Tag: bella clarke

Southern Districts rewrite history with Grand Final win over Waratah

A THREE goal final quarter saw the Southern Districts defeat Waratah in the 2019/20 Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Women’s Premier League Grand Final on Saturday afternoon, with the Districts reigning supreme in their inaugural grand final victory, 6.3 (39) to 3.3 (21). A dominant finals series saw the Southern Districts come in favourites over Waratah, and while their first grand final victory did not come easy, neither did the Districts, contesting at every opportunity. 

SOUTHERN DISTRICTS 1.1 | 2.1 | 3.2 | 6.3 (39)
WARATAH 0.2 | 1.2 | 3.3 | 3.3 (21)

GOALS

Southern Districts: G. Mulvahil 2, E. Miller, B. Clarke, K. Patterson, M. Derschow
Waratah: M. Yarran, L. O’Shea, S. Nalder

While the Crocs came out on top every other time they played the Warriors during the 2019/20 season, Waratah came out firing with pressure on every ball making it tough for Districts to find much purchase early, peppering the scoreboard with behinds. Jenna Singh was on song early through the midfield, with her persistent pressure creating opportunities for the ‘Tahs. An inside 50 from Singh almost saw Waratah boot the opening goal with a nice crumb and chase from Breanna Martin but Rhiannon Busch was on the prowl, smothering a certain goal. Districts clapped back immediately with a play down the guts, with young-gun 16-year-old Grace Mulvahil bringing the ball to ground and shepherding her player to open up space for leading goalkicker Ebony Miller, booting the opening goal of the match. 

Mulvahil continued her dominant ways in the second, booting her first of two for the day and proving a crucial member of the Districts lineup. While Waratah continued to trail, a valuable goal to Lauren O’Shea opened up the match giving the side a boost heading into half time. The Warriors were quick to get going after the main break, ready to give Districts a run for their money after a sloppy first half. A tackle inside 50 from Amy Chittick set up an impressive forward foray from the Warriors with speedster Madison Yarran crumbing well and kicking towards goal, with Simone Nalder’s good positioning and clean hands at the end of it on the goal line, playing on quickly to see Waratah take a one-point lead, and their first lead for the match.

The see-sawing affair saw Mulvahil kick a beauty to take back the lead, with the youngster rewarded for backing up her efforts further up the ground, tackling well and proving her dominance even on the big stage. A goal from Yarran not long after put Waratah back in front, with the classy forward showing some terrific skill with an around the corner snap on goal hitting the target perfectly. Yarran’s goal saw Waratah’s scoring well and truly dry up however, taking a one-point lead into the final term but unable to apply scoreboard pressure in the final term. 

Despite going into the last quarter down by one point, Districts all but ran away with it, booting three goals – one each to Bella Clarke, Kelsey Patterson and Mickaela Derschow – and running circles around Waratah’s defence which had held up well early but was unable to hold up against the Crocs onslaught. Despite the loss, Waratah’s excitement machines in Lisa Roberts, Yarran and Chittick held up well with the side’s composure and persistence on the ground ball proving why the Warriors were so dominant this season. 

Young-gun, Mulvahil was awarded the Williams Medal for the Best On Ground, also picking up the 2019/20 Women’s Rising Star Award for her efforts this season. Miller’s first quarter goal cemented a massive season for the key-position-player, nabbing the Women’s Leading Goalkicker Award for her efforts with 59 goals this season while Roberts won her second Gwynne Medal, picking up a record breaking 37 votes thanks to her ability to impact the contest anywhere around the field.

NTFL Women’s Premier League wrap: Semi-finals – Top two advance to big dance

THE top two-ranked Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Women’s Premier League regular season sides won through to the grand final on the weekend, with reigning premier Waratah set to once again do battle with Southern Districts in the decider. Both sides were made to earn their spot in semi finals decided by a combined 14 points, as each challenger proved worthy in the 2019/20 post-season.

WARATAH 4.2 | 4.4 | 5.6 | 5.7 (37)
PINT 0.1 | 2.4 | 2.5 | 4.5 (29)

GOALS:

Waratah: S. Nalder 2, M. Yarran, L. O’Shea, J. Singh.
Pint: J. Baumer 2, R. Fecht , E. Pechey.

BEST:

Waratah: N/A
Pint: N/A

Benchmark side, Waratah qualified for an incredible eighth-straight grand final after holding on to beat a pesky Pint outfit by eight points at TIO Stadium. The Warriors managed to pick up the pieces from their qualifying final loss to Southern Districts in the previous week, storming out of the blocks to set up the win and a deserved shot at the premiership cup. Four goals to nil in the opening term ensured the reigning premiers looked ominous against the sixth-ranked Queenants, but to the underdogs’ credit, they were not going to fold that easily. Pint enacted the first momentum shift with a two-goal to nil second quarter to keep touch with the ‘Tahs, before the winners again turned the tide after half-time to extend their advantage. In the last chance saloon, Pint only just fell short of a remarkable turnaround, with its two-goal final term not enough to trim the 19-point three-quarter time margin. All of the key Waratah goalkickers made an impact, with Sue Nalder booting an equal game-high two majors to lead Lauren O’Shea, Madison Yarran, and Calder Cannons listed Jenna Singh on the scoresheet. Pint leading goalkicker Jessie Baumer claimed two of her own to end her season on a positive note, with Rhiannon Fecht and Erin Pechey also getting among the scoring action. Getting so close to the long-time competition champion is no mean feat for Pint, and the Queenants edged closer and closer to the Warriors with each game against them this season – which should put them in good stead for 2020-21. For Waratah, the chance to again go back-to-back-to-back looms, but a well-poised Southern Districts stands in its way for the second time in as many years.

SOUTHERN DISTRICTS 2.0 | 4.1 | 5.2 | 6.4 (40)
DARWIN BUFFETTES 2.0 | 2.3 | 3.4 | 5.4 (34)

GOALS:

Southern Districts: G. Mulvahil 2, E. Miller, B. Clarke, A. Lewis, S. Hoogeveen-Hill.
Darwin: M. Ellis 2, D. Ah Wang 2, K. Duggan.

BEST:

Southern Districts: B. Clarke, M. Moussa, G. Stiles, E. Miller, G. Mulvahil
Darwin: N/A

Southern Districts earned a chance at redemption for last year’s grand final loss with its six-point semi final win over Darwin in a TIO Stadium thriller. Much like Waratah was made to do in its semi final triumph, the Crocs had to work to withstand a late flurry from their lower-ranked opponent. Earlier, Districts shook off the persistent Buffs after the two sides entered the first break level at two goals apiece, opening up a handy 10-point buffer at the main break. Another even term followed, with the Buffettes at bay but still just within touch of Districts heading into the final quarter. Again, in the same vein as the first semi final, Darwin’s two-goal term could only set them just short of an unlikely comeback but provided great drama for the neutral. Goals from Delsey Ah Wang helped keep the Buffettes within striking distance early, but the Crocs’ depth of scoring options proved overwhelming in the end. Grace Mulvahil was Districts’ sole multiple goal kicker, providing good fold for competition leading goalkicker Ebony Miller, who was held to just one major. Bella Clarke was the other player named among the best to have also found the big sticks, with Darwin’s prime movers unable to have the same impact in front of goal. The win sees Southern Districts get a second crack at Waratah, and the Crocs have already beaten their main rival this finals series so should come in with serious confidence. For Darwin, a promising season fell off toward the end but provided a bunch of highlights from some seriously talented individuals across the field.

NTFL Women’s Premier League: Week 2 Finals – Grand Final on the line for remaining four sides

IN the penultimate weekend of the Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Women’s Premier League competition, the final four teams remain to battle it out in the semi-finals for spots in the 2019/20 Grand Final.

WARATAH vs. PINT
Saturday, February 29, 12.30pm
TIO Stadium

It is remarkable to think that this semi-final is even occurring with the top ranked side and most dominant team of the NTFL Women’s Premier League taking on the sixth ranked side lucky to make it into the finals, but putting in a performance to remember last weekend. Waratah had only dropped two games heading into the finals series, but having lost during the season to their eventual conquerors – Southern Districts –  in that time, it was a repeat dose for the reigning premiers. Luckily, and somewhat ironically, losing the game has actually benefited the ‘Tahs given Pint upset Palmerston Magpies in the elimination final. While the system in place is designed for the highest ranked sides to win and therefore the loser of the qualifying final to play third, the upset meant they face a team with eight less wins than them during the season. To be fair to Pint, the last time these sides faced off, the Queen Ants did push Waratah to only go down by 14 points at Gardens Oval. Earlier in the season at the same venue, Waratah won much more comfortably to the tune of 39 points. The ‘Tahs head into the clash with a six-game winning streak prior to the loss to the Crocs last weekend, while Pint had won its past two games since the bye, downing finalists Darwin and Palmerston in successive weeks. Last week, Jessie Baumer was the hero for Pint, booting four goals in a low-scoring two-point win over the Magpies. It was the fast start that got the Queen Ants going, and Katie Streader, Ellie Ryan and Jacqueline Downey all hit the scoreboard in the win. For Waratah, Lisa Roberts is near-unstoppable at her best, booting 20 goals from 18 games and was named amongst the best 11 times. Lauren O’Shea (22 goals from 14 games) and Jenna Singh (19 from 16) have also been impressive, while Rebecca Pryer has been a standout in the back half of the ground with eight times in the best from 16 games. Waratah would be overwhelming favourites to continue its trend of making a grand final every single year, but Pint works well with a backs-against-the-wall approach.

SOUTHERN DISTRICTS vs. DARWIN BUFFETTES
Saturday, February 29, 2.30pm
TIO Stadium

In the second game of the day, Southern Districts would be somewhat fuming it has to take on a highly talented Darwin Buffettes side. The Buffs’ could well have snuck into third had it not been for a a shock loss to Pint in the last round of the season, but have been shaky in the lead-up to the finals series, dropping games to not only the Queen Ants, but Waratah and Nightcliff in the last month too. The one positive for the Buffettes is the last time these sides faced off, Darwin won by seven points at TIO Stadium, three less than its 10-point win over the Crocs back in Round 4. So unfortunately for the Crocs, they have to find a way to beat their bogey side. In saying that, coming fresh off an impressive win over Waratah is always good for the confidence and had it not been for early forfeits through extra players, the Crocs could have been competing for the minor premiership. The firepower on the Crocs’ side is undeniable with Ebony Miller leading all-comers with 60 snags from 15 games. But after Miller, just one player – Kelsey Patterson – has booted double-figure goals, while Grace Mulvahil is one major away from reaching that feat. Tahlia Holtze has been the standout player this season, while April Lewis and Bella Clarke have also been impressive for the second placed side in 2019/20. For the Buffettes, youngster Tayla Hart-Aluni has slotted a team-high 17 goals at an average of a goal a game and would be one of a number of contenders for the best and fairest. She along with fellow youngster Dominique Carbone, and Kylie Duggan have all been named in the best nine times, while Jemma Iacono has been named in the best seven times. Having lost their best player Machaelia Roberts mid-season to the AFL Women’s competition, the Buffettes have done well to maintain a spot in finals, and will be hoping to defeat the Crocs for a second time here. Southern Districts will start favourites despite the history, though a lot relies on Miller getting good supply up forward.

NTFL Women’s Premier League: Week 1 Finals – Crocs look to recreate Waratah upset as four teams face elimination

AFTER a long season in the Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Women’s Premier League, just six teams remain in the competition, with back-to-back premiers Waratah favourites, though they face a team that has toppled them twice. Darwin and Nightcliff have beaten the top two teams at different points, while Palmerston have the depth to challenge any team and Pint will relish the underdog status.

PALMERSTON MAGPIES vs. PINT
Elimination Final 2
Saturday, February 2, 12.30pm
TIO Stadium

Opening up a huge day at TIO Stadium from the Women’s Premier League perspective, third placed Palmerston Magpies go head-to-head with sixth placed Pint. The Queen Ants only just squeezed into the finals on percentage, having won one less game than the seventh placed Wanderers, but drew one and benefited from Big River Hawks’ being removed from the league to earn the rights to sixth spot. The lower ranked side comes win with some solid form, having won three of its last four games, albeit two of those wins came against teams not in the top six. The Queen Ants’ victory against Darwin Buffettes last week would give them confidence heading into this encounter, considering the last time these sides faced, it ended up a 39-point win to the Magpies. In their Round 1 encounter, Palmerston also got up, but by just two points on the same ground. The Magpies also enter the game on the back of some strong form, smashing fifth placed Nightcliff by 48 points, pummelling St Mary’s by 142, and then comfortably keeping Wanderers out of the finals race with a 36-point victory in Round 18. Heading into this do-or-die elimination final, Pint will hope to repeat the upset win over Darwin last week, which saw Kristen Smits and Jessie Baumer both boot two goals in the 6.7 (43) to 3.1 (19) triumph. With star player, Jasmyn Hewett now back in the AFL Women’s the Queen Ants have relied upon their next tier of players to stand up. Among those who could be ones to watch in the upcoming match are Erin Hetherington and Amy Pennefather, while Jacqueline Downey also hit the scoreboard last week, her ninth goal from 14 games. For the Magpies, they have a stacked team that can challenge anyone on their day, but also need a bit of luck to take down the top two sides. Billie Byers has been the star through the season, named in the best 11 times from 16 games, while Iesha Ronberg and Janet Baird are also impressive talents. Led by a host of teenagers in Arthurina Moreen (36 goals) and Freda Puruntatameri (24) – who will play for Calder Cannons in the NAB League Girls competition this season – they will look to use all the firepower they can to knock Pint out of contention and move themselves one win away from a Grand Final place.

DARWIN BUFFETTES vs. NIGHTCLIFF
Elimination Final 1
Saturday, February 22, 2.30pm
TIO Oval No. 2

Darwin will be kicking itself after its loss last week to Pint, robbing the Buffettes of third spot and a guaranteed chance at a Grand Final spot with a win in the elimination final. The Buffettes can still set up a likely clash with Waratah if they win, but need the Queen Ants to cause an upset in the other semi-final to ensure the state’s capital side is the highest ranked elimination final winner. It will not be an easy feat against Nightcliff however, with the Tigers only finishing a couple of wins behind, though granted their percentage was the worst of any side in the top six, and the only team under 100 per cent. These teams both come into this clash with less-than-ideal form, having lost their last two. The most recent win for Nightcliff – who had a bye in Round 18 last week – came against Darwin back in Round 15, when they booted 4.6 (30) to the Buffettes’ 4.3 (27). There was not much in the game, and it turned the tables on the two teams’ earlier result which saw the Buffettes run away with a 31-point victory after restricting the Tigers to just one goal in the match back in Round 5. Nightcliff has a couple of players who have been ultra-consistent throughout the season, with Eliza Morrison and Emma-Lou Wolsey both named among their side’s best on 11 occasions. VFL Women’s Grand Final captain, Western Bulldogs’ Mickayla Ward has also been a welcome addition to the NTFL Women’s Premier League, booting 11 goals from 10 games and named in the best on seven occasions. Laura De Hommel and Shantel Miskin-Ripia are other talents who have been consistent performers throughout the 2019/20 season. The Buffettes have an array of depth across their team, with youngster Dominique Carbone really taking her game to the next level this season, combining with fellow teenager, Tayla Hart-Aluni and the experienced Kylie Duggan across the ground. Hart-Aluni leads the side’s goalkicking with 17 majors from 16 games, while Delsey Ah Wang has a goal a game from 13 matches. Throw in the likes of Jemma Iacono and Bianca Stokes, and the Buffettes have such a strong side that they will be keen to take the next step and bounce back from back-to-back losses with a win in the elimination final.

WARATAH vs. SOUTHERN DISTRICTS
Qualifying Final
Saturday, February 22, 2.30pm
TIO Stadium

Whilst the elimination final between the Buffettes and Tigers takes place on TIO Oval No 2, the all-important qualifying final clash between Waratah and Southern Districts follows on from the Palmerston-Pint elimination final match on TIO Stadium. These sides are no stranger to going deep in the finals series, playing off in last year’s decider. While it was the Crocs’ first grand final in the competition, the ‘Tahs have been the dominant side of the past decade. Since the 2012/13 season, Waratah has won six of a possible seven flags, often with comfortable margins in the Grand Final. They have dropped just the one decider – to Darwin in 2016/17, where they went down in a shock 18-point defeat. Now heading for a three peat and seven from a possible eight, the minor premiers will be hard to stop in this game. If there is a side to do it, then it is arguably the Crocs who have inflicted two defeats against the top side, though one of those was reversed back in Round 1 for having two extra players on the bench. They copped it back-to-back for the same offence in the opening two Rounds, so despite winning those games, two of the Crocs’ five losses have come from forfeits. The other three have come against Darwin twice – who appear to be the Crocs’ danger side – and Nightcliff by two points. For Waratah, the loss to Southern Districts in Round 11 will be fresh in the minor premiers’ mind, but so will the defeat to the Tigers a week later in what was a forgettable fortnight. Given that the Crocs completely outplayed them in Round 1 even with the extra couple of rotations, Waratah would be well aware of just how dangerous this game is. They come in off the back of an easy 100-point win over Tracy Village, but challenging contests against Darwin and Pint in the lead-up to that final round clash will have hardened the team for battle here. Both of these teams have plenty of stars running around, with Lisa Roberts arguably the standout player in the top side, having been named in the best 10 times from 17 games and booting 20 goals in that time. Rebecca Pryer is also a consistent player, while Claudia Fabris and Isabella Rapson-Staropoli have well supported them at the top-end. Lauren O’Shea (21 goals) leads the team’s goalkicking, while Jenna Singh (19) makes it three players with a combined 60 goals between them. The key for Waratah will be to stop goalkicking machine, Ebony Miller who has simply been unstoppable this season for the Crocs, booting 59 goals from 14 games. The next highest goal kicker for Southern Districts is Kelsey Patterson with 10, meaning if Miller can be stopped, so too can the Crocs. With three bags of 10 – granted against the bottom three sides – Evans certainly padded her total, but still managed to kick multiple goals in every game bar two this season. From the team perspective, Tahlia Holtze and April Lewis are aiming the consistently strong players, as are young guns, Bella Clarke and Lateesha Jeffrey and Mattea Breed, with Clarke and Breed now running out in the SANFL Women’s competition which has begun. Waratah will start favourites, but Southern Districts have the recipe to win, which makes this a tantalising contest.

NTFL Women’s Premier League: Round 17 – Magpies and Wanderers flex muscles

ROUND 17 of the Northern Territory Football League Women’s (NTFLW) marked another mixed bag of results with two blowout games and a tight battle between one and two on the ladder. There were plenty of stellar individual performances in front of goal with two players finishing the round with seven and eight goals respectively.

PALMERSTON MAGPIES 5.4 | 11.7 | 17.11 | 21.16 (142)
ST MARYS 0.0 | 0.0 | 0.0 | 0.0 (0)

GOALS:

Magpies: F. Puruntatameri 8, A. Moreen 3, J. Brock 3, N. Medbury 3, M. Brown 2, L. Motlap, T. May.
St Mary’s: N/A.

BESTS:

Magpies: F. Puruntatameri, J. Brock, B. Joran, T. May, B. Byers, J. Baird
St Mary’s: N/A

The Palmerston Magpies were in complete control from the get-go and kept their foot on the throat throughout all four quarters, ultimately pummelling the lowly Saints. The Magpies were simply unstoppable beating St Mary’s at every contest and most importantly capitalising on their opportunities despite kicking 16 behinds. Their physical pressure was intense, blocking the Saints’ every opportunity to push forward and using their attacking play to run rampant and continuously pepper the goals. Freda Puruntatameri was in a league of her own inside forward 50 for the Magpies, finding the big sticks with ease to walk away with an eight-goal haul and take her season tally to 24 goals, while Arthurina Moreen showcased her goal sense in bagging three majors. Moreen was not alone with Jessie Brock and Natasha Medbury also nailing three goals apiece to rub insult into wounds. St Mary’s failed to register a single point such was the Magpies’ pressure and hunt on the footy. Tabitha May and Janet Baird were prominent across the board for the Magpies consistently finding the pill and using it to full effect while St Mary’s duo Rachel Ponter and Sharna Edwards were consistent despite the thumping.

NIGHTCLIFF 0.0 | 0.1 | 0.1 | 0.4 (4)
SOUTHERN DISTRICTS 1.5 | 3.7 | 6.9 | 7.10 (52)

GOALS:

Nightcliff: N/A/
Southern Districts: E. Miller 2, B. Clarke 2, T. Holtze, G. Mulvahil, A. Lewis.

BESTS:

Nightcliff: L. de Hommel, E. Wolsey, K. Hill-Carter
Southern Districts: L. Jeffrey, M. Nankervis, B. Clarke, T. Holtze, R. Busch

The clash between fourth and fifth did not live up to the hype with the Southern Districts making light work of Nightcliff and rendering them goalless. Although it was a slow start for Districts they steadily built into the game but were plagued by inaccuracy, recording more points than goals (7.10). But that did not seem to deter the outcome with the Districts running out quite comfortably against Nightcliff who simply could not get going. Nightcliff did not manage a score in the opening term credit to Southern Districts’ extreme pressure which they applied throughout the match. Ebony Miller led from the front once again for Southern Districts finding the big sticks and converting, finishing with two goals to her name while Bella Clarke also troubled the scorers with two majors to her name. Grace Mulvahil returned to the goal kickers list in her sides’ win while Tahlia Holtze also nailed a goal in what was a complete performance by Districts. Although they struggled to get on the scoreboard, the trio of Laura De Hommel, Emma-Lou Wolsey and Kirra Hill-Carter worked tirelessly to add some respectability to the outcome of the game.

WANDERERS 6.5 | 10.8 | 14.12 | 20.18 (138)
TRACY VILLAGE 0.0 | 1.0 | 1.0 | 1.1 (7)

GOALS:

Wanderers: T. Davern 7, J. Chevalier 3, P. Koulakis 2, I. Schober, A. Lee, K. De Satge.
Tracy Village: N/A.

BESTS:

Wanderers: S. Mauboy, T. Davern, S. De Satge, D. Peckham, P. Koulakis
Tracy Village: N/A

Wanderers trounced the out of-form Tracy Village with a whopping 131-point victory. The Eagles got off to a flying start piling on six goals in the opening term – the equal highest of the game – showcasing their ability to turn and just go bang. Tracy Village struggled to find any synergy across the field credit to Wanderers’ pressure and strength around the coal face to win the ball and bomb it forward. Tishara Davern was in blistering form with the 19-year-old lighting it up in front of goal with seven majors. Davern gobbled up anything that came her way inside forward 50 while Jaylene Chevalier made her presence felt with three goals and Pierre-Angelique Koulakis also hit the scoreboard with two majors of her own. Keyona De Satge and Sophie Mauboy showed their worth being named in the bests for their efforts for Wanderers. In what has been a trying season for Tracy Village Lisa-Maree Toner and Zhoe Clarke notched up their 16th game of the season to highlight their durability, reliability and consistency.

DARWIN BUFFETTES 0.0 | 0.2 | 1.4 | 3.4 (22)
WARATAH 1.1 | 2.2 | 2.5 | 4.6 (30)

GOALS:

Darwin Buffettes: T. Hart-Aluni 2, J. Iacono.
Waratah: M. Yarran 2, M. Hunter, L. O”Shea.

BESTS:

Darwin Buffettes: B. Stokes, M. Turner, D. Carbone, J. Iacono, T. Hart-Aluni
Waratah: L. Roberts, S. Nalder, G. Cusack, M. Gault, P. Cox

The top of the table clash brought plenty of excitement with only eight points separating the teams at the final siren. Waratah drew on every bit of class and composure in the dying stages of the game to prevail and really stamp their authority on the competition heading into finals. The Buffettes struggled to get on the board early, going scoreless in the first quarter but a fourth quarter comeback almost gifted them that all-elusive win against the top of the table Waratah. Youngster Tayla Hart-Aluni led the way in attack for the Buffettes slotting two timely goals to keep her side in the hunt while Jemma Iacono also played her role in the attacking 50 with a major. Dominique Carbone continues to get better as time goes on for the ‘Tahs while Meredith Turner was named in the best for the second time in three weeks highlighting her hot form. Despite their best efforts the Warriors seemed to have all the answers with Madison Yarran doing damage on the scoreboard with two goals, while Lauren O’Shea and Monet Hunter also chipped in to get their side over the line. Sue Nalder backed up her strong performance from last week with another solid outing while Pippa Cox made her presence felt for Waratah.

BYE: Pint

NTFL Women’s Premier League wrap: Round 13 – Tigers, Buffettes win tight as Magpies, Tahs produce smashings

IT was another round of ladder defining games in the Northern Territory Football League Women’s (NTFLW) with Southern District dropping their clash against Darwin Buffettes. Round 13 also saw a host of close matches paired with a couple of blowouts highlighting the variety of competition within the league. For a second week in a row the Big River Hawks forfeited gifting the Wanderers a win to cap off an exciting round of action.

PINT 2.0 | 4.0 | 4.0 | 4.0 (24)
NIGHTCLIFF 2.0 | 2.1 | 4.3 | 4.4 (28)

GOALS:
Pint: J. Baksh, R. Fecht , J. Baumer, E. Pechey.
Nightcliff: J. Steppacher, J. Anyon-Smith, E. Wolsey, S. Politis.

BESTS:
Pint: N/A
Nightcliff: E. Morrison, M. Ward, H. Turnbull

It was a tantalising battle between Pint and Nightcliff with the two sides going toe to toe for the entirety of the match. Pint looked to have got the jump on the away side in the second quarter establishing an 11-point lead before Nightcliff wrestled momentum back in the third to hold a three-point buffer heading into the final change. Despite neither side registering a major in the fourth quarter Nightcliff did enough to secure their seventh win of the year and create a two game gap between seventh while sitting one game out of the top four. Pint failed to score after half time credit to the increased pressure applied by Nightcliff. Jacqueline Anyon-Smith hit the scoreboard for Nightcliff while Jessica Steppacher booted another major in her sides win. Emma-Lou Wolsey continued her purple patch of form once again finding the scoreboard while the likes of Eliza Morrison and Mickayla Ward were named in the bests credit to their efforts against Pint. It was a tough loss for the seventh placed Pint who were looking to leapfrog their opponents, but despite the loss Rhiannon Fetch and Jessie Baumer played their role contributing to their overall score.

WARATAH 2.1 | 3.2 | 5.4 | 11.4 (70)
ST MARY’S 1.1 | 1.1 | 1.4 | 4.6 (30)

GOALS:
Waratah: J. Singh 3, T. O”Hehir 2, S. Nalder 2, T. Cunningham 2, B. Martin, M. Cooper.
St Mary’s: N/A.

BESTS:
Waratah: L. Roberts, M. Cooper, P. Cox, C. Fabris, R. Pryer
St Mary’s: N/A

Despite the relatively even start to the game, Waratah blew their opponents away in the last term piling on a whopping 36 points to stamp their authority on the competition. Waratah held the lead from the get go with St Mary’s forced into chase position early and ultimately unable to peg the margin back. The Tah’s were accurate in front of goal making the most of their opportunities and most importantly sharing the load around highlighting their plethora of options inside forward 50. Jenna Singh has hit the scoreboard in her previous two outings and did not disappoint, once again contributing three goals. Her efforts were rivalled by teammates Tarryn O’Hehir and Sue Nalder who both slotted two goals. Meanwhile Timaya Cunningham continued her hot form from the previous round booting two goals to get her side well and truly over the line. Rebecca Pryer worked tirelessly while Lisa Roberts was consistent as ever named in the bests once again proving just how crucial she is to Waratah’s line-up. St Mary’s struggled to combat the power of Waratah but the likes of Aaliyah Bailey stood tall while Rachel and Shannon Ponter the sister of Adelaide’s Danielle Ponter also left their mark on the game.

TRACY VILLAGE 0.3 | 0.4 | 1.4 | 1.4 (10)
PALMERSTON MAGPIES 3.2 | 5.8 | 8.12 | 13.15 (93)

GOALS:
Tracy Village: N/A.
Palmerston Magpies: A. Moreen 5, F. Puruntatameri 3, A. Seubert 2, I. Ronberg, T. Jeffrey, N. Medbury.

BESTS:
Tracy Village: N/A
Palmerston Magpies: B. Byers, T. Jeffrey, A. Moreen, F. Puruntatameri, I. Ronberg, G. Garling

The Magpies put on a dominant display against Tracy Village who simply could not match their opponents going down by 83-points. Tracy only scored one goal after half time adding salt into their wounds as the Magpies went on to add 55 points to their end total highlighting their convincing performance. It was always going to be a difficult task for the ninth placed Tracy Village up against the higher ranked Magpies and it showed with Palmerston capitalising on their opportunities despite being a bit wayward in front of goal. The Magpies were led by Arthurina Morren who booted five goals taking her tally to 10 in the past three rounds while Freda Puruntatameri proved she was no slouch winning plenty of the ball and converting three majors. The goal scoring options were endless with Alisha Seubert bagging two in her first game and Iesha Ronberg also inflicting scoreboard pain to make it a complete effort by the Magpies heading into the final stretch of the home and away season. Bonnie McDougall notched up her 11 game for the season while Lisa-Maree Toner made her presence felt in her sides crushing loss.

DARWIN BUFFETTES 4.0 |6.1 |6.1 |8.2 (50)
SOUTHERN DISTRICT 1.4 | 2.5 |4.6 |6.7 (43)

GOALS:
Darwin Buffettes: E. Miller 3, M. Breed, M. Moussa, A. Lewis.
Southern District: N/A.

BESTS:
Darwin Buffettes:  B. Hayne, B. Clarke, T. Holtze, M. Breed, D. Lee-Feeney
Southern District: N/A

The clash of second versus fourth lived up to the hype with the game going down to the wire in the final game of the round. In the end, it was the higher placed Darwin Buffettes that prevailed against Southern District credit to their increased accuracy in front of goal. District will be ruing their missed opportunities peppering the goals but unable to hit the maximum. The Buffettes had control of the match from the very beginning skipping out a 14-point lead in the opening term before gradually extending it at half time. But District was not going to lie down mounting a comeback after half time to get within seven, the eventual losing margin. Ebony Miller has been unstoppable in the forward 50 for Southern District in recent weeks and this game was no different booting another three goals while youngster Mattea Breed also showcased her skills across the board nailing a major and being named in the bests. Maria Moussa and April Lewis also got in on the scoring action with one goal apiece but their efforts were not enough to push their side over the line. For a third week in a row Bella Clarke put her best foot forward earning a mention in the bests while Tahlia Holtze plied her trade. With yet another win under their belts the Buffettes will be able to sleep easy with the likes of Tayla Hart-Aluni, Dominque Carbone and Kylie Duggan all working tirelessly and using their skill to have an impact.

NTFL Women’s Premier League weekend preview: Round 5

A top four clash and some mid-table battles are among the games this weekend in Round 5 of the Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Women’s Premier League.

PINT vs. ST MARY’S
Saturday, November 2, 12.30pm
TIO Oval No. 2

In what could be a mid-table clash with ramifications for finals spots early in the season, the sixth placed Pint host the eighth placed St Mary’s at TIO Oval, No. 2. The sides are coming off very different results last week which makes up the one-win difference between the sides, following St Mary’s heavy 45-point loss at the hands of reigning premiers, Waratah, while Pint got up on the road with a 29-point victory over Nightcliff. The Saints’ Round 4 loss marked three consecutive defeats since their thrashing win over Big River Hawks in Round 1. Danielle Ponter is a key player for the Saints, having brought all of her experience from Adelaide’s AFL Women’s program, while Aailyah Bailey and Nikita Long have been among the able to get some consistency into the team. Pint has had a yo-yo start to the season, with two big wins, a heavy loss to Southern Districts, and a heartbreaking defeat at the hands of Palmerston Magpies in Round 1. Adelaide’s Jasmyn Hewett let loose last week to boot three of her team’s seven goals in the victory, while Emma Greaves and Kristen Smits have also been sources of scoring in the opening rounds of the season. Pint goes in as favourite for this clash as it looks to stay in touch with the top four, while St Mary’s needs to win in order to maintain a place in the mid-table logjam and not fall too far behind.

DARWIN BUFFETTES vs. NIGHTCLIFF
Saturday, November 2, 12.30pm
TIO Stadium

The team to beat this season thus far is the Buffettes, with Darwin yet to lose in season 2019/20, sitting a win and a massive percentage clear of Waratah and Wanderers. The last two weeks have brought the Buffettes back to reality despite getting away with the points, defeating Palmerston Magpies (five points) and Southern Districts (10 points) after combined wins of 250 points in the opening two rounds against Tracy Village and Big River Hawks. Tikesa Docherty-Cole booted bags of four and three in her two games this season, while Machaelia Roberts was a massive talent but will be missed when she relocates to Victoria to play with Collingwood following being drafted into the AFL Women’s. Young talents, Dominique Carbone and Tayla Hart-Aluni have also been key to the Buffettes’ success thus far, booting three goals in four games each. On the other hand, Nightcliff has lost its past two games, smashed by Waratah (41 points) and then going down to Pint (29 points) after wins over Wanderers – the only team to do so thus far – and St Mary’s in the opening two rounds. Emma-Lou Wolsey and Laura De Hommel have been named among the best on every occasion, while Shantel Miskin-Ripia has only played a couple of games, but booted six goals, including four on one occasion. The Tigers will be keen to measure up against the ladder leaders in this game.

TRACY VILLAGE vs. SOUTHERN DISTRICTS
Saturday, November 2, 2.30pm
TIO Oval No. 2

Ninth placed Tracy Village will hope to bounce back from what has been an undesirable start to the season, losing three of the first four games by a combined 299 points. Luckily for the Razorbacks they managed to hold off newcomers, Big River Hawks by five points to grab a victory, but Southern Districts will be a tougher assignment in Round 5. The Razorbacks have had quite a number of players already pulling on the jumper this season, with the likes of Gabrielle Young, Tara Everett and Alexandra Biggs among the best, while Nickesha Jones is averaging a goal a game. The Crocs sit at 2-2, but one was a loss to Wanderers which was reversed after having an extra player on game day. Last week the Crocs took it right up to the Buffettes, going down by 10 points but showing they are every bit a finals contender. In 2019/20, Ebony Miller has booted eight goals in four games, with a game-high five goals to be a real influence up forward, while the youth of Mattea Breed and Bella Clarke has provided great enthusiasm throughout the season to-date. Southern Districts should win the game, but stranger things have happened.

PALMERSTON MAGPIES vs. BIG RIVER HAWKS
Saturday, November 2, 3pm
Palmerston Oval

Palmerston Magpies sit ahead of the bell curve in fourth, but are only marginally ahead of their nearest rivals, so a win here is non-negotiable against the struggling new side in Big River Hawks. The Magpies are competitive in every game, with the first three rounds decided by two, 10 and five points respectively, however the Magpies have gone down in two of those matches. The last time out in Round 4 was a different story, with a thumping 20-goal win over Tracy Village stamping the visiting side’s authority on the competition. A win here could also see them move to third with second placed Waratah and third placed Wanderers going head-to-head. Arthurina Moreen has been the hero up forward for the Magpies, booting seven goals in four games, five of which came last week. Janet Baird and Taylah Williams are among others who have enjoyed strong starts to the season thus far in the black and white. For the Big River Hawks, there has not been much joy this season, but one positive is the games are getting closer, with two smashings in the opening two rounds combining for a losing margin of 191 points. In the last two rounds, the losses totalled 25 points. Crystal Browne and Deanna Peckham have played every game this season and provided good support, while Jayde De La Couer has been strong in the forward half. Palmerston would be heavy favourites to take out this game.

WARATAH vs. WANDERERS
Sunday, November 3
Gardens Oval

After a shock loss in Round 1 to Southern Districts, reigning premiers Waratah have got back to business as usual in the past three weeks, notching up wins against Palmerston Magpies, Nightcliff and St Mary’s, with each win looking more impressive by the day. While their percentage is nowhere near that of Darwin’s, Waratah still has a gap on Wanderers, who they need to beat to ensure they stay in the top three. With Palmerston likely to win its match, Waratah could slide to fourth, or even fifth if Southern Districts can have a big upset win over Darwin. The Warriors have shared the ball around this season and in front of goal, with Julieanna Kerinaiua and Monet Hunter both slotting three goals, while Lisa Roberts has been an important source of leadership for the club. For Wanderers, they also bounced back from a disappointing loss to Nightcliff in Round 1, but their formline may be one to be wary with given they had a reversed win against Southern Districts in Round 2, and narrow wins over St Mary’s and Big River Hawks who are bottom four sides. This will be the biggest test in a few weeks, and the likes of Shekeine De Satge and Morgan Johnston will need to be at their best to get up. The likes of Sophie Armitstead and Kayliah Motlop could do some damage through the midfield and up forward, but will have to really step up in this game if the Eagles are to cause an upset against what has been the benchmark team over the past few years.

Versatile Clarke leads from the front

THE rise of Australian rules football in the Northern Territory won over former soccer player Bella Clarke, to the point where the versatile tall co-captained Northern Territory at the AFL Women’s Under-18 Championships. Clarke initially joined the sport because of her family driving her to pick up the oblong-shaped ball, but she stayed because of the freedom she had on the field.

“I think I first started when I was in about Year 9,” Clarke said. “Basically I kind of just started because my family were like ‘oh give it a go’. “I was originally into soccer and it kind of just changed over and eventually it went from soccer and AFL to just AFL and just kept developing from there.”

“I think it’s (change from soccer to football) more you can do to develop your game,” she said. “So in soccer there’s one position you’re good at and that’s kind of it, where in AFL you can go anywhere you want and you can move and help your team in completely different ways. “Learn to be more courageous and keep on developing.”

Clarke said being a latecomer to the game, she is still trying to develop a variety of skills to improve herself on the field, which is why she is 100 per cent driven off it to learn as much as she can and be the best leader possible for her teammates.

“I like my leadership skills and I like my leading patterns and efforts but I would like to say marking or kicking (are my strengths) at the moment, but I’m just not 100 per cent there yet and I want to keep developing my skills. “Those short penetrating kicks you always see the men’s players do and it’s like ‘oh I want to be able to do that’ so I just want to keep practicing those kicks, and the long distance ones as well. “Obviously contested marks, that’s always something I’m trying to work on. “Being a tall player that’s a key skill to have.”

The flexibility of being able to move around the ground and play in different positions is certainly not lost on Clarke, who enjoys key roles up either end of the ground.

“I like both centre half-forward and centre half-back,” Clarke said. “It’s kind of weird having two different positions on opposite sides of the field, but I like those positions because you can be either in forward or back but also get into the middle a bit and get a bit more of a touch in the middle and bring it into the forward or bring it into the back.”

While it has since been announced that the Northern Territory Thunder sides will wind up their programs in order to focus on junior development further, Clarke said it was a pathway and program that helped her and a lot of others come through. Especially when it came to the championships, teaming up with the South Australian players to form the Central Allies.

“Definitely yeah (Thunder helping the female pathway),” Clarke said. “I think having the girls, so linking with SA does really help us with developing our skills. We’re a bit secluded in the NT. “We have our own different playing style and then SA is completely different, so we learn from the down south footy style, and it’s good to combine with them. “We take a leaf from their book, they take a leaf from ours, and I think it’s really, really helping NT girls with Thunder especially.”

The “different” playing styles are hard to describe, but Clarke said there is a clear distinction between the way the games in the NTFL, and SANFL are played. But it gives juniors who compete in both competitions the best of both worlds.

“In the Northern Territory it’s very fast paced,” Clarke said. “We tap the ball along, picking it up, taking a couple of steps and going for goal, that’s how I imagine Territory footy. “And then SA is a lot more composed. “You’ll stop, look for the next player, change angles.” Both states are very contested teams though so always really good with their tackling.”

With the AFL Women’s Draft approaching, Clarke has just been focused on playing her best footy this year and continually developing with one particular inspiration in mind – her NTFL captain, Lateesha Jeffrey.

“I would have to say my biggest inspiration would be my captain at Southern Districts, so my local club,” Clarke said. “She recently got into the Thunder, she’s been moved into the Thunder VFL program and she’s captain of that program as well. “She’s always reaching out to me and she’s just such a good leader and such a good role model. “She’s always committed to the team, she’s always committed to footy and she’s definitely someone I look up to and she doesn’t feel intimidating at all. “She’s one of those players you can approach any time, she doesn’t think she’s better than anyone else and she’s definitely someone I looked up to.”

VFLW Preview: Round 15 – Third and fourth do battle

IN the penultimate round of VFL Women’s for 2019 a number of big matches take centre stage, with the biggest seeing Richmond take on Western Bulldogs in a battle for third on the ladder. Meanwhile, Southern Saints and Collingwood will look to continue their winning ways after a bye last week as Casey hope for one last win to finish the season with a bye next week.

CARLTON v. DAREBIN

Round 15 – 17/8/19
11.00
La Trobe University, Bundoora

This will be an interesting tussle between two lower placed teams on the ladder, with both putting some good efforts in but for the most part unable to play a four quarter game. For Carlton, this is ultimately their best opportunity to get another win on the board for the season, with a talented side that has thus far has struggled to finish matches but have come close on more than one occasion. But while Carlton has the drive to get the job done, Darebin currently have the momentum after a massive win over Williamstown last week while the Blues fell to a classy Tigers outfit. Darebin’s Reni Hicks has been a tackling machine this season, averaging 10.7 tackles per game – and 17 alone last week against Williamstown. Meanwhile, Lauren Pearce has really come into her own this season, finding plenty of the footy as well as leading competition hit-outs and putting a couple goals on the board, but will be missed in this game. For Carlton, Jess Hosking has been a big target across the field when she is listed, meaning her inclusion could see the Blues get another win on the board.

COLLINGWOOD v. ESSENDON

Round 15 – 17/8/19
12.00
Victoria Park

After a bye last week, Collingwood has rested the majority of its AFL Women’s talent against the Bombers, who despite some good form in Round 13, found themselves struggling in last week’s weather conditions. The Bombers fought hard against Southern Saints to prove themselves as fighters in the competition, getting within two points of victory before falling at the last hurdle. While the Pies are still more likely to get a win on the board these factors make for an interesting match. Sarah Dargan is the most experienced AFLW Magpie out there, one of only five listed players to be named in the side. For Essendon, Georgia Patrikios has been vital in recent weeks despite only taking the field for two matches, while Georgia Nanscawen has been one of the more consistent players all season for Essendon.

RICHMOND v. WESTERN BULLDOGS

Round 15 – 17/8/19
12.30
Swinburne Centre

It is a battle for control of the ladder in this match, with both Richmond and Western Bulldogs on relatively even pegging sitting on eight wins and four losses apiece, with the Tigers only ahead on percentage. While Richmond had a big confidence boosting win last round after a slow few weeks, the Dogs were the side that handed the Tigers their first loss of the season back in Round 9 that ultimately saw the side then go winless for four rounds straight. While both sides have plenty of firepower, the Bulldogs have found their form in recent weeks with two massive wins elevating them up the ladder. Last time they met Sabrina Frederick took the field for the first time in her new colours, booting a goal and going on to kick at least one major in every match since except Round 14, proving to be a massive target forward for the Dogs to focus on. Meanwhile, Ellie Gavalas and Tayla Dinuccio both provided a massive threat credit to their tackling efforts.

CASEY DEMONS v. NT THUNDER

Round 15 – 18/8/19
11.30
SkyBus Stadium

Last time these two sides met the Dees came away with a massive win in the Northern Territory to spark the side into action, but have barely scraped through matches in recent weeks making this game a very interesting contest for all involved. Despite a dominant start to the season Thunder have been one of the more inconsistent teams in the competition this year, having issues stringing winning margins together. However the side comes into this round off the back of a bye last week, meaning the Dees will need to watch themselves against them. On the other hand, Casey have a bye next week to finish the season, meaning this is their final opportunity to get a win on the board. Eden Zanker was a massive threat in their last encounter, booting three goals from 20 touches while Sarah Lampard was dominant last round, meaning the Dees have some options to take charge and drive the ball forward. Meanwhile NT’s Anne Hatchard racked up 31 disposals and two goals to easily be Thunder’s best back in Round 11, but with Hatchard and Zanker missing, it makes for a very intriguing match to open Sunday’s fixture. The Thunder continue to blood young players with NT Under-18 co-captains Bella Clarke and Dominique Carbone coming into the side.

SOUTHERN SAINTS v. HAWTHORN

Round 15 – 18/8/19
12.00
Trevor Barker Beach Oval

After a bye last week the Saints will be shaping up for a big match against the Hawks, who they only beat by three points when they last met in Round 7. While having a slightly slower season than the Saints, Hawthorn are shaping up to play finals sitting fifth on the ladder and have challenged a number of teams so could be a massive threat this week. That being said, Southern will take confidence in the Hawks being challenged by Casey last week and will want to have a hard and fast start to get on top early. Only two players on the field collected more than 20 touches last time they met, showcasing the closeness of the contest. Both rucks in Lou Wotton and Poppy Kelly are in ripping form, shaping up for an interesting ruck contest, while Bec Beeson has been exceptional for the Hawks so will look to continue her dominance.

WILLIAMSTOWN v. GEELONG CATS

Round 15 – 18/8/19
2.40
Downer Oval

Williamstown had another big loss last week, meaning they will come into this match with a fire in the belly as they take on the Cats. While Geelong are only sitting outside the top six by the barest margin, they have not been great at scoring big totals this season, only racking up three scores over 33 points for the season. While scoring this amount of points can certainly still win games, it still leaves something to be desired if teams can get on top of their defensive pressure. Geelong went down to Darebin a few rounds back, making this match an achievable win for the Seagulls if they get the momentum going. That being said, Geelong still have a slim chance of making finals if they win both Round 15 and 16 matches by strong margins with the top sides losing, meaning the side will certainly be up for a fight. For Williamstown, Sharnie Whiting and Rubi Tripodi both had big matches again last week despite the loss, while the likes of Richelle Cranston and Olivia Purcell have been consistent all season for Geelong.

BYE: Melbourne Uni

2019 Central Allies Podcast | Interviews Montana McKinnon, Hannah Munyard, Bella Clarke and Dominique Carbone

IN a new Final Siren podcast series reviewing the AFL Women’s Under-18 Championships side-by-side, we take a look at some of the top prospects who performed strongly across all three lines, as well interviews with key players within each individual state.

The first edition is the Central Allies, and Final Siren podcast host Matthew Cocks, and Draft Central‘s Peter Williams discuss the players who caught the eye across the championships, as well have interviews with the leadership group of South Australian captain Montana McKinnon, and vice-captain Hannah Munyard, as well as Northern Territory co-captains Bella Clarke and Dominique Carbone.

Below is full Central Allies podcast.

You can also find the Final Siren podcast and listen to past or future episodes on the following platforms:

Anchor

Apple Podcasts

Google Podcasts

Spotify

Breaker

Overcast

Pocket Casts

PodBean

RadioPublic

For all the AFLW U18s Championships news, head to our AFLW U18s Championships page and keep an eye out for our features starting soon!