna Clements – AFLNT Media

2020/21 NTFL Women’s Premier League preview

THE 2020/21 Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Women’s league season is set to commence this weekend, with four huge matches coming up and Darwin Buffettes handed the first bye for the season. While last season saw Big River Hawks join the fray, the side will not field a team this season taking the tally back to nine teams playing across 18 rounds, with finals taking place at the end of February.  We take a look at each of the NTFL Women’s teams and what to expect of them this season.

Round 1 will see three matches played this coming Saturday with Wanderers and St Mary’s opening proceedings, before Pint has the tough task of taking on the reigning premiers in Southern Districts. Next up, Nightcliff and Tracy Village will go head to head in the only night match of the fixture, while Sunday will see Waratah take on Palmerston Magpies in an intriguing battle given the two sides finished within the top three last season. Meanwhile, Darwin Buffettes have an extra week at their disposal, with the first bye of the season.

While the Warriors were the minor premiers in season 2019/20, they were just pipped at the post by Southern Districts in the grand final. Waratah had some exciting names in the mix, with both Lauren O’Shea (24 goals) and Jenna Singh (20) among the top five goalkickers, the side struggled with bouts of inaccuracy across a number of matches which inevitably saw the Warriors have some issues when they came up against other powerful forward-lines. Nevertheless, the Warriors will have a point to prove and were not minor premiers for no reason last season, making Waratah one to watch once more. Waratah has picked up Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s duo Danica Pedersen and Eliza Straford over the off-season, bolstering the side’s stocks. 

The reigning premiers last season, Southern Districts were virtually unstoppable when they got going despite a few blips in the radar very early in the season when two wins were removed by default. That being said, there was no denying the Crocs were among the best in the competition, with leading goalkicker Ebony Miller kicking 61 majors across 17 outings – including two bags of 10 in Rounds 7 and 18. With very little going against the Districts last season, expect the Crocs to come out with a fire in the belly to replicate their premiership glory and go back-to-back. 

A highly exciting side last season, the Magpies had plenty of firepower but did not always have the consistency they needed to get the job done. With 12 wins and five losses, the Magpies were rarely out of the contest with a flurry of goal kickers at their disposal with teenagers Arthurina Moreen (36 goals in 15 games) and Freda Puruntatameri (24 in 12) among the top five for the competition but both unable to string a full season together and ultimately still young players themselves. While the Magpies had some strong competitors among the troops last season, they will need a few more of those veteran players to step up and provide a spark when the young guns are well covered. 

The Buffettes had an excellent start to the season before suffering against the top teams later but ultimately could not be underestimated with some very impressive youngsters among them last season. Another high firepower team, the Buffs put on some outstanding showings and, as a confidence side, managed an excellent winning rate once they got one on the board, stringing along consistent victories. The Buffettes very rarely faltered but when they did it was when it was least expected, meaning the side will want to lift that intensity and consistency to fire as much against the lower teams as the top ranked sides this season. 

After a number of years at the bottom of the ladder, 2019/20 was Nightcliff’s season coming in at fifth on the ladder and coming away with a stellar nine wins and eight losses. While the side lost in the elimination final to the Buffettes, it was full credit to Nightcliff to making it to finals for the first time and showcasing some real up and coming talent in the side which helped lead them to victory. While they had a couple of shaky showings early in the season against the top sides, and some sloppy outings at the midway point, Nightcliff really hit their stride once they realised a potential finals berth was coming. They were strong competitors in just about every match bar a frustrating fixture which saw significant back-to-back losses in Rounds 16 and 17 against the top four Buffettes and Magpies. 

A finals berth and subsequent semi-final last season is sure to put a bit of confidence into the Pint side heading into this season, with the Queen Ants challenging a few sides and, like many teams, only really coming off second best to the top teams. Even then, Pint continuously built in confidence to provide a chance at finals, making it through the elimination round despite all fingers pointing the other way and their great season was nipped in the bud by Waratah. Pint has picked up Williamstown’s Jacinta Reid to join a quartet of ex-Waratah names on their new-look list, with Amy Chittick, Gemma Cusack, Maddi Gissing and Bec Pryer all joining the Queen Ants in what could be a huge chance for the side to go one step further in 2020/21. 

A solid season from the Wanderers saw them sit for much of the season in the middle of the mid-table logjam, and while they lost four of their last five matches, it was overall a competitive season from the Wanderers who were rarely defeated easily. While two of their wins came by default, the Wanderers consistently put competitive scorelines on the board and were fairly accurate at that, especially in the latter stage of the season when they tightened up out the front. That being said, improvements can be made in their ability to compete and really contest against the top sides, so will hope to put up a challenge this season to break through to finals contention, having just missed out by default given Pint’s draw with the Buffettes saw the Queen Ants steal sixth spot.

Inconsistency plagued St Mary’s in 2019/20,  with a couple of impressive showings really challenging the top teams but then struggling other rounds in what could have been achievable wins. Like many other teams, St Mary’s did not cope well defensively when there were multiple forward targets within the opposition’s forward-line, making it tough for the side to stay in touch. That being said, St Mary’s were able to keep the scorelines relatively low throughout most of their effort – apart from the top teams – and almost always responded well on the scoreboard. St Mary’s is another team that has picked up a couple of Victorian players, with Williamstown pair Megan Williamson and Ash Melnikas and St Kilda AFL Women’s talent Claudia Whitfort joining the fray.

It is safe to say that season 2019/20 was a rough one for Tracy Village, with just two wins on the board – both technically against Big River Hawks, with the latter in Round 12 a win by default when the Hawks forfeited. Realistically, the Razorbacks just lacked the firepower out front to really challenge teams and struggled to compete against the top teams that had multiple targets up forward. This season will likely be another of rebuilding, and given the side suffered with inaccuracy inside 50 with 23 goals and 40 behinds for the season, they will want to adjust that ratio to challenge teams a bit more.