Tag: Dominique Carbone

2021 VFL Women’s Round 2 preview: Pies, Saints battle to keep perfect records

THE 2021 Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s season rolls on into Round 2 this weekend, with six fixtures spread evenly across Saturday and Sunday. Southern Saints and Collingwood clash in the only meeting between two week one winners, while the likes of Casey Demons and Port Melbourne will look to build on the strong starts which have them poised atop the ladder. We take you through all the key players and factors across each game in our weekend preview.

Collingwood vs. Southern Saints
Saturday March 6, 12:00pm
Victoria Park

Collingwood and Southern Saints will make up the sole clash between two Round 1 winners when they lock horns at Victoria Park on Saturday. The Magpies held on to win by two points last week, while the Saints also held strong to beat Essendon and start 2021 on just the right note.

After a four-goal performance, Collingwood forward Imogen Barnett will look to back up her early form alongside the likes of Matilda Zander and senior-listed ruck Bella Smith. Eastern Ranges midfielder Olivia Meagher looms as a promising inclusion for the Magpies, named at the heart of the side after making three NAB League appearances this season.

The Saints will have at least three changes with St Kilda-listed guns Jess Matin, Poppy Kelly, and Rebecca Ott all in line for senior call-ups after promising VFLW displays. Canadian small forward Valerie Moreau is one to watch in the red, white and black having booted two majors on debut last week, but the going will be tough with some key outs against a dangerous Collingwood side.

Geelong vs. Williamstown
Saturday March 6, 12:00pm
Deakin University, Waurn Ponds

Williamstown will hope to continue its winning form as it travels to take on Geelong at Deakin University on Saturday afternoon. The Seagulls, who won by two points last week, meet a side in Geelong which lost by the same margin in Round 1 despite a strong finish and the formidable young talent afield.

As an AFLW-aligned team, the Cats will see some key changes to their opening round lineup – starting with the absence of Olivia Barber, Rene Caris, Laura Gardiner, and Darcy Moloney. Senior-listed forwards Stephanie Williams and Maddie Boyd provide some relief, while Geelong Falcons product Renee Tierney also enters the fray as another exciting option.

Williamstown also has some promising young talent to call upon, with its own Falcons coup in Zoe Garth named in defence. Tahlia Merrett is another handy inclusion and promises to provide a touch more firepower up forward, while Danika Di Santo may also get a look in from an extended interchange bench. Despite their current records, Geelong looks the team to beat in this clash.

Casey Demons vs. Essendon
Saturday March 6, 1:00pm
Casey Fields

Casey returns home for its Round 2 clash with Essendon on Saturday afternoon, looking to keep its perfect record in tact. The Demons were comprehensive after half time in their win over Carlton last week, while the Bombers showed some good fight and maturity in their opening round loss to Southern Saints.

Five-goal hero Brenna Tarrant is a key out for Casey after helping kick her side into gear, but the Demons will inject Niamh McEvoy into their forwardline this week. Maggie Caris and Megan Fitzsimon are other senior-listed players to watch through the spine of the side, while Samantha Johnson will again lead from midfield.

The Bombers look to be combining well after experiencing a touch more continuity than other teams, with the likes of Courtney Ugle and Cecilia McIntosh senior players who made a difference last week. They will go around once again, with Mia-Rae Clifford one to watch after a goalless outing and Grace Dicker a promising youngster also entering the fray. The test of another aligned team will be good for the Bombers, who can hopefully compete strongly.

North Melbourne vs. Western Bulldogs
Sunday March 7, 9:30am
Arden Street Oval

Sunday’s first fixture sees North Melbourne host a second-straight home game, as the Western Bulldogs come to town in a morning meeting. The Kangaroos were outdone by new team, Port Melbourne in Round 1, but the Bulldogs fared much better with an impressive win over Hawthorn.

Former Richmond-listed youngster Ciara Fitzgerald will make her first appearance for North, who have also called upon Jayde Hamilton and will make at least two changes. Tasmanian Sarah Skinner is one to keep an eye on after her opening round performance, providing terrific drive on the outer.

A trio of senior-listed Bulldogs make way this week through injury and otherwise, but Britney Gutknecht remains after her best afield showing. Louise Bibby and Megan Chadwick are a couple of handy inclusions in the red, white and blue, with at least three changes to be made. The Dogs have some quality running about, but should face a hungry North side looking to bounce back quickly.

Darebin vs. Hawthorn
Sunday March 7, 11:30am
La Trobe University, Bundoora

Two standalone sides are set to do battle in the first game of a La Trobe University double-header, with Darebin taking on Hawthorn at its Bundoora home. Both sides suffered losses in Round 1 but showed promise, with the Falcons falling just short of Williamstown in a low-scoring slog, while Hawthorn fell to a strong Western Bulldogs outfit.

Darebin’s lineup will remain fairly steady following its opening effort in 2021, with just one change expected. Rachel Harris comes into the lineup via the interchange bench, hopefully making a difference for the women’s footballing pioneers. Finishing will be a key area of focus for the Falcons, so watch for Hayley Munro to impact should she be able to capitalise on her chances.

Hawthorn will be forced into a raft of changes this week, with none bigger than skipper Jess Trend missing through injury. The experienced Abbey Holmes is also out along with Dominique Carbone. The likes of Chloe Bain and Olivia Flanagan should provide some respite along with Maddi Shaw, while Eastern Ranges prospects Isabelle Khoury, Tilly Hardy and Jess Grace are promising inclusions. Should they settle amid said changes, the Hawks should prove tough to beat.

Carlton vs. Port Melbourne
Sunday March 7, 2:30pm
La Trobe University, Bundoora

The round’s final game sees Carlton take on Port Melbourne at La Trobe University on Sunday afternoon, with the Blues out to claim their first points in 2021. Their opening round loss to Casey was a far cry from Port’s momentous maiden win over North Melbourne, which makes this contest a tough one to call.

The Blues will make a couple of changes, building on their initial lineup. Experienced senior player Jess Edwards should serve the defence well alongside leaders Jen Lew and Ally Bild, while Paige Trudgeon looks to impact once again after her two-goal outing and Winnie Laing promises to provide plenty of outside run.

The Borough will lose their Round 1 spearhead in Christina Bernardi as she looks to crack the Richmond side, but former Carlton utility Bride Kennedy is a promising inclusion. Melissa Kuys will again be Port’s key player at the heart of the lineup, helping lead some promising young talent listed at AFLW and VFLW level.

Image Credit: Collingwood FC Media

2021 VFL Women’s Round 1 preview: Revamped state league returns after lost season

THE Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s competition returns this weekend, with a revamped structure seeing the season run concurrently with that of the AFL Women’s (AFLW). As somewhat of a reserves league to aligned sides in the top flight, the VFLW features 12 teams in 2021, including Port Melbourne after the Borough took on Richmond’s license. Round 1 sees fixtures spread evenly over Saturday and Sunday, starting at Arden Street as North Melbourne hosts Port Melbourne.

North Melbourne vs. Port Melbourne
Saturday February 27, 10:00am
Arden Street Oval

North Melbourne welcomes competition newcomer, Port Melbourne to the VFL Women’s on Saturday morning as the two sides open season 2021 at Arden Street Oval. While still a proud standalone club, the Borough has taken on Richmond’s VFLW license and will thus have access to Tigers players who miss out on AFLW selection. Likewise, North Melbourne’s top flight alignment will see some senior listed Kangaroos line up in the blue and white each week.

The likes of Richmond forward Christina Bernardi and Melissa Kuys will be among the experienced names set to lead the Borough’s efforts, while an all-Richmond half-back line of Hannah McLaren, Sarah Sansonetti, and Laura McClelland should prove difficult to budge. Murray Bushrangers graduate Sophie Locke is another exciting young talent in Port’s side, named in the back pocket.

New Roo Katelyn Cox is set for a reserves outing in North’s midfield, lining up next to Meagan Kiely and Bethany Lynch with Lexi Hamilton a handy ruck to be roving under. Nikki Wallace, another with AFLW experience lines up in defence and Brooke Brown gets a gig at the other end of the ground. Brown was taken by North Melbourne as a surprise father-daughter selection in 2020.

Expect North Melbourne’s hardness and pressure around the ball to be a real feature, as Port looks to bring an exciting transition style to the fore in what should be a competitive start to the 2021 season.

Geelong vs. Collingwood
Saturday February 27, 12:00pm
Deakin University, Geelong (Waurn Ponds)

AFLW-aligned sides Geelong and Collingwood go head-to-head at Deakin University in Waurn Ponds on Saturday afternoon, looking to start their campaigns on the right foot. Both sides boast a strong mix of youth and experience in their Round 1 lineups, with the Cats benefitting significantly from their alignment to the top flight when it comes to the young talent at their disposal. Collingwood, of course, remains the reigning premier after the 2020 season was scrapped.

Among the exciting brigade of up-and-comers, Olivia Barber has been named at full forward and will spearhead the attack alongside skipper, Michelle Fedele. Paige Sheppard is poised to make her return to football in the hoops, named among an exciting midfield with Cats AFLW youngsters Laura Gardiner, Darcy Moloney, and ruck Rene Caris having all gained experience at senior level.

Collingwood’s tall stocks should trouble the Cats, particularly up forward. Senior ruck Bella Smith takes up the full forward spot with Sarah King set to take the first bounce, while Imogen Barnett is another to watch in Collingwood’s front half. Smith’s former Norwood teammate Matilda Zander looms as an exciting addition from the SANFL, with the Magpies’ forward depth pushing Amelia Velardo to half-back.

The Magpies will look to adopt a similar gameplan to their AFLW side, looking to take the game on in transition with an exciting handball style while also taking hold of the game when required. Geelong will also play an attacking brand, with youthful exuberance and instinct also poised to come into the Cats’ thinking.

Carlton vs. Casey Demons
Saturday February 27, 2:00pm
Princes Park

Another all-aligned clash takes place at Princes Park as Carlton and Casey Demons lock horns, rounding out Saturday’s fixtures. The Blues have hit the reset button on their VFLW program and will look a very fresh side this year, adopting a strong youth focus to help feed their AFLW squad. Casey also has strong ties to its AFLW-aligned team in Melbourne, with a fit and strong Demons unit out to prove just how fruitful their preseason has been.

The Blues will be led from the back with skipper Ally Bild lining up next to vice-captain Jen Lew across half-back, while Carlton-listed speedster Charlotte Hammans completes the line. Coming down from Cairns, Jasmine Ware is another to watch in Carlton’s defence, while Akayla Peterson looms as a high-upside type at the other end. Carlton draftees Winnie Laing and Paige Trudgeon will also get some run into their legs in the front half.

Casey captain Samantha Johnson is her side’s major off-season coup and will anchor the midfield alongside first year Melbourne midfielder, Megan Fitzsimon. Both will benefit from the ruckwork of Maggie Caris, while an all-Melbourne half-back line of Mietta Kendall, Isabella Simmons, and Irishwoman Lauren Magee should prove exciting to watch. Brenna Tarrant also features at full back, with three senior games under her belt this year.

With new coach Peter Mercoulia also embedded in Melbourne’s coaching staff, Casey will look to play fast and put heavy scoreboard pressure on. Carlton is led by a new coach of its own in Luke O’Shannessy, who should be able to extract great things from the Blues’ young talent with his vast pathways experience.

Western Bulldogs vs. Hawthorn
Sunday February 28, 10:00am
Whitten Oval

The Western Bulldogs kick off their 2021 campaign at home as Hawthorn rolls into town on Sunday morning, looking to take a big scalp early. The Bulldogs have built one of the best young AFLW lists, with the vast array of talent spilling into its reserves side and making for an exciting squad on paper. The standalone Hawks are also strong on youth, but have attracted some big-name experience with Bec Goddard set to take the reins as head coach for the first time since 2018.

An embarrassment of riches sees the Bulldogs’ forwardline stacked with five AFLW-listed talents, including Isabella Grant, Gemma Lagioia, and the experienced Lauren Spark. Mary Sandral is the lone VFLW-listed player to start in attack, though the likes of Nicole McMahon (ruck), skipper Riley Christgoergl (half-back), and vice-captain Katelyn Betts (centre) will be consistent VFLW figures this year. Under McMahon, the likes of Isabelle Pritchard, Brooke Hards, and Britney Gutknecht should be served well in midfield.

Some well-renowned names in female footballing circles will provide invaluable experience to Hawthorn’s fledgling side, with stalwart Meg Hutchins poised to take on a number of roles aside from her forwardline listing, while Abbey Holmes is a tough body at the contest who will rotate forward through midfield. Skipper Jess Trend is another with AFLW experience who should impact greatly, while Northern Territory recruit Dominique Carbone has serious potential. She is set for her VFLW debut on the same weekend the Darwin Buffettes play finals back home.

The Hawks should prove a well structured side under Goddard and will be sure to crack in hard, though the abundance of promising young options for the Bulldogs will be incredibly tough to overcome. Should they not rely on too few, the Hawks will be ultra competitive in the face of the Dogs’ rawness and fierce style.

Essendon vs. Southern Saints
Sunday February 28, 10:30am
The Hangar

Essendon is set to unveil its shiny new facilities at The Hangar on Sunday morning, hosting the Southern Saints in what should be a competitive clash. Gunning for an AFLW license, the Bombers remain standalone but have built a strong list with more continuity than other sides heading into 2021. The Saints have their St Kilda alignment to lean on, but are looking strong in their own right after a solid preseason.

Anchoring Essendon’s side will be skipper Georgia Nanscawen, who is part of a terrific spine in the red and black. Cecilia McIntosh lines up down back, while Courtney Ugle provides some grunt, and Mia-Rae Clifford gets a fresh start up forward. Of the up-and-comers, Eloise Ashley-Cooper and Alana Barba have already performed well in the sash, with a host of young prospects set to filter through Essendon’s lineup as the season progresses.

Tara Bohanna (full back) and Deanna Jolliffe (rover) will lead the Saints out as co-captain Frankie Hocking has not been named. Georgia McLean is one to watch off half-back having crossed from Casey, while Poppy Kelly and Alice Burke are the only St Kilda AFLW players to feature in the lineup – both named on the interchange bench ahead of three emergencies from the senior squad.

The Saints have not put a ceiling on their potential and promise to open the game up with unpredictable ball movement. The Bombers’ continuity as a group and greater poise with such experience could well play a factor in this clash, with both sides backing their cohesion after so long away from competitive action.

Darebin vs. Williamstown
Sunday February 28, 11:30am
La Trobe University, Bundoora

Pioneer club, the Darebin Falcons take on Williamstown in Round 1’s closing fixture on Sunday, set to play out at La Trobe University in Bundoora. Both proud standalone clubs, these two sides will be made up purely of VFLW-listed talent early on before gaining access to NAB League and potentially even AFLW talent as those seasons are run and done. The two sides already faced off during preseason, with Williamstown winning by 11 points at the same venue.

Led by the returning Stephanie Simpson, Darebin has a bunch of leaders set to build the standards under coach Mitch Skelly. In defence, Gena Lawson-Tavan is one who promises to do exactly that as vice-captain, while fellow leaders Cherelle Byrne (centre) and Alyssa Mifsud (full forward) are other leaders littered up and down the spine. One Falcon to watch is Stephanie Elarmaly, a youngster who has come through Darebin’s youth system.

2019 premiership coach Penny Cula-Reid crossed from Collingwood after her flag triumph, and takes over an exciting standalone squad. Skipper Erin Meade has locked in a spot at half-back, with reigning best and fairest winner Megan Williamson set to resume her midfield duties. Asha Price and Eliza Straford should be good value up forward, while Scarlett Dunell, the sister of former Seagull Sam lines up in defence.

There is often a great unknown around the standalone sides, especially after so long away from competitive action, but the two sides will know each other well after their preseason meeting and will get a good assessment of their 2021 chances in this bout.

Image Credit: Kelly Defina/AFL Photos

2021 VFLW season preview: Hawthorn

FOR the first time since 2018, Bec Goddard is set to take the senior coaching reigns during competitive action, when she leads Hawthorn’s VFLW side into battle for Round 1 of the new season. Heading a historic all-female coaching staff, Goddard says she is “excited” to be part of the Hawks’ initiative to provide greater opportunities for women in football – not just on the field.

“For me, and when I talk to the players about it, it was always about the best coach for the job and they happen to be women,” Goddard said. “I’ve got some great teachers on coaching staff that support me, have got a lot of similar values and they just hadn’t had an opportunity at the next level. This is their opportunity.

“It’s one of those things where in five years time when Hawthorn is in the AFLW competition, we could look back and go ‘well, what do we do to get more women in these positions at the club?’ and start from that point, or we could start now. It’s brave and overt leadership by the club to say that we want to change the industry and give opportunities to women, not just in playing but all elements of the football department.”

Goddard will have familiar faces at her disposal in 2021, leaning on some legendary names in the women’s footballing sphere while also attempting to get the most out of some promising young talent. 39-year-old utility Meg Hutchins is among the experienced members of Hawthorn’s revamped squad, described by Goddard as akin to “the timeless piece of furniture in an expensive house.”

“She’s got so much football experience and will bookend our team this year,” Goddard said. “Meg and I often talk about how the end of football is going to wrap up for both of us and I keep saying to Meg ‘well, you’re a long time retired so while you can keep playing, why don’t you?’.

“That’s where she’s at so it’s great to have her playing, and she’s fully fit. In fact, I look at Meg and I think she’s the fittest I’ve ever seen her across her years of women’s football. It’s exciting, hopefully she has a great season and you might see her in some different positions.”

With such vast experience in the women’s coaching ranks comes a handy list of contacts, which has played a part in Hawthorn’s recruitment of players like Abbey Holmes and new skipper Jess Trend. Both have been AFLW-listed players and the latter is a “surprise package” of sorts according to Goddard, hardly missing a beat since deciding to join the brown and gold. She was one of the many signings identified as key members of the side by her new head coach.

“‘I had a couple of texts with (Trend) and then she came down to training and she hasn’t missed a session,” Goddard said. “I think coming out of a global pandemic, we’re looking for a carrier of a good disease and Jess Trend is just that. She’s infectious with her attitude, her happiness to be around football and bringing good elite habits to the group.

“In the middle of the field we’ve brought in some experience in Abbey Holmes. Abbey and I obviously worked together at Adelaide for the inaugural premiership year. She’s got a wealth of football IQ that she brings and shares with the younger players in the group, as well as some great physical attributes for football. She’s tough at the contest, so it’s exciting to see Abbey contribute at Hawthorn.

Olivia Flanagan will play an important role this year. She’s coming back from a little bit of sickness in the last couple of weeks so she’s named as an emergency this week, but I expect ‘Liv’ to play a lot of football. She’ll make an impact up forward and on the ball this year to make her a bit more diverse in what she does.

“We’ve got young Territorian Dominique Carbone coming in from Darwin this weekend to play her first season in the VFLW, she’s a really exciting young talent with a basketball background. She plays low to the ground, looks like an athlete, is an athlete, behaves like an athlete, and she’s ready to take her football to the next level.”

Goddard is also excited to have full access to the next generation of prospects swarming through the elite talent pathways. Through a competition restructure, the NAB League Girls season now runs concurrently with that of the VFLW, allowing Under 18 and 19 players to also ply their trade in the state league system.

Their impressive skill and scope for improvement has impressed many a VFLW coach, no less Goddard who suggested tongue-in-cheek that she is “really looking forward to the (NAB League) byes” in order to gain access to said talent as much as possible.

“They’re such great footballers,” Goddard said. “Their skills are so impressive and they’re just growing in terms of their football IQ each week, understanding how we want to play football. It’s just great to have them there and contributing to a really high standard of training.

Speaking of training, the Hawks returned in “better than expected” shape after a year on the sidelines, though plenty of craft sessions and a heavy incorporation of match simulation into training has lifted their touch back up to scratch. A single scratch match, against Geelong provided even more insight into how the brown and gold are shaping up ahead of Round 1, with 29 players trialled and a bunch of magnets locked in on Goddard’s whiteboard.

Players returning from injury will also have a say on the side’s shape during the season, with a few players who earned high praise from Goddard expected to make a splash once fully fit. The new 12-day concussion mandate has also been a factor in availabilities across the competition.

“We’ve got a couple of players to come back still,” Goddard said. “We’ve got Tayah Kelly who obviously is a fairly damaging midfielder, she’s still out with a bit of an issue with her hip, so I think we’re at least three weeks away with her.

Chloe Bain, who I think is probably going to be one of the most exciting centre half-forwards in the competition – new to the game and she’s an extraordinary athlete with a rowing background, very long levers – is out this week with concussion. But when she’s fully fit and firing she will take the competition by storm, I’ve got no doubt.

Hawthorn’s first point of call in 2021 will be a clash against the Western Bulldogs at Whitten Oval on Sunday morning. Goddard says she is taking a “simple” approach when it comes to expectations, but is excited to be able to get back into action.

“I think we’re going to keep it really simple and we want to enjoy our first game together as a group, that’ll be the most important thing,” she said. “Also just being in the contest and making a real fist of Round 1 and getting to feel what it’s like to be with the team to achieve a common goal.”

Image Credit: Hawthorn Media

Youth set to take next step in VFL Women’s competition

TWELVE players who received AFL Women’s Draft Combine invites but missed out on being picked up by clubs will test themselves in the new-look Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s competition starting this weekend. Of the 12 players, five of them remain on NAB League lists as top-agers, whilst the others are purely focused on their VFL Women’s commitments in 2021.

Carlton have a trio of players who received Draft Combine invites last year, in Gippsland Power duo Nikia Webber and Shanara Notman, and Oakleigh Chargers defender Amber Micallef. Webber and Notman have received a couple of Combine invites in the past, with the key position talents strong overhead and both having represented Vic Country in the past. Notman played Round 1 with the Power, but is also a skilled basketballer. Micallef stepped up in 2020 to provide great outside run albeit in only the two games she was able to play, becoming a crucial cog in the Chargers’ rebound.

The other team with multiple 2020 AFL Women’s Draft Combine invites is Southern Saints, with Dandenong Stingrays teammates Zoe Hill and Abbey Jordan both in the red, white and black for season 2021. The duo are still on the Stingrays’ NAB League Girls lists and made a strong start to the season last round, with Hill a Vic Country Under 18s key position defender at bottom-age level, and Jordan a speedy winger who has been moved inside to increase her versatility this year.

Another player still on a NAB League list but is testing herself at state league level is Gippsland Power’s Grace McRae who will suit up for Hawthorn in 2021. The hardnut inside midfielder had a massive Round 1 game for the Power, but has moved closer to the city for work this year and will look to join the likes of form Power player, Maddi Shaw at the brown and gold.

Meanwhile Eastern Ranges’ Olivia Meagher will head to Collingwood, with the 2020 Eastern Ranges captain already having an impact in her two games at NAB League level this season. A fierce onballer, Meagher will have no troubles stepping up to the level and will be one to watch through the onball brigade at the Pies.

Another inside midfielder and former NAB League captain stepping up to the VFL Women’s in 2021 is Brooke Hards who will play with the Western Bulldogs this season. The Bendigo Pioneers co-captain last year and Vic Country Under 18s representative as a bottom-ager two seasons ago will look to bring a similar fierce attack to the Bulldogs midfield as another country player who has moved closer to the city for studies.

Calder Cannons’ Alana Barba will once again head to Essendon after not being able to get out on the park last season, but still earning a Draft Combine invitation as a 19-year-old. A tackling machine like Hards, Barba has grown through the Vic Metro program and will team up alongside a heap of current Calder Cannons players who will don the red and black this year. She is joined at the Bombers by Bendigo Pioneers’ Jemma Finning who was impressive in a new role at half-back last season, and has been back at the Pios thus far in 2021.

Having quite the pathway, Courteney Bromage has returned to Victoria after a stint in Queensland last year, with the ex-Carlton talent trying out at Port Melbourne. She will provide plenty of experience for the league’s newest side as they look to have an impact from the get-go.

Speaking of travelling, there will be a sister act at North Melbourne, with Jayde Hamilton the other Draft Combine invite from last year. Representing Eastern Allies as a bottom-ager in 2019, the inside midfielder will join sister and ex-Gold Coast Suns tall Alexia Hamilton at the Roos in 2021.

There are also plenty of current NAB League Girls who have been named on various VFL Women’s lists for the upcoming season. Essendon VFL Women’s have been flushed with an array of Calder talents, including AFL Women’s Academy members Georgie Prespakis and Tahlia Gillard, as well as the likes of Kasey Lennox, Neve Crowley, Grace Dicker, Emelia Yassir and Zali Friswell. The Bombers also have recruited Bendigo Pioneers’ Elizabeth Snell. Another Calder talent in Peppa Poultney has opted to stick with her junior club and follow into Darebin Falcons’ VFL Women’s program.

Geelong has unsurprisingly recruited a number of Falcons to its list, with Renee Tierney already lightning up the NAB League Girls with a couple of big outings in the opening two matches. Defender Annie Lee and midfielder Tess Craven are also among the Falcons best performed in the opening couple of games and could easily have an impact at state league level. They are joined by Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels’ Chloe Leonard who has also been in great form.

Eastern Ranges Isabelle Khoury, Matilda Hardy and Jess Grace have all signed on to Hawthorn’s VFL Women’s list, whilst Darwin Buffettes talent and former Central Allies representative Dominique Carbone has also decided to head to the Hawks this season. A former and current Murray Bushrangers duo of Kate Adams and Sophie Locke will run out for Port Melbourne, while Geelong Falcons’ Zoe Garth will test herself at Williamstown.

Other current NAB League Girls players on lists include Oakleigh Chargers’ Kalarni Kearns who will head to Collingwood, and Western Jets’ Nikita Wright will suit up for the Western Bulldogs. One name who might fly under the radar but has switched states is Collingwood’s Matilda Zander who has finally made her way to the Pies from Norwood after attempting to do so last year before the full state lockdown went into place.

With plenty of young talent on show in the VFL Women’s competition, there is plenty to get excited about across the league, and it all kicks off on Saturday.

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

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

2020/21 NTFL Women’s – Midseason review: Darwin, Nightcliff, Palmerston

HEADING into a break over the Christmas period Draft Central takes a look at the NTFL Women’s Premier League so far, putting each team under the microscope and considering elements such as key standouts for each side, current win-loss ratio and who they are set to face when play returns in January 2021.

Darwin Buffettes

Position: 3rd
Win-loss-draw: 8-2-2
Percentage: 211.30%

It is been a solid start to the season for the Darwin Buffettes collecting eight wins out of their twelve outings, putting them in good stead for the remainder of the season. In their past five encounters the Buffettes have registered three straight wins while also entering the summer break off a bye meaning they will be raring to go once the season recommences.  They have shown on more than one occasion that they have the firepower to mix it with the best and will be eager to continue that form against Tracy Village in their first game back next year.

Zoe Anderson has been a steady stream of goals for the Buffettes throughout the season so far managing 16 majors from nine outings while Michaela Roberts is not too far off the pace with 11 of her own. Delsey Ah Wang has also been a solid contributor for Darwin slotting eight goals while Johanna Dodsworth has chimed in at times with eight goals. In terms of best performers Jemma Iacono has been a consistent figure as has Dominique Carbone and Katelyn Hazlett with the latter two both registering an appearance in the bests four times. Another player to keep an eye out for is Kiera Kurnoth who has proven to be a livewire when she gets going.

Nightcliff

Position: 5th
Win-loss-draw: 6-4-1
Percentage: 142.52%

It has been a relatively up and down season for Nightcliff who have definitely enjoyed some peaks but so too some troughs boasting a six-four win loss ratio. However they have been steadily building, registering two wins in their past five games while also experiencing a bye and notching up a draw against the higher placed Southern Districts showcasing their ability to take it up to sides. They will have their work cut out for them when Round 13 comes around, however taking on top of the table Pint who will be raring to go after a solid break.

When looking at potency inside 50 it is hard to go past current Nightcliff leading goalscorer Jacqueline Anyon-Smith who has made a name for herself with her innate goal sense. She has recorded 16 majors for the year while Mickayla Ward has also been a handy option in front of the big sticks with 13 goals of her own. Although she has only played six games this season Emma-Lou Wolsey is a real x-factor able to navigate the goals and currently boasting 12 majors while Rose Russell has steadily added to her total with 10 for the season. Eliza Morrison is a regular fixture in the bests credit to her star power across the ground as is Emily Casey and Lauren Gooden showcasing the amount of depth the squad has.

Palmerston Magpies

Position: 7th
Win-loss-draw: 2-9-1
Percentage: 59.66%

Sitting towards the bottom of the ladder the seventh placed Palmerston Magpies have experienced their fair share of losses throughout the 2020/21 season already and will be eager to rectify a few areas over the break. It has been a difficult past five games for the Magpies with the side currently on a four game losing streak but in saying that have faced three of the top four teams. Unfortunately the job will not get any easier when it returns in January faced with the 2nd place St Mary’s who are being in scintillating form.

Under trying circumstances Crystal Browne has been the go-to-girl in front of the big sticks for Palmerston leading all-comers with 10 goals while Arthurina Moreen was handy in her three outings but has not played since mid-November. The likes of Natasha Medbury and Tabitha May are also solid contributors for the Magpies with the two able to find the goals with May also frequently recognised in the bests for her consistent efforts. Iesha Ronberg is another consistent performer able to ply her trade, named in the bests nine times alongside May while Billie Byers is more than capable of popping up and playing her role.

Weekend preview: 2020/21 NTFL Women’s Premier League – Round 11

EXPECT a tight round of NTFL Women’s Premier League action, with the competition well and truly heating up now as we enter Round 11. The penultimate round before the Christmas break, Saturday’s fixtures will either set teams in motion heading into the latter rounds of the season, or separate the top sides even further from the bottom. Wanderers have the bye this week, and will look to recuperate after a tough match last round.

Southern Districts v. Palmerston Magpies
Saturday, December 12

Expect an interesting matchup here between the Districts and Magpies, with the two sides opening the round and never failing to put on a show. While it was the Districts who got the chocolates in their first encounter of the season – their second straight win, which effectively sparked their better form to sit in fourth now – the Magpies have been putting up competitive scorelines for much of the season proving the side is capable of great things, they just need the extra polish and consistency around the ground to push it all the way. With two wins on the board to the Crocs’ five and two draws, the Magpies are certainly capable of pulling another solid effort out here, but will need to really come out flying against the Districts to get the job done.

Districts’ Tayla Thorn is currently leading the overall goalkicker tally, so will hope to continue her excellent form over the past few rounds, as will Emma Forsyth who sits even on four bests alongside Thorn. Grace Mulvahil and Jessie Brock have been a couple of other major targets up forward, while there is no denying the impact of the likes of Bella ClarkeEbony MillerMalory Nankervis and Megan Craufurd. When it comes to consistency, there is no doubting the workrate of Magpies’ Iesha Ronberg and Tabitha May, with the duo named amongst the best on seven of their nine respective matches, showcasing just how impactful they are. Billie Byers is also high up for the Magpies with five bests, while Crystal Browne (nine goals) and Arthurina Moreen (seven) have proved crucial up forward, but have only played four and three games respectively, showcasing the Magpies’ requirement for more players to step up in their absence.

Nightcliff v. Darwin Buffettes
Saturday, December 12

Another intriguing battle is expected in the second match of the round, with the Tigers and Buffs going head-to-head. A 49-point margin last time they met was certainly not what Nightcliff was expecting, and it is safe to say the side will be looking to not only redeem themselves for that scoreline, but also continue on from their solid victory last round to jump up the ladder. Given both teams are coming off Round 10 victories and some fairly consistent form, expect a show from the two, though Buffettes may have the number of the Tigers given their dominance last time around and confidence, sitting in second on the ladder.

While Thorn leads the goalkicking tally with 18, Buffettes’ Zoe Anderson is not far behind on 16 goals and realistically, could be far higher if it was not for the amount of forward 50 options the Darwin side has at its disposal. With both Machaelia Roberts (nine goals) and Delsey Ah Wang (eight) right up there too, there is no doubt the Buffettes have the firepower to consistently get the job done. Add in the constant pressure of the likes of Jemma Iacono, Dominique Carbone and Katelyn Hazlett and the Buffs are hard to stop once they are on. For the Tigers, Mickayla Ward is a real lynchpin, listed in the bests on six of her seven outings and leading the side’s goal tally on 13. Emma-Lou Wolsey and Jacqueline Anyon-Smith both sit on 12 apiece, with the former leading the competition tally early in the season, while Lauren Gooden has been a consistent figure for the side.

Pint v. Waratah
Saturday, December 12

Pint will look to continue their consistency and dominance this week, and a win over Waratah – a side which has been such a force to be reckoned with in the competition for so many years – would certainly do the trick. While Pint has been at the top of the ladder since Round 4, Waratah had to escape a rough start to the season and are now currently suffering in the mid-table logjam, putting on some solid performances but not quite hitting the mark against the top sides. A 36-point loss to Southern Districts last round certainly would not have helped that, while Pint is yet to falter with their closest margin two points back in Round 8. It will require a huge effort from the Warriors here to have a chance against the powerful Queen Ants.

There is no doubt that Pint has plenty of firepower, with Amy ChittickCasey Morris and Jasmyn Hewett all registering double figures in front of goal, credit to not only their ability to find the ball, but also the side’s midfielders’ ability to deliver the footy on a silver platter. The trio have combined for 37 goals so far this season, with Chittick also racking up five bests alongside Cassie Henderson who rarely skips a beat. While Waratah does not record bests, the likes of Lisa Miceli and Jenna Singh have consistently provided not only that forward foray, but also the ability to score well with 15 and nine goals to their names, respectively. Miceli and Danica Pedersen (seven goals) have both only played six of the side’s nine games, proving just how impactful they can be when they get ball to boot.

St Mary’s v. Tracy Village
Saturday, December 12

St Mary’s will look to redeem themselves after a couple of disappointing days on the track, with a battle here against Tracy Village. While the Saints’ past few rounds have not been ideal, the side still remains amongst the top sides in the competition and it will take a huge, season-changing effort from the Razorbacks to get over the line here. Although the Razorbacks have shown glimpses of form, the side has failed to score in four of their nine encounters – including against the Saints in Round 6 – and has not scored since Round 7 – a single behind against Southern Districts. Expect a confidence-boosting win here from the Saints, who will need a boost to ensure their percentage stays high coming into the later stages of the season.

When it comes to sharing around the footy and accolades, there is no doubt that the Saints excel at showcasing their depth of talent. While Michaela Long leads the goal tally with 13 to her name from nine matches, Danielle Ponter and Ash Melnikas both have eight to their name while four more players have multiple goals on the board. Megan Williamson has been named amongst the best in all seven of her matches, while Melnikas, Ponter and Jasmine Anderson have been listed five times each, and three more players have been named four times apiece, proving the consistent efforts around the ground. For the Razorbacks, Zhoe Clarke and Kiri Marschall are right up there, rarely skipping a beat or letting up on the pressure regardless of the scoreline.

Weekend preview: 2020/21 NTFL Women’s Premier League – Round 10

AS quick as a flash, the NTFL Women’s Premier League season has flown by as the competition has now officially passed its midway point of the 2020/21 season. The finals race is heating up with a mid-table log-jam evident already, while Pint sit comfortable and undefeated at the top of the ladder as the competition heads back into return fixtures. Tracy Village are yet to win a game but will get some valuable rest this week with a second bye for the season, while this weekend of action will see some teams hope to replicate their Round 3 form from their last encounter against their respective sides.

Nightcliff v. Wanderers
Saturday, December 5

While Nightcliff come into this match off a Round 9 bye, Wanderers will be looking to take every chance they have of upsetting the Tigers this week. Neither team has significant issues finding the goals, but at times seem to lack the defensive pressure to limit their opposition in the scoring department making for an intriguing matchup here. Nightcliff came away with the “W” in their Round 3 encounter, downing the Wanderers by 19 points and certainly giving the Tigers some confidence coming into this one, but will need to be hyper-aware of the side’s ability to fly out of the blocks and challenge teams.

Kaitlyn Armstrong (Wanderers), Lauren Gooden and Emma-Lou Wolsey (both Nightcliff) were crucial for their respective teams last time around, hauling much of the forward load. The Wanderers will need some of their other forward targets to take some of the load off Armstrong if they are to win this one, with Shekeine de Satge and Tishara Davern the likely suspects although the former is more of a transitional player. Wolsey’s powerful kick was huge early in the season but a couple of quiet weeks have allowed the likes of Darcy Elliston and Lauren Gooden to step up, while there is no doubt Jacqueline Anyon-Smith and Mickayla Ward will be up for a big match after a week off.

Waratah v. Southern Districts
Saturday, December 5

This battle between last year’s premiership sides is sure to be a big one, with their Round 3 match ending with a draw in a fitting finish to the close encounter. Factor in that both Waratah and Southern Districts come into this round with a couple of season-saving wins on the board over the last three rounds, and this match could realistically go either way. Neither side lack in firepower, but at times they seem to fall apart when their key forwards are under pressure, with both sides’ leading goalkickers in Tayla Thorn (Southern Districts, 17 goals) and Lisa Miceli (Waratah, 14 goals) flying under the radar for the most part until the past few rounds.

Expect the usual suspects to command the footy in this match, with plenty of key options on both sides able to hit the scoreboard and do so with ease. Add in the fact that both teams need a win here to realistically stay in touch with the top sides and this should be just as tight a matchup as it was the first time around. Given Waratah need a victory on the board to generate some more confidence and Districts are only a leg up due to a second draw, expect the firepower to be out in spades with the aforementioned duo just the tip of the iceberg for both teams. Crocs young gun Grace Mulvahil and Jessie Brock are able to switch on with ease, while for the Warriors there is no doubt Jenna Singh will be out with a vengeance as will Danica Pedersen.

St Mary’s v. Darwin Buffettes
Saturday, December 5

While the battle between St Mary’s and Darwin Buffettes was close last time around, expect big things from the two top four sides this week with much more at stake as the finals race heats up. The Saints have breezed through this season for the most part, soaking up pressure and outlasting in tough battles, but came off second best last round to the Crocs which allowed the Buffs to equal the Saints on points and be in with a fighting chance of taking over second on the ladder. Neither side has any shortage of key options around the ground, and have both continuously showcased defensive capabilities to match their respective forward firepower, with plenty of options able to put on consistent performances.

Intriguingly, when taking a look at the season stats so far there is a significant similarity between the two sides and the way they go about their game, particularly inside forward 50; while both sides have a key option up forward, they do not rely on that one player and have no shortage of key pillars inside 50. While this was not as evident in their last battle, where the two sides combined for 56 points overall with no multiple goalkickers, the likes of Saints trio Michaela Long (12 goals), Danielle Ponter and Ash Melnikas (both eight), and Buffs trio Zoe Anderson (14 goals), Machaelia Roberts and Delsey Ah Wang (both eight) showcased their respective abilities to hit the scoreboard with ease. While the Saints realistically should get the job done here given the consistency of Megan Williamson, Ponter and Melnikas, the Buffs have a plethora of key figures around the ground with the workrate of Dominique Carbone and Jemma Iacono unquestionable.

Pint v. Palmerston Magpies
Sunday, December 6

The final match of the round is a standalone Sunday fixture, pitting top-of-the-table Pint against the lowly Magpies. Given the Queen Ants still sit undefeated after nine rounds and rarely come off second best in their closer encounters, able to play through tough pressure and conditions, they should realistically have this one tied up with a confident 44-point Round 3 victory telling much of the tale prior to the match beginning. That being said, the Magpies have finally put a few wins on the board, albeit not consistently, and have proven they are capable of forcing teams into close margins so will look to do exactly that in this encounter. Realistically, the Magpies need a win here if they want any chance of moving up the ladder for a chance of finals footy.

Last time they met, Pint put on a show with Jessie Baumer leading the charge with three goals to her name, while Cassie Henderson showcased her consistency to lead from the front. With three multiple goalkickers behind Baumer and conceding just two goals from the Magpies, it is safe to say the Queen Ants will come into their second battle with plenty of confidence. The Magpies have no shortage of star players, but just have lacked the fire in the belly to really get the job done. Tabitha May and Iesha Ronberg have consistently stood up throughout the season, while Arthurina Moreen and Crystal Browne have ben solid fixtures inside 50 combining for 15 goals across their respective three games apiece. For Pint, Amy ChittickCasey Morris and Jasmyn Hewett are the ones to watch out for up forward, with 13, 10 and eight goals, with Chittick a consistent performer alongside Henderson.

2020/21 NTFL Women’s Premier League weekly wrap – Round 9

ROUND 9 of the NTFL Women’s Premier League saw some huge results, and while not a heap of ladder movement was seen across the round, there is no doubt teams came to play this week with some intriguing scores on the board. Pint remains on top of the table with another huge win on the board, while Southern Districts upset St Mary’s and Waratah proved their form this season is still able to be turned around. Meanwhile, Nightcliff escaped much of the craziness with the bye this round.

SOUTHERN DISTRICTS 1.4 | 1.6 | 3.8 | 4.9 (33)
ST MARY’S 1.2 | 3.2 | 3.3 | 3.5 (23)

Southern Districts made a huge leap this round with a come-from-behind victory against the Saints, with the seesawing contest seeing the Crocs lead at the first change before forced to pick up their game after a two goal to nil second quarter. While the Saints showcased their ability to hold strong under pressure once more, relegating the Crocs to a relatively low-scoring contest, the Districts came out with a point to prove and desire to back up their recent form, using their defensive capabilities and excellent firepower to impact on the contest. While the 10-point deficit did not make a huge dint in the Saints’ percentage, the side is now two wins behind ladder-leading Pint, and only leads Darwin Buffettes on percentage with the same win count now.

An excellent effort from young gun Georgia Mulvahil proved handy for the Districts in this encounter, booting two goals alongside Tayla Thorn and Jessie Brock who both added a goal to their respective tallies. Bella Clarke was named among the bests alongside Kelsey Patterson and Brock, while for the Saints, Annabelle Shannon and Eliza Shannon led the charge. Michaela LongAaliyah Bailey and Laelia Dunn all booted a goal apiece in the close battle.

TRACY VILLAGE 0.0 | 0.0 | 0.0 | 0.0 (0)
PINT 4.4 | 8.5 | 12.7 | 20.10 (130)

The battle between top and bottom of the ladder was always going to be a tough one, and a 130-point deficit rendering the Razorbacks scoreless once more was unfortunately what happened. With Pint coming in off a tight margin last round there is no doubt the side was headed for a big margin this week to make up for it, and that they did – not only switching on the offensive power but once again showcasing their ability to dominate defensively too.

There is no doubt that Amy Chittick and Reni Hicks had an influence in this one, booting seven and five goals respectively, and named atop the bests list for Pint. The duo may have been the go-to girls inside 50, but the likes of Shae-Lee Murphy-Burke and Casey Morris also put multiple scores on the board each, with three more players on the goalkicker list showcasing the side’s amount of key options up the field. For the Razorbacks, Kahla DumbrisSophie Hammill and Zhoe Clarke once again proved influential, but unfortunately could not negate the huge impact of Pint’s forward line.

WARATAH 1.0 | 4.2 | 11.4 | 12.4 (76)
WANDERERS 3.3 | 4.3 | 5.3 | 6.4 (40)

Waratah may have had a shaky start in this encounter, but well and truly flew out of the blocks after half time with a whopping seven goals to one third quarter. While the final term was not quite as prolific, the Warriors still showcased a side that has not quite reared its head yet this season after dominating the past few years, which saw the Wanderers struggle to maintain pressure after an excellent start. While Waratah still sit in the lower half of the ladder given their slow start to the season, the side seems leaps and bounds ahead of the other sides below them – Magpies, Wanderers and Razorbacks – and are more than capable of challenging the higher-ranked teams.

While the victors only had four goalkickers throughout, all four players put multiple scores on the board with Tarryn O’Hehir the main problem for Wanderers with four goals to her name. Both Lisa Miceli and Breanna Martin booted three apiece, while Lauren O’Shea added another two to her tally. For the Wanderers, Kaitlyn Armstrong continued her consistent ways with three to her name, while Shekeine de Satge was competitive as ever with two goals, named among the best once more alongside Tishara Davern.

DARWIN BUFFETTES 1.3 | 3.4 | 4.8 | 8.11 (59)
PALMERSTON MAGPIES 1.1 | 2.1 | 3.1 | 3.1 (19)

The Buffettes continued on their merry way with another clinical victory, and although inaccuracy seemed to prove more of an issue than usual, the side showcased their scoring ability against the struggling Palmerston Magpies with a solid 40-point margin as the final siren sounded. With seven goalkickers proving the Buffs’ ability to share around the footy, the Magpies were unable to limit their opposition’s scoring capacity, well and truly outclassed not only inside 50 but also through the midfield. 

When it came to top performers, for Darwin it was the workrate of Katelyn Hazlett and Dominique Carbone that stood out, with Carbone contributing a major alongside Ashanti Bush (two goals), Machaelia Roberts and a flurry of other players. For the Magpies, Tabitha May proved a solid target as per usual with a goal to her name, while Yasmen Roe and Mesapa Frank also put a major apiece on the board. As for top performers, Shanoah LeedieIesha Ronberg and Billie Byers impressed with their cleanliness.