Tag: Janet Baird

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 18 – Waratah and Southern District put on scintillating performance

THE final round of the Northern Territory Football League Women’s (NTFLW) saw the top teams such as Waratah and Southern District once again flex their muscles, while it also featured a surprise upset with the Buffettes stunned in their clash. It marked the final game of the home and away season for Tracy Village, St Mary’s and Wanderers who will all be looking ahead to a bigger and better 2020/21 season.

TRACY VILLAGE 0.0 | 0.1 | 0.1 | 0.1 (1)
WARATAH 4.9 | 6.11 | 10.12 | 14.17 (101)

GOALS:

Tracy Village: N/A.
Waratah: L. Roberts 5, M. Hunter 3, A. Chittick 2, G. Cusack, M. Gissing, T. O’Hehir, B. Martin.

BESTS:

Tracy Village: N/A
Waratah: C. Fabris, M. Hunter, T. O”Hehir, B. Martin, I. Rapson-Staropoli

It was a convincing performance from Waratah who dismantled Tracy Village to run out 100-point victors. The Tahs’ were on from the get-go establishing an early lead and not looking back gradually adding to the margin. Tracy Village’s only score came in the second quarter with most of the game one way traffic heading towards Waratahs forward. They proved too strong across the board putting up a wall in defence and simply attacking the scoreboard any time an opportunity came their way. Waratah managed four goals each quarter apart from the second when it only recorded two majors but suffered from inaccuracy with 17 points to its name. Lisa Roberts was a real live wire up forward for Waratah helping herself to five goals, while Monet Hunter also chipped in with three majors of her own, keeping her strong form in front of goal well and truly alive. Amy Chittick also made an impact inside the forward arc with two majors while Tarryn O’Heir and Breanna Martin were both named in the bests for their impressive efforts. Isabella Rapson-Staropoli shone bright once again with her ability to find the footy. It was a disappointing outing for Tracy Village with the likes of Alex Lang, Catherine White and Aeysha Angel digging deep but unfortunately it was not enough to trouble the scoreboard with Waratah simply unstoppable in every aspect.

SOUTHERN DISTRICT 5.5 | 8.8 | 13.10 | 19.17 (131)
ST MARYS 0.0 | 0.0 | 0.0 | 0.0 (0)

GOALS:

Southern Districts: E. Miller 10, K. Marsden 2, G. Mulvahil 2, T. Holtze, D. Lee-Feeney, M. Craufurd, M. Clarke, G. Stiles.
St Mary’s: N/A.

BESTS:

Southern Districts: E. Miller, M. Nankervis, T. Thornton, K. Waterbury, K. Marsden
St Mary’s: N/A

Southern District pummelled St Mary’s by a whopping 131 points in what was a complete and utter one-sided affair. The Southern Districts win never really looked in doubt with the home team quickly asserting themselves on their opponents. A five-goal first quarter set the tone for the match, and although they had a quieter second term, they picked up the pace after half-time with accuracy proving no real issue. St Mary’s failed to stop the forward momentum of District consistently outnumbered at the contest and unable to move out of their back half. In the past three games Ebony Miller, has nailed a staggering 22 goals 10 of which came in this performance highlighting just how much of a presence she has up forward and her goal sense. Miller provided a constant option inside 50 but she was not the only one to get on the board with debutante Kasey Marsden managing two goals and Grace Mulvahil also nailing two majors to extend her sides lead. The scoring load was further spread across a host of players with Tahlia Holtze, Megan Craufurd and Maili Clarke getting amongst the action with a goal apiece while Malory Nankervis made her way into the bests for a second consecutive week. Aaliyah Bailey and Ashlee Harris combined well for St Mary’s but it was not enough to quell the constant onslaught from Southern District.

PINT 4.3 | 5.5 | 5.6 | 6.7 (43)
DARWIN BUFFETTES 0.0 | 0.1 | 1.1 | 3.1 (19)

GOALS:

Pint: K. Smits 2, J. Baumer 2, J. Downey, C. Henderson.
Darwin Buffettes: C. Browne, T. Bullen, B. Stokes.

BESTS:

Pint: N/A
Darwin Buffettes: J. Dodsworth, D. Carbone, K. Duggan, B. Stokes, C. Boyd

The biggest upset of the round came at the hands of Pint downing the fourth placed Darwin Buffettes in convincing fashion. Pint got the early ascendancy leaving the Buffettes stunned and unable to get their usual ball movement up and running. Darwin were rendered goalless in the opening half credit to Pint’s extreme pressure, while the home side piled on five goals to all but end any chance of a comeback. Pint had answers for everything their opposition threw at them and while they were slightly inaccurate in front of the big sticks they did enough to get over the line and limit the Buffettes from getting a real run at it. Kristen Smits and Jessie Baumer both hit the scoreboard once again for Pint with four goals collectively while Cassie Henderson rounded out the scoring contingent with a goal of her own.  For Darwin, Crystal Browne, Tameka Bullen and Bianca Stokes shared the load but their efforts fell short unable to register enough opportunities to hit the scoreboard and turn the tables. Youngster Dominique Carbone worked diligently for each and every ball that came her way named in the bests for the third consecutive week with teammate Kylie Duggan also plying her trade across the ground.

PALMERSTON 2.5 | 3.6 | 5.9 | 9.9 (63)
WANDERERS 0.0 | 3.1 | 3.2 | 4.3 (27)

GOALS:

Palmerston: L. Motlap 3, J. Brock 2, A. Moreen, M. Frank, I. Ronberg, W. Barlow.
Wanderers: N/A.

BESTS:

Palmerston: J. Brock, J. Baird, T. May, L. Motlap, C. Delacoeur, K. White
Wanderers: N/A

The final game of the round saw Palmerston once again showcase their strength against the seventh placed Wanderers with a solid 36-point win. The Magpies were in complete control from the first whistle but were plagued with inaccuracy scoring five behinds. Things evened up in the second term with the Wanderers piling on the pressure and getting back within a mere five points thanks to three goals. But that did not last long with Palmerston hitting back after half time and running away with the game and keeping the Wanderers to just one major. Palmerston’s attacking 50 was dictated by Laquioya Motlap with the forward booting three goals with teammate Jessie Brock also chiming in with two goals of her own. Arthurina Moreen continued her hot form in front of goal recording yet another major while Iesha Ronberg also contributed to the winning score line with a goal. Cammie Delacoeur plied her trade for the Magpies with Janet Baird also making her presence felt in the victory. Muk Muks duo Lucille Motlop and Shekeine De Stage worked tirelessly but ultimately could not stop the Magpies from powering on.

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 preview: Round 12 – Top four clash to set the tone for second half of the season

ROUND 12 is the first round back for the 2019/20 season after Christmas with a number of big matches on the cards this week. With that comes the first Friday night match of the season on top of a number of close encounters that could see the ladder change drastically.

Palmerston Magpies v. Darwin Buffettes
Round 12 – 3/1/20
7:00pm
TIO Oval 2

The opening match between Palmerston Magpies and Darwin Buffettes is set to be the top four matchup of the round, with third taking on second in what is likely to be a close encounter. It was inaccuracy that let the Magpies down last time the sides met with the Buffs trailing until the final quarter, booting three goals nil to finish the match. Tabitha May and Bianca Stokes were the top players for their respective sides while Arthurina Moreen and Michelle Ellis booted two apiece. Billie Byers, Iesha Ronberg and Janet Baird have been among the top performers for the Magpies while Moreen leads the goalkicking tally with 20 goals from nine matches. For the Buffettes, the loss of Machaelia Roberts certainly put a spanner in the works through early patches of the season, though the likes of Kylie Duggan, Jemma Iacono and Tayla Hart-Aluni have  well and truly picked up the slack alongside a further 20 multiple goalkickers.

Tracy Village v. Big River Hawks
Round 12 – 4/1/20
12:00pm
Gardens Oval

Tracy Village will look for their second win of the season in this match while Big River Hawks are in ultimately the best position to win their first match for the season to start 2020 on a high. While both sides have struggled this season, often rendered scoreless, the two sides went toe-to-toe last time they met with the Razorbacks only just running over the Hawks in a close see-sawing encounter. Tracy Village’s Nickesha Jones was the topscorer for the afternoon with two goals to her name but hasn’t been able to string consistent matches this season, though she still sits even for goalkicking in the side with Bonnie McDougall also sitting on two goals from 10 games. Alexandra Biggs, Gabrielle Young and Tara Everett have also proved consistent throughout the season. For Hawks, Crystal Brown, Cammie Delacoeur, Deanna Peckham and Jayde De La Coeur have been the key performers all season despite the side not managing to put any wins on the board.

St Mary’s v. Wanderers
Round 12 – 4/1/20
2:30pm
TIO Oval 2

The last encounter between these two sides saw Wanderers get over the line against St Mary’s in a close battle, with the Wanderers going scoreless in the first term before sparking a final quarter comeback, booting three goals to nil to win the game and keep St Mary’s goalless after halftime. While the two sides sit apart on ladder standings in eighth and fifth respectively, they are only separated by one win meaning this will be a very interesting battle with plenty to work for. Both sides come into this match off the back of wins last round with key players around the ground, with the Eagles’ Morgan Johnston, Sophia Mauboy and Shekeine De Satge consistent to a ‘T’ with De Satge leading the goalkicking tally for the side on 10 for the season. Meanwhile at St Mary’s, not one player has taken the field in every single game, with Sharna Edwards one of four who has played 10 of 11 for the season with plenty of young talent and inexperience being tested every week.

Southern Districts v. Pint
Round 12 – 4/1/20
5:00pm
TIO Oval 2

A second high-stakes match for the round will see Southern Districts in fourth take on Pint in sixth, with Pint only one win and a draw behind Districts after 11 rounds despite a massive 73 point Round 3 loss to the Crocs. Ebony Miller well and truly opened her account for the Crocs last time these two sides met, booting five alongside Mickaela Derschow who booted two but hasn’t put consistent games together. Tahlia Holtze and Charles Deegan have been among the most consistent for the side with four and three times in best respectively, while Miller has well and truly proved herself as the key player to stop up forward with 31 goals to her name from nine matches. For the Queen Ants, Emma Greaves and Erin Hetherington have been among the most consistent having taken the field for every match this season while Jasmyn Hewett is the side’s leading goalkicker with 10 to her name from eight games.

Nightcliff v. Waratah
Round 12 – 5/1/20
5:00pm
TIO Stadium

Nightcliff got away easy last time they took on the reigning premiers, with Waratah disappointingly inaccurate in front of goal and only managing four goals despite the 40 point margin. Jenna Singh and Jordan Smyth impressed for Waratah last time these sides met while Lisa Roberts and Rebecca Pryer have been named in the best seven times since then, while Lauren O’Shea is the current leading goalkicker for the side with 16 goals from 10 matches. For Nightcliff, Laura de Hommel and Hannah Turnbull were among the best in Round 3 despite the side being rendered goalless, while Emma-Lou Wolsey, Mickayla Ward and Shantel Miskin-Ripia have been consistent performers across the season combining for 20 goals across their combined 19 best-on-ground listings. This match between seventh and top of the ladder is set to be an interesting one, with both sides looking for a win this week after respective defeats in Round 11.

NTFL Women’s Premier League weekend preview: Round 11 – Crocs next to challenge benchmark

A couple of ladder-defining clashes, including a top four battle and a third against fifth game headline a big Round 11 of Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Women’s Premier League action.

Waratah v. Southern Districts
14/12/19 – Round 11
2:00pm
Gardens Oval

In the game of the round, reigning premiers Waratah host Southern Districts in a game that could be crucial for the Crocs’ ladder standing heading into the Christmas break. The ‘Tahs have been superb this season, have been awarded wins in all 10 games with a percentage of 363.35 per cent and look every bit likely to continue their dominant premiership stranglehold in 2019/20. Last week Waratah had to battle its way to an eight-point win over Palmerston Magpies at home and now faces a Crocs side finding some form with back-to-back wins. Rebecca Pryer has been one to watch for the top of the table side while Lisa Roberts has booted 12 goals from five games, including a massive seven-goal haul. Lauren O’Shea has been the side’s leading goalkicker with 14 from nine games, while Madeline Gault continues to be a developing talent around the ground. The key to stopping the Crocs is limiting the likes of Ebony Miller who has slammed home 29 goals from eight games and is not afraid of a big bag, slotting 10 goals in a game this season. Kelsey Patterson has also booted eight goals this year from seven games, while Charles Deegan and Tahlia Holtze have been among the Crocs’ best in season 2019/20.

Pint v. Palmerston Magpies
14/12/19 – Round 11
2:30pm
TIO Oval No 2

In another ladder-defining clash heading into the Christmas break, Pint takes on Palmerston Magpies in a bid to gain fourth spot on the ladder. Palmerston pushed the premiership favourites, Waratah all the way last week before eventually falling by eight points, while Pint got up over Tracy Village in a 49-0 win. The Queen Ants have been inconsistent throughout the season, with their last five games reading WLWDW in a formline which based on patterns does not bode well for this week. Palmerston have plenty on their line themselves this week, sitting a deserved third and only six points adrift from Darwin in second spot. A loss could see them slip below South Districts if the Crocs can upset Waratah in the other game. The Queen Ants will hope to continue their form over the past three weeks, where the likes of Jasmin Baksh and Emma Greaves have hit the scoreboard on multiple occasions. Cara Evans has also been a source of goals this year, while for the Magpies, Arthurina Moreen has been unstoppable in front of the big sticks, booting 17 majors from eight games. Iesha Ronberg has booted five goals and was named among the best seven times, one of the Magpies most consistent this season with Billie Byers and Janet Baird the others. Palmerston should win this game, but Pint have been in good form of late.

Tracy Village v. Darwin Buffettes
14/12/19 – Round 11
5:00pm
Tracy Village

In a less anticipated clash, two sides at opposite ends of the ladder do battle at Tracy Village. The home side sits ninth with one win from 10 games – against the winless Big River Hawks – whilst the visitors head into the clash having won seven and drawn one of a possible 10 matches. If there was a case for an upset it might be the time for Razorbacks, with Darwin having only won one of their past four games, including a shock loss to Wanderers. There is an argument the Buffettes could have won them all, going down by two points back-to-back and then drawing with Pint. A 125-point smashing of the Hawks last round got Darwin back on the winners list. For Tracy Village, their formline is not a pretty sight, losing their past seven games since scraping together a five-point win over Big River. Kylie Duggan has been a crucial player for the Buffettes this season, booting four goals and was named in the best on just as many occasions. Youngster, Tayla Hart-Aluni has booted five majors from nine games, while Calista Boyd and Dominic Carbone have also been important for the second placed side. Alexandra Biggs and Gabrielle Young are among the better players for Tracy Village this season, while Tara Everett has also been named in the best on multiple occasions. Expect Darwin to get the points in this clash fairly comfortably.

Nightcliff v. Wanderers
14/12/19 – Round 11
5:00pm
TIO Stadium

With both teams only separated by percentage and sitting sixth and seventh on the ladder expect an exciting match between Nightcliff and the Wanderers. The Waratahs will be looking to redeem themselves after falling by 23 points last week while Nightcliff also suffered a defeat in Round 10 adding further intensity to the game. Wanderers and Nightcliff have been relatively inconsistent unable to string consecutive performances together and really build any momentum to climb up the ladder thus far this season. However, Nightcliff can blow teams away with their quick ball movement but often struggle with accuracy in front of goal meaning they could leave the door ajar for their opponents if they do not convert. Both sides are relatively evenly poised with key players able to have influence across the field. Youngster Shantel Miskin-Ripia has been essential for Nightcliff in recent weeks using her signature run and carry to break lines while Jessica Steppacher was the sole goal kicker last week and will be looking to add to her goal tally. Hannah Turnbull was named in the bests last round thanks to her solid performance meanwhile the likes of Emma-Lou Wolsey, Eliza Morrison and Laura De Hommel are regular top performers renowned for their ability to change the course of the game and stand up under pressure when called upon. For the Wanderers, Morgan Johnston and Shekeine De Satge have been some of the most reliable talents on the field able to go in and win the hard ball. In terms of goal kicking De Stage has also been up there and will be seeking to replicate that this round.

St Mary’s vs. Big Rivers
14/12/19 – Round 11
7:00pm
TIO Oval No 2

The Big River Hawks are yet to register a win this season and may once again struggle to do so against St Mary’s who, while have been inconsistent to say the least, should get the job done fairly easily. The Hawks are well and truly cemented at the bottom of the ladder while St Mary’s have four more wins despite sitting eighth, placing them in good stead for their matchup. St Mary’s have proved they have the talent to run over teams winning against the higher placed Nightcliff last round and will be riding a wave of confidence heading into the final match before the Christmas break. On the other hand, it has been a tough introduction for the Hawks who are yet to find their rhythm in the attacking half, often unable to register a goal meaning they must bring their A-game if they are to trouble St Mary’s. The Hawks will be looking to Crystal Browne, Deanna Peckham and Cammie Delacoeur to lead the way and deliver ball inside 50. Gretel Bailey-Preston is no slouch inside 50, able to find the goals if given the chance. For St Mary’s, Aaliyah Bailey is the go-to girl, able to wheel around and attack the goals while other key contributors such as Sharna Edwards and Nikita Long will have to have a big game if they are to influence the outcome of the game.

NTFL Women’s Premier League weekend preview: Round 10 – Heat to prove extra challenge

ROUND 10 is set to have some interesting battles, with a few ladder-defining matches heading up the weekend. In a change from the usual scheduling all five matches this week take place at different locations, making for potential of a real mixed bag of results especially with temperatures expected to surge over the weekend in some parts of the Northern Territory this week.

Nightcliff v. St Mary’s
7/12/19 – Round 10
12:30pm
TIO Oval 2

Nightcliff are in an unprecedented position once more this week, sitting in fifth with five wins for the season so far coming up against eighth placed St Mary’s to open Round 10. Both sides were part of high-scoring clashes last round though the Tigers certainly will come in favourites given their solid 95-point victory over Big River Hawks while St Mary’s only managed eight points against Southern Districts. Nightcliff will look to tighten up the accuracy this week after booting 23 behinds last round. Last time these sides met Nightcliff came away with a solid 11-point victory so will look to back up that effort this time around. Saints’ Sharna Edwards and Yasmin Roe have played every match so far this season well and truly earning their spots in the lineup with their consistency. Nightcliff’s Eliza Morrison, Emma-Lou Wolsey and Mickayla Ward have also proved to be consistent performers throughout the season so far. 

Tracy Village v. Pint
7/12/19 – Round 10
2:00pm
Tracy Village

Tracy Village will look to get one back this week after a disappointing display last round against Waratah while Pint will be brimming with confidence after going toe-to-toe with Darwin Buffettes and given a draw for their efforts. While not far apart on the ladder, sitting ninth and seventh respectively, Tracy Village is sitting far below Pint on percentage making this a difficult task for the Razorbacks. One thing that will go in the side’s favour however is the home ground advantage with the match taking place at Tracy Village. The two sides did battle in Round 2 with Tracy Village going scoreless, entirely run down by Pint meaning the Tigers have a lot to prove this round. Pint’s Jasmyn Hewett, Emma Greaves and Erin Hetherington will look to continue their solid form while Razorbacks have the likes of Alexandra Biggs, Gabby Young and Tara Everett up their sleeve with plenty left to prove.

Big River Hawks v. Darwin Buffettes
7/12/19 – Round 10
2:30PM
Katherine Oval

Big River Hawks have another rough one coming up this week when they take on second-ranked Darwin Buffettes. The Hawks went scoreless last time they took on the Buffettes, with the Buffs booting 19.19 for the match. While the Buffs have had a shaky past few weeks on the track, they are unlikely to have a tough time against the Hawks who have struggled to put points on the board this season. The Hawks will have some confidence on home soil but with temperatures expected to peak upwards of 40 degrees celcius only time will tell whether they are able to put up a worthy fight. Jayde De La Coeur and Crystal Browne are two of the most consistent performers for the Hawks alongside Deanna Peckham. For the Buffettes, Kylie Duggan has been solid across her eight matches with three best on ground appearances while Tikesa Docherty-Cole has booted seven goals from two matches to prove herself as a key option forward for the Buffs.

Southern Districts v. Wanderers
7/12/19 – Round 10
5:00pm
TIO Stadium

The final Saturday match of the round will see fourth and sixth do battle with both sides on the same amount of winning points though Districts arguably have the better percentage and potential to get a win on the board in round 10. The Crocs had the winning points taken off for their last battle against Wanderers back in Round 2, so the side will surely want to prove they can get away with victory this time again. For Districts, Charles Deegan is key finding the footy while Ebony Miller has the ability in front of goal to be dangerous if left unattended, already having booted 27 goals for the season. The Wanderers will look to their stalwart trio of Morgan Johnston, Shekeine De Satge and Sophia Mauboy who have continued to perform across the board this season.

Waratah v. Palmerston Magpies
8/12/19 – Round 10
12:00pm
Gardens Oval

The final match of the round is set to be the biggest with Waratah hosting Palmerston Magpies. The two sides went  toe-to-toe in Round 2, ending with a 10 point margin Waratah’s way, so the Magpies are sure to ark it up this time with accuracy and forward pressure surely on the agenda. Both sides come into this matchup off solid wins in the past few rounds so expect another tight battle between two of the top sides of the competition. Iesha Ronberg has proved her consistency across a number of matches with consistency and cleanliness to boot, unafraid to go into the contest hard and earning six best on ground appearances for her efforts. Arthurina Moreen will be key for the Magpies alongside Ronberg with a real eye for the goals while Billie Byers and Janet Baird also have plenty to offer. For the ‘Tahs Rebecca Pryer has impressed throughout the season while Lauren O’Shea is the current leading goalkicker for the side with 12 from eight matches.

NTFL Women’s Premier Division: Round 8 – Waratah and Buffettes go head-to-head for top spot

IN Round 8 of Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Women’s Premier Division expect plenty of action, with the headlining match the table-topping clash between 2018/2019 premiers, Waratah and this season’s dominant force in Darwin Buffettes. Meanwhile, the ladder will be well and truly changed up again this round, with wins to teams in the top five likely to provide plenty of separation to the ladder for the first time this season.

Southern Districts v. Nightcliff
23/11/19 – Round 8
12:30pm
Norbuilt Oval

Nightcliff is in for a tough slog this week, only one win behind Southern Districts according to the ladder, but it is worth taking into consideration that the Crocs have had points taken off them on two occasions for fielding extra players, meaning the side cannot be underestimated. While Nightcliff have had some fairly good form to start the season, they have scored a lot less points than Districts have to start the season so will need to either put on some serious firepower or apply a lot of defensive pressure to get over the line in this match. Crocs’ Ebony Miller will be one to watch this round, booting 10 goals last week to take her season tally to 24 while the likes of Charles Deegan and Lateesha Jeffrey can provide solid options wherever needed on the field. For the Tigers, Emma-Lou Wolsey and Eliza Morrison have proved to be two of the side’s most consistent players, going in hard to every contest. Nightcliff will require at least one of their key forward options to front up, with Shantel Miskin-Ripia and Jacqueline Anyon-Smith both impressive performers in front of goal when given the chance.

Waratah v. Darwin Buffettes
23/11/19 – Round 8
2:30pm
TIO Oval 2

Ultimately the biggest match of the round will see an early battle between first and second on the ladder, with both sides dominating majority of their contests to start the season. With the match played on neutral territory in the first of a double header at TIO Oval 2, either team could realistically run away with this one but also com down to a close encounter, given the strength in both the respective forward and defensive 50s. The Buffettes will need to take advantage of Waratah’s inaccuracy in this match to get a win on the board, and with both sides having a number of players who can impact the scoreboard, it is vital they shut down as many options as possible. With 17 and 18 individual goalkickers respectively, both sides have proven time and time again that they have the firepower to get the job done, with Kylie Duggan and Dominique Carbone among the Buffettes’ most consistent, while Waratah will look to Lisa Roberts and Madeline Gault.

Pint v. Big River Hawks
23/11/19 – Round 8
5:00pm
TIO Oval 2

Big River Hawks will look to take control in this match, with a relatively achievable contest this round against Pint. While the Bullants have won three games of seven, they have only defeated lower sides and only one by a solid margin. While the Hawks will still have a tough time against them, if they can lock down their defence and keep possession of the footy they may actually have a good chance of putting goals on the board. Emma Greaves and Erin Hetherington have been solid for Pint in the early stages of the season so are sure to team up once more with Jacqueline Downey and Jasmyn Hewett to impact on the board. For Hawks, Crystal Browne, Jayde De La Couer and Deanna Peckham have proved time and time again that they will not stop regardless of the margin.

Palmerston Magpies v. St Mary’s
23/11/19 – Round 8
7:30pm
Palmerston Oval

Another interesting match will play out between sides only one win apart, with Palmerston Magpies on four wins in third while St Mary’s is in sixth on three wins. The Magpies have been fortunate in a few of their games, winning off the back of some solid defence rather than firepower forward, so will need to really unleash forward to ensure a good match against St Mary’s. For the Saints the main issue will be the Magpies’ impressive run through the midfield, making them tough to stop when heading forward. Iesha Ronberg has had a solid start to the season for the Magpies alongside Billie Byers and Janet Baird, while Arthurina Moreen has kicked true early with 12 goals to her name making her a key option inside 50 for the Saints to stop. For St Mary’s, Danielle Ponter and Sharna Edwards have been relatively consistent and the real core of the side, so will need to be those solid players who stand up if the Magpies take control.

Tracy Village v. Wanderers
24/11/19 – Round 8
2:30pm
Tracy Village

The final match of the round will see two of last season’s bottom sides go head to head, but ultimately with their positions switched as Wanderers come into this game with four wins under their belt to the Razorbacks’ one. However, with the match played at Tracy Village the Razorbacks will have a much-needed home ground advantage, meaning the Wanderers will need to well and truly bring their A-game. For Tracy Village, the likes of Tara Everett and Zhoe Clarke will need to stand up, and with only two players in Bonnie McDougall and Nickesha Jones on multiple goals for the season the side will really want to spark up forward to make this a contested match. For the Wanderers, Shekeine De Satge and Morgan Johnston will want to continue their respective strong form starting the season with a real chance this match to continue the Eagles’ great ladder position.

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.

NTFL Women’s Premier League wrap: Round 3 – Buffettes continue unbeaten streak

ROUND 3 of Northern Territory Football League Women’s (NTFLW) saw a massive switch in momentum, with only one side remaining undefeated and in the same position on the ladder as they sat prior to the weekend’s matches. Meanwhile, Tracy Village got its first win on the board for the season leaving only Big River Hawks yet to win a match at this early stage of the season.

WARATAH 0.6 | 1.10 | 2.12 | 4.17 (41)
NIGHTCLIFF 0.1 | 0.1 | 0.1 | 0.1 (1)

GOALS

Waratah: M. Cooper, A. Love, J. Smyth, L. O’Shea.
Nightcliff: N/A.

BEST

Waratah: J. Smyth, J. Singh, I. Rapson-Staropoli, A. Love, S. Puruntatameri
Nightcliff: L. de Hommel, H. Turnbull, E. Wolsey, E. Morrison, E. Johnson

Inaccuracy plagued last season’s premiers in the opening match of Round 3, with Waratah booting a whopping 17 behinds to only four goals. While it was easily enough to get them over the line, keeping their opposition in Nightcliff – undefeated until now – to only one behind, it could be a frustrating sign of what is to come for the Warriors with a second unsuccessful match in front of goal. Meanwhile, this match sees Nightcliff lose their unbeaten streak to start the season, dealt a savage blow by Waratah and only producing one behind for the match. It was a relatively even start to the match with both sides unable to find the goals, however it was Waratah’s ability to hold onto the footy that kept them one step ahead despite Nightcliff’s constant defensive efforts. For Nightcliff, Laura de Hommel put in tough slog as did Hannah Turnbull, while Waratah’s Jordan Smyth and Jenna Singh impressed on their way back up the ladder. While Nightcliff have plenty to improve on they will need to keep their confidence up despite this loss, while Waratah will need to tidy up their accuracy if they hope to compete with consistency and pile on the pressure throughout the season.

SOUTHERN DISTRICTS 2.2 | 5.4 | 8.10 | 12.13 (85)
PINT 1.0 | 1.0 | 1.0 | 2.0 (12)

GOALS

Southern Districts: E. Miller 5, M. Derschow 2, T. Holtze, K. Patterson, M. Breed, S. Hoogeveen-Hill, C. Deegan.
Pint: S. Peris, C. Evans.

BEST

Southern Districts: N/A
Pint: N/A

The Southern Districts well and truly earned their position in second this week with the biggest margin of the round, locking the ball in their forward half and forcing Pint to scrap for every ball. While inaccuracy was a minor issue for Districts it did not seem to phase the home side, booting 12 goals and 13 behinds on their way to an impressive victory and percentage to boot. Ebony Miller starred for Southern Districts with five majors to her name, closely followed by Mickaela Derschow with two while five other players put goals on the board. For Pint, strong efforts inside 50 from Shailyn Doreen Peris and Cara Evans were unfortunately not enough, and despite a goal apiece the defensive strength of the Crocs saw them take plenty of turnover ball to keep the Districts forward-line busy.

PALMERSTON MAGPIES 1.1 | 4.4 | 4.5 | 4.7 (31)
DARWIN BUFFETTES 2.0 | 3.0 | 3.0 | 6.0 (36)

GOALS

Palmerston Magpies: A. Moreen 2, F. Puruntatameri, K. Whittaker.
Darwin Buffettes: M. Ellis 2, R. De Santis, D. Carbone, T. Bullen, T. Paterson.

BEST

Palmerston Magpies: T. May, J. Baird, B. Byers, N. Medbury, T. Williams, I. Ronberg
Darwin Buffettes: B. Stokes, T. Hart-Aluni, M. Ellis, M. Roberts, N. Dunn

It was a final quarter three-goal blitz that got the Buffettes over the line against the Magpies, down by 11 points at the final change and needing a big push to the finish. The Magpies had a slow start out of the games with the Buffettes outscoring them in the first before the tides changed with the Magpies managing a 10-point lead heading into the first change. While both sides struggled to get points on board in the third with only the one behind conceded, the Buffettes well and truly put on the accelerator in the final term to boot three goals to nil and take the win, staying at the top of the ladder as the only undefeated side. The likes of Arthurina Moreen (two goals) and Tabitha May were impressive for the Magpies, while Janet Baird and Billie Byers were also up there with a willingness to contest every ball. For the Buffettes, Michelle Ellis added two more goals to her early season tally, while Bianca Stokes and Tayla Hart-Aluni put on a solid performance once more.

WANDERERS 0.0 | 2.1 | 2.1 | 5.6 (36)
ST MARY’S 2.3 | 4.5 | 4.8 | 4.10 (34)

GOALS

Wanderers: K. Motlop, S. De Satge, T. Davern, M. Wood, J. Jones-Cubillo.
St Mary’s: N/A.

BEST

Wanderers: S. De Satge, P. Koulakis, M. Johnston, C. Vea Vea, T. Parriman, L. Motlop
St Mary’s: N/A

It was a massive confidence boosting come-from-behind win that the Wanderers needed this week and that’s certainly what they got, prevailing against an unconvincing and inaccurate St Mary’s side to hop into fourth on the ladder. While St Mary’s got to a speedy start and held on for majority of the match, the Eagles put in the hard yards when it mattered most to come away with the two-point victory. Five individual goal kickers got on the board for Wanderers in the victory, with Shekeine De Satge named best-on-ground for the Eagles with a dominant performance and a goal to boot. Meanwhile, Pierre-Angelique Koulakis stood up once more despite the Saints’ best efforts.

TRACY VILLAGE 1.1 | 3.4 | 3.4 | 4.6 (30)
BIG RIVER HAWKS 0.0 | 0.0 | 0.0 | 0.0 (0)

GOALS

Tracy Village: N. Jones 2, S. Bailie-mace, B. McDougall.
Big River Hawks: N/A.

BEST

Tracy Village: K. Brown, G. Young, N. Jones, A. Biggs, K. Marschall, Z. Clarke
Big River Hawks: N/A

Tracy Village well and truly owned the Big River Hawks on Sunday, handing the Hawks their third successive loss and lifting the Razorbacks to second last on the ladder. While the Razorbacks well and truly bounced back from their massive 62-point loss to Pint last week with this win on the board, the Hawks had as much opportunity to raise the bar and get on the board but were unable to put a score on the board for the second week in a row – though keeping their opposition to only 30 points will surely be a positive outcome after two massive losses in the opening rounds. For Tracy Village, a win on the board at this early stage of the season will be a massive confidence booster, with Nikesha Jones pulling on the boots for the first time this season and kicking two goals, while Kiarna Brown, Gabby Young and Alexandra Biggs all stood up.

2019 VFLW weekend Round 1b preview: Eight teams begin their campagins

AFTER the Southern Saints made a statement in the opening round with a victory over last year’s minor premiers Collingwood, the other Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s sides take to the field, as four games are played across the competition. The Western Bulldogs and Carlton have the bye, as do Williamstown, however the Seagulls are facing off against GWS GIANTS in an invitational match which will see the GIANTS match-up against some of the Victorian sides. Below are the teams and season previews.

ESSENDON v. CASEY DEMONS

Round 1 – 11/05/2019
11:30
Windy Hill

Essendon

B: 7. K. Hicks, 11. M. Warburton, 29. C. Laan
HB: 18. K. Heil, 27. A. Morcom, 21. K. McFadyen
C: 28. R. Svarc, 39. M. Fogas, 1. C. Ugle
HF: 25. L. Stepnell, 23. M. Collier, 24. S. Wilson
F: 3. M. DeMatteo, 38. E. Gogerly, 40. A. Moreen
R: 30. S. Nalder, 22. N. MacDonald, 8. H. Bullas
Int: 13. S. Audley, 2. I. Currenti, 43. G. Nanscawen, 4. A. Saundry
Emg: 45. E. Ashley-Cooper, 15. L. Caruso, 33. E. Hosking, 14. T. Zagontinos
23P: 31. J. Stassi

Casey Demons

B: 50. G. McLean, 13. K. Smith, 15. T. Tatterson
HB: 34. A. Kirkwood, 7. B. Jakobsson, 8. S. Lampard
C: 23. E. Birch, 16. M. Hogg, 22. M. Guerin
HF: 42. H. Bailey, 29. E. Zanker , 11. C. Emonson
F: 24. N. Garner, 40. H. Dyson, 27. B. Winbanks
R: 38. K. Bentvelzen , 41. R. Edmeades, 47. K. Guttridge
Int: 48. E. Archer, 9. A. Johnson, 32. A. McDonough, 54. K. Oates
Emg: 57. L. Davies, 51. A. Francese, 37. T. Nash, 62. G. Speedy
23P: 46. B. Pratt

 

DAREBIN v. RICHMOND

Round 1 – 11/05/2019
12:00
Swinburne Centre

Darebin

B: 32. G. Colvin, 21. K. Roe, 19. R. Hibbert
HB: 16. B. Kennedy, 56. R. Ashley, 43. N. Wolfe
C: 1. E. Honybun, 9. M. Eastman, 28. A. Morrow
HF: 17. S. Simpson, 22. G. Hammond, 7. L. Szigeti
F: 36. E. Buckley, 31. E. Gardner, 23. M. Wilson
R: 37. E. McLaughlin, 15. A. Lister, 33. J. Stanton
Int: 18. C. Byrne, 39. S. David, 25. C. Delbridge, 20. S. Fairchild
Emg: 46. R. Coombs, 55. M. Hubbard, 49. A. Ladson, 50. M. Suzuki
23P: 57. P. Kearney

Richmond

B: 26. E. Burry, 41. S. Last, 15. R. Miller
HB: 19. K. Dempsey, 2. P. Monahan, 34. A. Makur Chuot
C: 25. G. Egan, 5. M. Brancatisano, 8. J. Graham
HF: 33. J. Colwell, 16. C. Wakefield , 36. E. Paterno
F: 17. E. Gunn, 24. T. Stahl-Smith, 46. H. Ibrahim
R: 11. A. Edmonds, 13. A. Woodward, 1. J. Kennedy
Int: 43. G. Campbell, 30. D. Edward, 37. M. Klingbeil , 22. S. Marsh
Emg: 39. M. Lindsay , 32. I. Milford, 23. T. Smith
23P: 29. K. Jacques

 

HAWTHORN v. NT THUNDER

Round 1 – 12/05/2019
11:30
Box Hill City Oval

Hawthorn

B: 25. M. Hutchins, 6. T. Radan, 31. J. Sibley
HB: 13. E. Nixon, 40. E. MacDonald, 21. P. Randall
C: 33. E. Gilder, 24. R. Dillon, 5. C. Perera
HF: 12. N. Cormack , 26. C. Dyett, 18. E. Wroe
F: 17. A. Dowler, 2. K. Henderson, 30. A. Sarec
R: 22. T. Luke, 10. P. Peschke, 8. R. Beeson
Int: 14. O. Flanagan, 11. D. Haines, 15. B. Struylaart, 29. A. Tanner
Emg: 4. S. Carroll, 35. C. O’Donnell, 27. K. Scott
23P: 23. G. Macpherson

NT Thunder

B: 37. M. Rajcic, 33. T. Thorn, 31. A. Stanley
HB: 23. E. Miller, 9. L. Jeffrey, 26. C. Randall
C: 13. L. Roberts, , 12. K. Streader
HF: 11. J. Hickey, 10. A. Chittick, 18. T. Holtze
F: 27. A. Considine, 7. M. Ellis,
R: 20. J. Hewett, 3. A. Foley, 1. M. Johnston
Int: 17. S. Bishop, 24. S. Hoogeveen-Hill, 21. K. Irvine, 5. M. Roberts, 48. K. Rosenzweig, 34. D. Varnhagen
Emg: 32. B. Byers, 29. C. Deegan
23P: 2. J. Baird

 

MELBOURNE UNI v. GEELONG CATS

Round 1 – 12/05/2019
02:30
Melbourne University Main Oval

Melbourne Uni

B: 45. A. Arundel, 3. T. Mesiti, 17. E. Hay
HB: 22. J. Anwyl, 26. N. O’Connor, 32. C. Daniec
C: 53. J. Grierson, 36. N. Julian, 14. M. McDonald
HF: 38. K. Angelis, 51. J. Tancred, 40. A. Runnalls
F: 4. E. King, 57. A. Price, 18. A. Tupper
R: 5. K. Gillespie-Jones, 25. J. Garner, 35. J. Bruton
Int: 34. K. Cox, 47. M. Hare, 46. A. Roan , 52. M. Shone
Emg: 42. L. Amelung, 44. E. Bult, 30. S. Farmer, 41. J. Thomas
23P: 39. V. Saad

Geelong Cats

B: 49. E. Ramsay, 4. C. Blakeway, 23. H. Rowe
HB: 20. R. Pearce, 44. R. Goring, 11. J. Woollett
C: 3. A. McDonald, 27. R. Webster, 10. G. Rankin
HF: 45. M. Keryk, 17. G. Clarke, 9. T. Love
F: 42. B. Beckley, 8. K. Darby, 7. R. Benham
R: 1. R. Caris, 5. J. Ivey, 41. A. Haigh
Int: 14. N. French, 33. Z. Inei, 43. M. Maguire, 13. L. Taylor
Emg: 26. M. Boyd, 15. G. Deller, 16. O. Purcell
23P: 19. S. DeGiacomi

 

SEASON PREVIEWS: (Including byes)

CARLTON BLUES

Coach: Shannon McFerran
Last year: 7th (6-8)

The entire Carlton side would be buzzing with the AFL Women’s achievement of making the Grand Final and hoping to follow in the senior side’s footsteps. Last year the Blues showed signs within games, but could not quite put together a four quarter effort. They had an enormous amount of future AFL Women’s talent on their list last season with Tyla Hanks and Madeline Brancatisano (both Melbourne), Rene Caris (Geelong) and Celine Moody (Western Bulldogs) all poached by other clubs in the draft, while Abbie McKay, Chloe Dalton and Brooke Walker made the transition up to senior football at the Blues. Darcy Vescio won the leading goalkicker award after another terrific season inside 50 and look for her to be a key player in Shannon McFerran‘s side. With the close bond between Carlton and Northern Knights – and the strength of the Knights program in 2019 – do not be surprised for the Blues to be bolstered mid-season by the likes of Gabby Newton and Britney Gutknecht among others. They have picked up Marnie Jarvis and Taylah Manson from the Knights last year, and with continued improvement and recruitment of Madison Prespakis, Emerson Woods and Charlotte Wilson – who all had TAC Cup Girls and VFLW experience prior to being drafted, the Blues are a sleeper side that is not to be taken lightly.

 

CASEY DEMONS

Coach: Damien Keeping
Last year: 10th (5-9)

Despite a disappointing season on the ladder, Casey Demons were raided at the AFL Women’s draft with six drafted on the night, and a further one (Taylor Mesiti) prelisted. Jordyn Allen, Georgia Gourlay and Maddie Shevlin all swapped red and blue for black and white, while Casey Sherriff, Chantel Emonson and Shae Sloane showed enough to be picked up the Dees. The Demons have brought in some height with the recruitment of former Oakleigh Chargers and Essendon ruck, Bridie Winbanks, while putting an emphasis on retaining Melbourne AFLW listed players, something they did not have the luxury of having with many playing at Darebin given the players history with the Falcons. Now just Elise O’Dea, Lauren Pearce and Brooke Patterson are at the Falcons, so the Demons can have a stronger link to the AFLW side. Harriet Cordner and Maddison Gay were two big improvers of the 2019 AFLW season and will be ones to watch for the Demons in the upcoming VFLW season. A couple of key pickups for the Demons include Gippsland Power duo, Nikia Webber and Shanara Notman who could provide service up opposite ends. Overall look for the Demons to improve this year.

 

DAREBIN FALCONS

Coach: Michael Ericson (NEW)
Last year: 5th (8-6)

Darebin Falcons defied odds by finishing fifth last season and on track for finals up until a couple of rounds out from the post-season series. Michael Ericson has taken over from Jane Lange at the helm, and with it faces a new challenge of keeping the side competitive. O’Dea, Pearce and Patterson loom as the keys to the team, while Jamie Stanton who moved from Melbourne University – to align with her shift from North Melbourne to Gold Coast AFLW – is another AFLW listed player. Bridie Kennedy also joins the team from Carlton after having that AFLW experience, but mostly the Falcons will be relying on the yourh of the team and experienced VFLW players. Captain Stephanie Simpson is one of six players with 30 or more VFLW games under her belt which in the scheme of the relatively new competition is vital. Northern Knights, Nell Morris-Dalton and Ciara Fitzgerald have also joined Darebin, while former Eastern Ranges’ Lauren Szigeti will have benefited from her six games last year. Overall the Falcons will still give the top teams something to think about on their day, and rack up wins against the bottom handful, but it will be a test to be a genuine contender.

 

ESSENDON BOMBERS

Coach: Brendan Major
Last year: 13th (1-13)

It was fair to say Essendon did not have the season it had hoped for, winning just the one game and taking out the wooden spoon in season 2019. With limited AFL Women’s experience, the Bombers just lacked that top-end talent that other clubs had, and while the Bombers had that tackling ferocity through best and fairest winner, Hayley Bullas and the class and skill of future Adelaide AFLW premiership player, Danielle Ponter, they did not have enough talent across the board to compete with the sides that were flushed with AFLW signatures. The one win against Richmond was terrific to see, as it meant the Bombers got some reward for effort after a long season. Along with Bullas, Courtney Ugle and Simone Nalder have returned to the club, while former Murray Bushrangers’ defender and Eastern Allies representative, Eloise Ashley-Cooper will add some class to the side. The Bombers have four players with AFLW experience, including Maddy Collier and Hayley Trevean. With NAB League Girls club, Calder Cannons having some great talent coming through the ranks, expect the likes of Georgia Patrikios to open some eyes late in the season with her agility and goal sense, while Felicity Theodore, Alana Barba, Gloria Elamaly and Krstel Petrevski will add a mix of skill and toughness to the Bombers’ team. The Bombers will still lack the star quality other AFLW experienced teams have, so the goal will be to be more competitive and try and get off the bottom of the table this season.

 

GEELONG CATS

Coach: Natalie Wood (NEW)
Last year: 4th (10-3-1) Grand final loss

Natalie Wood has taken over from Paul Hood who opted to just focus on the AFLW side in the blue and white hoops, but has inherited a genuine premiership contender. After Geelong had fewer AFLW listed players compared to others last season, they now have 20 on their VFLW books, topped up by local players including former Geelong Falcons premiership players, Tarryn Love, Zoe Inei and Sachi DeGiacomi who managed six games at VFLW level between them last season. They have not only retained the majority of the their list, but picked up teh likes of Julia Crockett-Grills (Hawthorn), Rebecca Webster (Melbourne University) and Sophie Van De Heuvel (Williamstown), keeping them in the Geelong system. It is hard not to picture a scenario where Geelong are not in finals considering the now deep and strong bond the players have and having reached the grand final, before strengthening their list even more. The Geelong AFLW side made finals in its first year and expect the VFLW side to follow suit with the same talent on its list.

 

HAWTHORN HAWKS

Coach: Patrick Hill
Last year: 2nd (12-2) Premiers

The reigning premiers had a number of players drafted including Rising Star Jayde Van Dyk, Emerson Woods and Mikala Cann in what was a perfectly timed season, finishing second, pouncing on Collingwood in the semi-final, and then making the most of their opportunities against Geelong in the decider. In great news for the Hawks, Van Dyk has returned to the club for the VFLW season, as have key forward Phoebe McWilliams (Geelong), Rebecca Beeson and Pepa Randall (both GWS GIANTS). With super coach, Patrick Hill at the reigns again, the Hawks will be predicted to be thereabouts again and a genuine premiership contender. Sarah Perkins will be primed for a big season in the brown and gold, hoping to force her way back onto an AFLW list after being delisted by the Crows following the 2019 season. The forward combination between Perkins and McWilliams is as good as it gets in the competition, and with Eastern Rangers youngsters Serena Gibbs and Laura McClelland in the side later in the year, expect the reigning premiers to have a potent forward line. Gippsland Power’s Maddison Shaw has also joined the Hawks, and is one of just two 2001-birth players on the list. A huge contender.

 

MELBOURNE UNIVERSITY MUGARS

Coach: Scott Gowans
Last year: 9th (5-9)

The Mugars were up and down at times throughout the 2018 VFLW season, finishing with five wins from 14 games, but having some great young talent come into the side last in the year, including Prepsakis and Webster who were both drafted by AFLW clubs. Sophie Abbatangelo, Ashleigh Riddell, Maddison Smith, Chloe Haines, Libby Haines and Nicole Bresnehan all stepped up to the senior side, with many showing their ability to adapt to the faster pace of the game. After a huge season that ultimately fell short of a finals berth in the AFLW, North Melbourne and Melbourne Uni coach, Scott Gowans will be keen to continue the form shown by the Kangaroos at AFLW level, into the VFLW system. Emma Kearney was terrific for the Mugars last year along with Kaitlyn Ashmore, and expect them to be key players once again. They have added experience to their list with Hawthorn duo, Tahni Nestor and Kim Ebb, as well as Essendon’s Jessica Anwyl who showed promising signs last season in the red and black. Throw in league best and fairest winner, Jess Duffin, Jasmine Garner and Jenna Bruton, and the Mugars have to be considered one of the premiership favourites. All up they have 23 AFL Women’s listed players and will be another tough team to beat.

 

NORTHERN TERRITORY THUNDER

Coach: Heidi Thompson (NEW)
Last year: 3rd (11-3) – Semi-final loss

Much was spoken about the Thunder and whether or not the experienced top-heavy side with Adelaide Crows, could be allowed to play so much talent at once. Early in the season it looked like the Thunder would skip through the season, but in the end, ultimately fell in the first week of finals to the Cats. After missing out on her AFLW dream last year, Janet Baird is the biggest junior recruit to the Thunder in season 2019, with the NTFL Women’s top player signing on at the Thunder for the upcoming season. She joins the likes of Madeline Gault, Arthurina Moreen and Tabitha May, who all played for Central Allies in 2018, but missed out on a chance in the AFLW. The top-end and upcoming talent at the Thunder is clear, with Ebony Marinoff, Stevie-Lee Thompson, Marijana Rajcic, Renee Forth, Eloise Jones and Sarah and Jess Allen among a ridiculous among of Crows talent in the side. They were arguably a premiership favourite early in 2018, and should be in that place once again given the improvement of many of the Crows through the 2019 AFLW premiership year. With Heidi Thompson now taking the reigns from Tim Weatherald, it will be interesting to see how she balances the AFLW talent throughout the season.

 

RICHMOND TIGERS

Coach: Tom Hunter
Last year: 12th (4-10)

The Tigers had a disappointing season in 2018, finishing twelfth and losing to Essendon, the only side to do so. They, like the Bombers just lacked that star quality in the 2018 VFLW season, but if their 2019 AFLW trade period is anything to go by, expect them to shoot up the ladder in season 2019. Jessica Kennedy and Jacqueline Graham were two standouts for the Tigers, it was just a case of adding depth to the obvious talent that was coming through the ranks. While some will play limited games, the likes of Monique Conti, Katie Brennan and Sabrina Frederick make for a scary forward line. With Richmond able to pre-list players this season, every player on the list will be keen to impress in front of the Tigers’ hierarchy and see what they can do to try and get an AFLW spot for the 2020 season. Overlooked Murray Bushrangers, Tamara Smith, Grace Egan and Sophie Damon are back at Punt Road, while Kodi Jacques has also joined the club with the Bendigo Pioneers’ midfielder looking to stake her claim this year. Former Magpies, Shayla Marsh and Hannah McLaren will don the yellow and black this year, making the Tigers stocked with young talent that will create run and excitement throughout the 2019 season. Expect the Tigers to rise up the ladder, and while they might lack the AFLW talent other teams have outside their forward 50, they could overtake a number of the clubs around their level in season 2018, this year.

 

WESTERN BULLDOGS

Coach: Sean Kavanagh (NEW)
Last year: 6th (7-7)

Sean Kavanagh has taken over from Debbie Lee who is now VFLW General Manager at the club, and will be looking to reshape the side that has lost some serious AFLW talent. Conti always spent the majority of the season playing basketball, while Brennan will be a big lose inside 50. However with 20 AFLW players on their list, they still have more than enough talent and experience to get them by. Their three top-age players they have picked up from NAB League Girls clubs are Sophie Molan, Ella Wood and Elisabeth Georgostathis which is arguably the best trio of pick-ups across the league. Molan will make an immediate impact, while Wood and Georgostathis can play both off half-back and through the middle. They will be unavailable during the AFLW National Championships, but expect them to show their talent. Overager Georgia Pidgeon will also provide some height for the Bulldogs, while a host of local players joins the likes of Ellie Blackburn, Brooke Lochland, Isabel Huntington and Deanna Berry as key players. When talking about experience, the Bulldogs have 14 players with 30 or more games, making them a very experienced side in the competition, and one that while they might not be in the top handful, could still challenge for finals.

 

WILLIAMSTOWN

Coach: Amy Catterall
Last year: 11th (4-10)

Williamstown finished eleventh in 2019, notching up the four wins, but had some serious top-end talent at the Gulls’ disposal. Duffin won the league best and fairest despite the team struggles, while Garner and Bruton were stars for Williamstown before emulating that for the Kangaroos at AFLW level. Big question marks remain over the Seagulls with all three departing the club. It means the load falls onto their VFLW listed players shoulders and puts them in a similar position to Essendon and Richmond last year. They had a good win over the Western Bulldogs in a pre-season practice match, and can have the continuity that teams with restricted AFLW numbers cannot. However this year is set to be a massive challenge for the Seagulls after losing so much top-end talent, with Demon, Aliesha Newman being a key signing – the only AFLW player on the list – and likely to cause headaches inside 50 for opposition defences. In doing so, there might be some serious youngsters step up and then make a case to land at an AFLW club, like former Bendigo Pioneers’ captain Megan Williamson, Eastern Ranges’ tall Tahlia Merrett and Bendigo Pioneers’ key defender Kate Douglass.