IN the final round before the Christmas break, Pint will be hoping to keep its unbeaten record intact while the Darwin Buffettes have been handed the bye, allowing St Mary’s to close the gap between second and third if it can notch its eighth win for the season. All that, and more in our Round 12 Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Women’s Premier League preview.
Tracy Village v. Nightcliff
Saturday, 19 December
It has been another trying season for Tracy Village who have not only been unable to get on the winners list, but so too the scoreboard; kept scoreless five times while boasting a season-high total of nine points. Nightcliff, on the other hand, have had patches of brilliance as shown through their five wins for the season. The last time these two sides played was back in Round 1 where Nightcliff walked out victorious by 108 points, with Emma-Lou Wolsey running rampant booting five goals, a feat she will be keen to replicate in their rematch. Other key figures in Mickayla Ward, Jacqueline Anyon-Smith and Eliza Morrison are renowned for their ability to stand up and sense the moment both across the ground and in front of the big sticks. For Tracy Village, all eyes will look to Zhoe Clarke to lead the way once again for the Razorbacks given she is one of the most consistent performers for the side. After a strong performance last week, Kaitlin Battel and Indianna Hughes will be eager to play their part and not let the game get too far away from them.
Pint v. Southern Districts
Saturday, 19 December
The undefeated Pint will be hoping to extend its winning streak and head into the break on a high. But expect a high intensity battle, with the fourth placed Southern Districts eager to cause an upset and potentially leapfrog up the ladder and really prove their case as a finals contender. The Crocs struggled to fire the last time these two sides locked horns, kept to a mere nine points while Pint kicked off its season in style, notching a 48-point win. The Queenants have only gotten better with time, solidifying as a unit and using their variety of options inside 50 to create impressive totals. Amy Chittick has proven to be a handy option in front of goal, as have Jasmyn Hewett and Jessie Baumer, with the trio able to bob up and hit the scoreboard while Claudia Fabris is coming off a strong showing. Southern Districts are not without their own weapons, with Tayla Thorn a real livewire inside 50 currently leading the league’s overall goalkickers thanks to her seven-goal haul last round, while Grace Mulvahil is just as exciting, meaning Pint will have to be aware of their ability to score with ease. Malory Nankervis has hit her stride recently and will be hoping to keep that form going for the Crocs.
Wanderers v. St Mary’s
Sunday, 20 December
St Mary’s will have a real pep in their step heading into their clash against Wanderers after downing Tracy Village by a staggering 134 points, again looking to inflict the same level of pain on their lower placed opponents. Coming off a bye, Wanderers should be somewhat rested while the Saints will be out for blood to cap off a strong couple of outings and really cement their spot in the top four. A win here could allow the Saints to progress to as high as second on the ladder and overtake the Buffettes. It is fair to say that St Mary’s has no shortage of goalscorers with 11 individual goalkickers last round and a couple walking away with multiple majors to their name, a feat the likes of Marrietta Puautjimi, Charli Simmonds and the ever-reliable Michaela Long will be hoping to muster up once again. Tesharna Maher, Shannon Ponter and Jaimie Bryant impressed last round and will want to end the year on a high. For Wanderers, Kaitlyn Armstrong is a consistent figure that has innate goal sense while Shekeine De Satge and Sophie Fazzolari have both proven to be influential in front of the big sticks and across the ground. Tishara Davern and Morgan Johnston should come back refreshed and looking to capitalise for the Wanderers.
Palmerston Magpies v. Waratah
Sunday, 20 December
The final game of the round sees a battle between sixth and seventh with only one win separating the two sides. Waratah hold the upper hand, not only on the ladder, but so too when it comes to the win-loss record – pulling out a 41-point victory back in Round 1 while also keeping the Magpies to a mere point in that outing. Both sides are coming off losses heading into the clash, making for an exciting contest between the two sides. Billie Byers has enjoyed a recent run of hot form, recognised in the bests while also hitting the scoreboard while Natasha Medbury is another one to watch. Iesha Ronberg is highly reliable as is Tabitha May for the Magpies. Lisa Miceli is a goal scoring machine and will be hoping to ply her trade for Tahs while Jenna Singh is a commanding presence across the ground. Waratah will also look to the likes of Isabella Rapson-Staropoli, Breanna Martin and Lauren O’Shea to lead the way.