Tag: Jemma Iacono

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 preview: Round 18 – Top four sids vie for supremacy

THE ultimate round of the Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Women’s Premier League features a quartet of games all set to take place on a super Saturday, with the final six teams decided and those positioned from second to fourth vying for supremacy. The only game between two finals-bound sides will be left for last, as Palmerston takes on Wanderers at Cazalys Arena.

TRACY VILLAGE (9th) vs. WARATAH (1st)
Saturday February 15, 1:30pm
Tracy Village

Minor premiers Waratah will look to end a successful regular season on a high when it does battle with Tracy Village on the road to open Round 18. The Warriors have been in solid form heading into the post-season, coming off a top-of-the-table clash triumph to clock up their fifth consecutive win as the clear competition benchmark. On the other hand, Tracy Village has gone down in its last five outings, sitting last in the list of sides remaining in the competition at 2-15. The Razorbacks and Warriors have only previously met once this season, but the result was comprehensive as Waratah came out 93-point winners back in Round 9 to highlight the gap between the two sides. The perfectly juxtaposed records almost also go down to the scoring differential too, with Waratah leading the league in both points for and against, while Tracy Village is at the opposite end of both spectrums. Lauren O’Shea, Jenna Singh, and Lisa Roberts have all combined well to lead the Warriors forward of centre, while the consistency of Rebecca Pryer and Claudia Fabris has been commendable over 14 games each. The contributors are fewer and further between for the Razorbacks, boasting just three goalkickers but the likes of Gabrielle Young, Bonnie McDougall, and Zhoe Clarke may be leant on in this clash. It seems a mismatch on paper and has already proven so this season, which may not favour Waratah heading into finals.

SOUTHERN DISTRICTS (3rd) vs. ST MARY’S (8th)
Saturday February 15, 2:00pm
Norbuilt Oval

Southern Districts will look to better its standing among the top four as it faces the lowly St Mary’s on home turf, able to finish anywhere between second and fourth. The Crocs have won seven of their last eight games, picking up from where they left off after a Round 16 bye to thump Nightcliff last time out. As is somewhat of a theme for the round, St Mary’s have shown nearly completely opposing form with five losses in its last six outings – with the only win coming against Tracy Village and last week’s loss playing out to the tune of a 142-point thrashing against Palmerston. A Round 9 meeting between these two teams was as one-sided as their records would suggest as the Crocs took home a 66-point win, with St Mary’s lack of scoring prowess continually becoming a factor. While they have notched up six wins, the Saints have been much less competitive against the top-end sides, and that kind of gap in performance could prove costly again. With no Saint playing every game and the turnover of players as high as anyone, Southern Districts’ luxury of being able to rely on competition leading goalkicker Ebony Miller (49 goals) and Tahlia Holtze makes the Crocs a solid contender. While this looms as another one-sided match-up, expect both sides to throw everything at it in their final regular season hit-out.

PINT (7th) vs. DARWIN BUFFETTES (4th)
Saturday February 15, 4:00
MCG

Fresh off a loss in their top of the table encounter with Waratah, Darwin will hope to return to the winners list when it faces the best of the rest, Pint at the MCG. The Buffettes’ indifferent form of late has seen them slide from second to fourth, losing three of their last six games and only winning five of their past nine since a draw with Pint in Round 9. That 28 points apiece thriller was the only time these two sides have met this season, and bodes for a good contest considering Pint will come in refreshed after a bye round with nothing to lose. The Queen Ants have battled hard amid a tough set of fixtures over the last six weeks, but see themselves narrowly missing out on a finals berth despite the possibility of finishing with an even record. Pint’s defence will need to stand up if it is any chance of getting a result in this game, with Darwin boasting the third-best scoring record, while the Queen Ants’ defensive record is good enough for sixth. But with a clear gap between the top four and the rest of the competition, those numbers are compounded even further. A good spread of contributors from Darwin will again need to stand up, with Jemma Iacono and Tayla Hart-Aluni playing all-but one game, and the latter booting 17 goals. Dominique Carbone and Kylie Duggan have also been important over the long haul, while Pint’s Emma Green and Casey Morris will be key to the resistance. Previously the best-positioned side from second to fourth, Darwin will have to earn its way back there and perhaps have the ideal run-in to finals in what promises to be a competitive match.

PALMERSTON MAGPIES (2nd) vs. WANDERERS (6th)
Saturday February 15, 7:30pm
Cazalys Arena

Wanderers’ tricky run into finals comes to an end against Palmerston in what looms as the game of the round, set to do battle with Palmerston in the weekend’s only top six clash. The Eagles’ fate is set as they ready for an elimination final bout against Nightcliff regardless of this result, but the bragging rights of going into that clash as the better-ranked side is up for grabs here as the Tigers have the bye. 2-3 in its last five outings, Wanderers have had a tough time of it of late, but have showed the potential to pull of results above their ranking. Although, that was hardly the case in the previous meeting between these two sides this season, as the second-placed Palmerston ran out 29-point winners. The Magpies surged into second spot on the back of a 142-point win over St Mary’s to notch up a fifth win in six games, with the security of the top two meaning they have everything to play for as Southern Districts and Darwin chomp at their heels. The scoring prowess of Palmerston is no joke, with the combination of Arthurina Moreen (35 goals) and Freda Puruntatameri (24) proving lethal, with the likes of Billie Byers and Natasha Medbury also important. For Wanderers, which boasts a somewhat leaky defence, Shekeine De Satge and Tishara Davern have been terrific up the other end, and will need to find the big sticks if the Eagles are to stand any chance of a result. Both sides should benefit from a competitive match here, with a must-win situation beckoning for Palmerston.

Bye: Nightcliff

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

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

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

GOALS:

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

BESTS:

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

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

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

GOALS:

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

BESTS:

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

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

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

GOALS:

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

BESTS:

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

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

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

GOALS:

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

BESTS:

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

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

BYE: Pint

NTFL Women’s Premier League wrap: Round 16 – Magpies go clear in top four

PALMERSTON broke clear in the Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Women’s Premier League top four in emphatic style, trumping Nightcliff to draw level with Southern Districts on points, as other results also kept true to ladder position in anticipation of finals time.

WARATAH 0.1 | 2.2 | 3.5 | 6.8 (44)
PINT 1.3 | 2.4 | 4.4 | 4.6 (30)

GOALS:

Waratah: S. Nalder 3, M. Hunter 2, J. Singh
Pint: N/A

BEST:

Waratah: C. Fabris, S. Nalder, M. Hunter, I. Rapson-Staropoli, R. Pryer
Pint: N/A

Ladder leader and minor premier, Waratah maintained its winning form heading into the post-season, earning a trying 14-point win over Pint on home turf. The Queen Ants took it to the Warriors for three quarters, but ultimately came undone when it mattered to be overrun 6.8 (44) to 4.6 (30). An upset was brewing as the seventh-ranked Pint entered the first three breaks with a lead, albeit no greater than a goal heading into the last change, but it meant little as Waratah ran over the top with 3.3 to 0.2 to claim a fourth-consecutive victory – almost doubling its score while keeping Pint goalless for the first time in the match. The Warriors managed to conjure up a winning score without massive scoring contributions from leading goalkickers Jenna Singh and Lauren O’Shea, with Singh only claiming the one major while O’Shea was absent. On the other hand, the result keeps in line with Pint’s usual competitiveness, maintaining a percentage good enough for fifth despite its negative record to this point. The Bullants will have the bye in Round 17, with Waratah awaiting a top of the table clash against Darwin next time out.

WANDERERS 0.2 | 1.2 | 1.2 | 1.2 (8)
DARWIN BUFFETTES 2.4 | 6.5 | 7.7 | 8.9 (57)

GOALS:

Wanderers: N/A
Darwin: T. Hart-Aluni 2, C. Browne, K. Duggan, M. Turner, D. Ah Wang, J. Dodsworth, R. De Santis

BEST:

Wanderers: N/A
Darwin: D. Totham, J. Iacono, K. Duggan, T. Hart-Aluni, D. Carbone

Darwin returned to the winners list and broke further clear in second spot with its impressive 49-point win over Wanderers on Saturday evening. The Buffettes shut Wanderers out in a low-scoring second half to see out the 8.9 (57) to 1.2 (8) result, consolidating its top two status ahead of a clash with minor premier, Waratah. While Darwin managed to kick away to a steady two-goal lead from the off, much of the damage was done in a four-goal to one second term in favour of the Buffettes, with their continued scoring and stingy defence from that point, onwards getting the job done. Tayla Hart-Aluni bounced back from a goalless outing in Round 15 to notch two majors as her side’s sole multiple goalkicker, leading a line of seven Darwin goal-getters. It was the likes of Danielle Totham and Jemma Iacono who were named the most valuable Buffettes on the day though, with the finals-bound side able to stamp its authority. Wanderers simply did not have enough in the scoring department on the day in response, consigned to a third-straight loss with Tracy Village next on the agenda, and their finals spot on the line.

PALMERSTON 2.2 | 4.2 | 6.5 | 9.7 (61)
NIGHTCLIFF 1.0 | 1.0 | 2.1 | 2.1 (13)

GOALS:

Palmerston: F. Puruntatameri 3, A. Moreen 2, J. Brock, M. Brown, L. McCoy, T. May
Nightcliff: E. Morrison, J. Anyon-Smith

BEST:

Palmerston: N. Medbury, T. May, J. Brock, Y. Roe, S. Leedie, L. McCoy
Nightcliff: A. Moliere, E. Morrison, E. Wolsey

A combination of potent attack and sturdy defence proved the winning formula for Palmerston as the Magpies overcame an in-form Nightcliff side to break clear within the top four. The Tigers’ four-game win streak – which included the scalps of top two team, Waratah and Darwin – was brought to an abrupt halt as the Magpies consistently applied scoreboard pressure to achieve the 9.7 (61) to 2.1 (13) victory. Palmerston kept the Tigers scoreless for half of the game while adding at least two goals across each term to grow the eventually healthy 48-point margin, leaning on a couple of reliable goalkickers in the process. Arthurina Moreen (two goals, 32 overall) and Freda Puruntatameri (three and 16) led the scoring effort with over half of their side’s majors as the sole multiple goalkickers, continuing a consistent theme for the Magpies. Eliza Morrison, one of two Nightcliff players to find the big sticks was one of the Tigers’ best, only behind Andi Moliere in those stakes. While the Tigers are almost safe in their finals spot, a meeting with Southern Districts next time out will make holding on tough, with Palmerston set to face St Mary’s in its next outing.

ST MARY’S 0.4 | 5.8 | 5.10 | 8.14 (62)
TRACY VILLAGE 0.1 | 0.1 | 1.1 | 1.1 (7)

GOALS:

St Mary’s: N/A
Tracy Village: N/A

BEST:

St Mary’s: N/A
Tracy Village: N/A

St Mary’s played above its ladder position in an emphatic 55-point win over Tracy Village to end a four-game losing run and see out Round 16. It only took one big term for the Saints to break the game open, kicking away quickly to set up the eventual 8.14 (62) to 1.1 (7) scoreline. After a goalless opener which yielded few highlights, the Saints took advantage of the scoring end to plow through five majors to Tracy Village’s nil and turn the game well to their favour. They were outpointed immediately after the main break, but hit back well to cap off the win with another three goals to nil. Finals has been out of reach for both sides, but any set of four points bodes well for bottom three sides and a positive end to the year is just what St Mary’s will be after. They face Palmerston next time out in a tough assignment, while Tracy Village tackles Wanderers in hopes of foiling the Eagles’ finals aspirations.

Bye: Southern Districts

NTFL Women’s Premier League Preview: Round 14 – Battle of the key forwards in Magpies-Districts match

HEADING into the home stretch, the race for finals in the Northern Territory Football League Women’s is getting tighter with no team undefeated after 13 rounds. Southern Districts will look to bounce back after a frustrating loss last week while Big River Hawks will hope to field a team for the first time this year after forfeiting in both Round 12 and Round 13.

Pint v. Wanderers
Round 14 – 18/1/20
2:00pm
MCG

Wanderers will need to go big this week against Pint after receiving an unprecedented forfeit last round from Big River Hawks. Last time they met, Wanderers were quick to start but were not really in it for the second half of the match, allowing Pint to dominate the contest and ultimately going down by 33 points. The Wanderers now sit in fifth, however, with eight wins behind them and the confidence to reign supreme if they put their minds to it, it could be a real tough contest for the Queen Ants. Pint will hope for Jasmyn Hewitt to continue her strong form, having only played eight matches for the season but booting 10 goals. Emma Greaves and Cara Evans have also been solid with 12 matches apiece, with consistency and cleanliness to boot. For the Wanderers, Morgan Johnston and Shekeine De Satge are among the key performers, with De Satge the leading goalkicker with 11 from her 13 matches.

Waratah v. Big River Hawks
Round 14 – 18/1/20
5:00pm
TIO Oval 2

Waratah will hope for another big win this week but the more pressing issue will be whether Big River Hawks can field a team this round after forfeiting their past two encounters. With skill and scoring ability on their side, Waratah will want to capitalise on every opportunity against the Hawks to continue the stellar form that has them sitting atop the ladder for the seventh round in a row – and not to mention trying to go one better than their last match against the Hawks that saw a whopping 162-point victory for the ‘Tahs. Waratah have improved their accuracy in front of goal in recent weeks so will want to continue that form, with the likes of Lisa Roberts sure to be right in the contest alongside fellow performers in Rebecca Pryer and Lauren Shea. For the Hawks, look to Crystal Browne and Deanna Peckham to put in the hard yards while Jayde De La Coeur will hope to put her second goal of the season on the board.

Darwin Buffettes v. St Mary’s
Round 14 – 18/1/20
5:00pm
TIO Stadium

Darwin Buffettes will want to go one better after narrowly defeating the Southern Districts last round, and this match against St Mary’s is no better opportunity with the Saints sitting in eighth compared to the Buffs in second. The Buffettes are teetering in their spot in the top two, only holding on thanks to dominant form at the beginning of the season and really making this match a do-or-die clash if they want to maintain their hold on the competition. For the Saints, a solid performance is required this week after a sloppy loss against Waratah which featured plenty of missed opportunities. The Buffettes impressed early in the season with their ability to share the load around and are no different now, with plenty of key players who can impact the contest. The likes of Tayla Hart-Aluni and Kylie Duggan are up there with regular solid performances while Dominique Carbone and Jemma Iacono are not far behind with continued execution week after week. For the Saints, consistency has been an issue with not one player taking the field in every single game, though Nikita Long and Sharna Edwards have played 12 from 13 matches to prove they have the game smarts to pull through.

Palmerston Magpies v. Southern Districts
Round 14 – 18/1/20
7:00pm
Cazalys Arena

Southern Districts will have their work cut out for them this week, taking on the Magpies who have been impressive in recent weeks and throughout the season overall. The Districts are not having it quite as easy however, coming off a loss last week to fellow top four side Darwin and their win first of 2020 against mid-tier Pint. Sitting at third and fourth on the ladder expect a close contest with both sides able to whip out stellar form and come from behind to take victory. Iesha Ronberg and Billie Byers have been key performers for the  Magpies, and with the likes of Arthurina Moreen (27 goals) and Freda Puruntatameri (12) inside 50, Ronberg and Byers have done their job well to  ensure the footy gets to them regularly. Southern Districts have their own sharpshooters to contend with however, with the league’s leading goalkicker Ebony Miller (35 goals in 10 games) creating a formidable option in front of goal with accuracy and skill to boot. Tahlia Holtze has also been a consistent performer, listed in the bests on five occasions.

Nightcliff v. Tracy Village
Round 14 – 19/1/20
2:00pm
PSC BM Oval

In the final game of the round, Nightcliff will want to continue their strong start to 2020 when they take on the lowly Tracy Village. The Razorbacks have a lot to prove against the Tigers after going down by 22 points last time they met, and will need to take advantage of every opportunity to get over Nightcliff this time around given they have won their past two encounters in 2020 so far. Coming off a big loss in Round 13, the Razorbacks will need to stay in control of the footy and with Nightcliff able to find space with ease, it will not be an easy job. Nightcliff  have the ability to jump up the ladder if results go their way this round, meaning they will look to the likes of Eliza Morrison and Emma-Lou Wolsey who have kept up the consistency throughout the season. Victorian, Mickayla Ward has contributed well since joining the side, with seven best on ground nominations from nine matches and eight goals to her name, combining well with youngster Shantel Miskin-Ripia who can swing as a key position player where required to bolster the versatile side. Tracy Village will hope the likes of Alexandra Biggs and Gabrielle Young continue to step up to prove the side can do more than just roll with the punches.

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 Division preview: Round 7 – Top five clash headlines round

THE Northern Territory Football League Women’s Premier League is set for another big week, with Round 7 ultimately starting the lead-up to the middle of the season. Five teams side on the same win-loss ratio and are separated by percentage alone, creating some real unpredictability across the ladder with a number of matches this round that could potentially go either way regardless of ladder position.

Waratah v. Pint
16/11/19 – Round 7
2:00pm
Gardens Oval

Pint is set for an interesting match this round against Waratah, a strong side that has not necessarily yet shown the firepower we have come to expect from them bar last round against the bottom of the ladder. For Waratah, this will be an opportunity to latch onto another win, and with confidence aplenty after last round Pint could really be under the pump despite sitting in the top five. Jenna Singh and Madeline Gault are sure to get up and about after a solid few weeks on track for the ‘Tahs, while Madison Yarran will hope to get a second call-up after booting six goals in her season debut last round. For Pint, Jasmyn Hewett is the leading goalkicker thus far with seven goals to her name while Emma Greaves and Erin Hetherington are sure to put in the hard yards.

Big River Hawks v. Southern Districts
16/11/19 – Round 7
2:30pm
Katherine Oval

While the Big River Hawks will be on home turf in Round 7, they will have a real tough one when they take on fourth ranked Southern Districts. As the newest side to the league the Hawks have struggled to find form this season and are yet to win a match after struggling in most of their matches. While they have plenty of potential, they will have a tough time against the Crocs who have firepower and pressure to boot. Crystal Browne, Deanna Peckham and Gretel Bailey-Preston have proved themselves to be strong competitors for the Hawks despite issues getting goals on the board, so are sure to stand up in front of a home crowd in Katherine. For the Districts, Lateesha Jeffrey has been a dominant force down back, swinging forward when required and playing a vital role across the field. Meanwhile, Ebony Miller will provide a solid target forward.

Darwin Buffettes v. Wanderers
16/11/19 – Round 7
2:30pm
TIO Oval 2

It’s the Wanderers’ turn to take on the ladder leaders in Darwin Buffettes this week, with a massive contest ahead of them. The Wanderers have started the season fairly well with three wins on the board, only lower on the ladder due to their percentage – something that could be an even bigger issue after this week, given the Buffettes’ ability to not only apply phenomenal scoreboard pressure but also deny other teams chances at goal. The Buffs are well and truly dominating at this early stage of the season so will want to keep that consistency alive with a big match against Waratah coming next round. Jemma Iacono and Tayla Hart-Aluni have proved their consistency across the start of the season, while the 18 individual goalkickers on the Buffettes list proves they can really play any combination of players on their list and rely on any number to stand up in the forward line. As for the Wanderers, Shekeine De Satge has been a dominant performer every round with clean hands and kicking to boot along with Pierre-Agelique Koulakis, while Ahmi Narkle had a good week on the track so will want to back up last round’s effort.

St Mary’s v. Tracy Village
16/11/19 – Round 7
5:00pm
TIO Oval 2

The second match of the TIO Oval 2 double header will see an interesting battle between eighth and ninth on the ladder, with Tracy Village only having won one match and raring to go. The Saints haven’t started much better, only winning two games so far, but coming away with solid margins in both matches to give St Mary’s a leg-up going into this contest. Danielle Ponter and Sharna Edwards have been consistent performers for the Saints across the first few rounds, creating plenty of ball movement and proving they can have an impact on the scoreboard with young gun Aaliyah Bailey will want to get back in the forward line to create scoring opportunities. For the Razorbacks, Tara Everett and Alexandra Biggs have been solid performers throughout the season so far while the consistency of Lisa-Maree Toner and Zhoe Clarke has been vital for the side.

Palmerston Magpies v. Nightcliff
17/11/19 – Round 7
2:30pm
Palmerston Oval

This match will be a real kicker, with the two teams separated by a number of other teams in a battle of third and sixth on the ladder, however going into this match having won the same amount of games making for an interesting contest. Nightcliff have had an unprecedented start to the season while the Magpies have had some bumps along the way, so both are sure to go hard into this match with plenty of good matchups across the field. Arthurina Moreen has had a massive few weeks for Palmerston with 12 goals across six matches, while Billie Byers, Iesha Ronberg and Natasha Medbury have been repeated performers proving the side has plenty to offer. Nightcliff has benefited with the addition of Mickayla Ward over the past few weeks, earning best on ground nominations across all three of her matches while Eliza Morrison and Emma-Lou Wolsey have continued to perform despite strong efforts from their opposition.

NTFL Women’s Premier League wrap: Round 6 – Waratah smash newcomers

IN Round 6 a number of big matches played out, with Waratah well and truly producing their best match of the season so far against an ailing Big River Hawks outfit, while Nightcliff broke a multiple season-spanning hoodoo with a win over Tracy Village. Meanwhile, St Mary’s held up well against the offensive prowess of a strong Buffettes side.

WARATAH 6.4 | 10.9 | 20.11 | 25.18 (168)
BIG RIVER HAWKS 0.0 | 0.0 | 1.0 | 1.0 (6)

GOALS

Waratah: L. Roberts 7, M. Yarran 6, S. Puruntatameri 3, T. O”Hehir 2, J. Kerinaiua 2, J. Smyth 2, M. Gault, J. Singh, H. Goodall.
Big River Hawks: F. Joshua.

BEST

Waratah: L. Roberts, M. Yarran, M. Gault, R. Pryer, P. Cox
Big River Hawks: C. Browne, D. Peckham, Z. Mohamud, S. Clarke, G. Bailey-Preston, C. Delacoeur

In yet another frustrating finish for the league’s newest side, Big River Hawks went down to Waratah in the largest margin of the season so far, losing by a whopping 162 points. A small win for the Hawks saw the side boot one goal in the massive match, having failed to do so in two of their five previous matches, so ultimately proving there is capacity for improvement even against tough sides the likes of Waratah. For Waratah, this match seemed to be more kicking practice than gameday, and though the side kicked a whopping 25 goals they still had a hard time kicking straight with 18 behinds softening the blow and proving that the side will be a real force to be reckoned with if they can reign in their inaccuracy. Waratah had nine goalkickers for the match with Lisa Roberts (seven goals) and Madison Yarran (six) starring up forward, while four others put multiple goals on the board for the ‘Tahs. For the Hawks, Fiona Joshua was the lone goalkicker in her first match of the season, while Crystal Browne and Deanna Peckham continued their impressive start to the season with their unrelenting effort a real feature of the match.

NIGHTCLIFF 1.0 | 2.1 | 4.2 | 7.3 (45)
TRACY VILLAGE 0.0 | 0.0 | 0.0 | 3.5 (23)

GOALS

Nightcliff: J. Anyon-Smith 4, E. Morrison, E. Wolsey, M. Ward.
Tracy Village: N/A.

BEST

Nightcliff: E. Morrison, E. Wolsey, R. Russell, M. Ward
Tracy Village: N/A

For Nightcliff, this was a solid win that saw their confidence lift, beating Tracy Village by 22 points. With this win, the Tigers have breached a massive losing streak spanning three seasons, winning their third game of the season in a massive confidence booster for the club. This win puts the Tigers in sixth on the ladder, sitting 50/50 for wins and losses this season and relegating the Razorbacks to ninth in what was ultimately one of their best chances in getting a second win on the board this season. The Razorbacks struggled early, unable to penetrate Nightcliff’s defence and ultimately not providing a competitive match from the get-go. While their defensive unit worked overtime, Tracy Village’s forward line seemed to go missing for the first three quarters, only really appearing in the final quarter and putting three goals five on the board late in the match. Nightcliff’s Jacqueline Anyon-Smith starred in her second match for the season, providing a solid target forward and kicking four goals thanks to the strong efforts of Eliza Morrison and Emma-Lou Wolsey down the field.

WANDERERS 1.2 | 2.3 | 2.4 | 2.6 (18)
PINT 2.4 | 5.5 | 5.7 | 7.9 (51)

GOALS

Wanderers: A. Narkle, G. Halkitis.
Pint: J. Downey 2, C. Morris, S. Peris, J. Hewett, K. Smits, J. Baksh.

BEST

Wanderers: N/A
Pint: N/A

The third match of the round pit the Wanderers against Pint, with the away team getting the chocolates in the 33 point victory. With the Wanderers having a solid season so far they looked good early, before Pint found their form and ultimately proved they have more in them than their early season results suggest. While the Wanderers had a solid start, competing well in the first half, they found it hard to hit the scoreboard in the second half with Pint tightening up their defence and applying solid pressure across the field, denying easy ball through the midfield. Jacqueline Downey proved her ability with two goals for Pint, aided by five other goalkickers, while Georgia Halkitis and Ahmi Narkle put a goal apiece on the board for the Wanderers in a tough match to play up forward.

ST MARY’S 1.1 | 1.2 | 1.4 | 1.5 (11)
DARWIN BUFFETTES 0.0 | 2.8 | 3.3 | 6.5 (41)

GOALS

St Mary’s: N/A.
Darwin Buffettes: K. Duggan, B. Scrymgour, M. Taylor, R. De Santis, C. Boyd, K. O”Connell.

BEST

St Mary’s: N/A
Darwin Buffettes: J. Iacono, K. Duggan, A. Goninon, D. Carbone, C. Boyd

St Mary’s had the tough task of taking on Darwin Buffettes on the weekend, booting only one goal, five behinda but ultimately keeping the Buffs to a closer margin than expected. The Buffettes have showed time and time again that they are the team to beat this season, and while this match did not show that form in its entirety, they kept a competitive St Mary’s outfit at bay to ensure they got a sixth consecutive win on the board. St Mary’s started well, keeping the Buffettes scoreless in the first quarter and remaining even by half time, before the Buffs pulled out a solid win from an impressive second half effort to take the lead at the final change. The Buffettes lacked their usual excitement on the field, lacklustre early and giving the Saints far too much opportunity to move the ball down the field. While the Saints didn’t come away with a win, this match proves St Mary’s have plenty under their belt that may not have had a chance to flourish yet. Jemma Iacono and Kylie Duggan were among the best for the Buffs, while the side lacked its usual flair for multiple goalkickers as six individuals got on the board.

SOUTHERN DISTRICTS 3.0 | 5.3 | 5.3 | 7.8 (50)
PALMERSTON MAGPIES 0.3 | 0.4 | 2.4 | 2.5 (17)

GOALS

Southern Districts: N/A.
Palmerston Magpies: F. Puruntatameri 2.

BEST

Southern Districts: N/A
Palmerston Magpies: B. Byers, F. Puruntatameri, K. White, N. Medbury, I. Ronberg, J. Baird

The final match of the round saw Southern Districts well and truly wreak havok on Palmerston Magpies after bumping them out of grand final contention last season, with the Magpies unable to compete against the strong full-field effort of the Crocs. A strong third-quarter effort from the Magpies just was not enough against the Districts, with the effort seeing the side boot two goals nil for the quarter after going goalless in the first half. While it looked like the comeback thew Magpies needed to get back into the game, Southern Districts would not go down without a fight, kicking two goals five in the final quarter to run away with victory. Freda Puruntatameri was the lone goalkicker for the Magpies, finding good separation in attack and bursting out of the pack to find the footy, but unfortunately held well after a stellar third quarter. Billie Byers and Khani White were also named in the best on a rough day for the Pies, finding the footy well but unable to execute against the Crocs.

Weekend previews: NTFL Women’s – Week 2 finals

THIS week’s semi-finals will undoubtedly see the best of the best duel one last time before the ultimate battle. Palmerston’s loss against Waratah was painful, but now they face the Southern Districts. The Pies have beaten the Crocs twice this season, but the Crocs are coming off a high after smashing the Saints. In the afternoon, Waratah will meet Darwin for another classic bout. The Warriors are heavy favourites for this match, and with the Buffs’ extended injury list, it is easy to see why.

PALMERSTON MAGPIES V SOUTHERN DISTRICTS
Saturday, March 2 12:30pm
TIO Stadium

Southern Districts somehow find themselves in St Marys’ shoes at the moment, having met Palmerston twice this season and lost on both occasions. For the Crocs to win they must use every opportunity and advantage they have to deny the Pies the ball. the Districts’ first advantage lies in their ruck stocks. Ebony Miller and Indy Sleeth will make sure their hit-outs give their midfielders first use of the ball. Meanwhile, Jessica Stassi and Natasha Medbury will help to control the clearances. If things get dire, Miller and Sleeth can simply punch the ball forward to gain ground.

Crocs forwards must put Billie Byers inside 50 or she will rebound the ball like it was never there. If Tayla Thorn can get off to the start she had last week, it may set the perfect foundation for the Districts to rise from. Rhiannon Busch is a proven goal kicker and has had a stellar couple of weeks, while Charles Deegan, though recently getting extra attention from defenders, is always dangerous around goals.

On the other side of the field, Shenaida Bush and Freda Puruntatameri are starting to click. This could prove very damaging to the Crocs as both are very quick and deadly accurate. Lateesha Jeffrey and the Districts backline will have a tough task keeping this pair quiet. If they can, it could prove the difference between victory and defeat.

Palmerston will walk into this match favorites, but Southern Districts may give the Pies a shock in this heavyweight bout of the Semi-Finals.

TEAMS

Palmerston Magpies
B: 32. Jess Leamey 15. Charmaine Marshall 20.Ellie Misob
HB: 2.Jessie Brock 13. Billie Byers 10.Jacintha Misob
C: 3.Hayley Davey 24. Tabitha May 33.Janet Baird
HF: 31 Karlee King 1.Nicole Simons 7.Shenaida Bush
F: 28.Tanisha Garling 25.Wynonna Barlow 8.Freda Puruntatameri
R: 18. Bianca Mayo 5.Natasha Medbury 26.Jessica Stassi
Int: 31.Celina Lloyd 12.Joanne Huddleston 14.Tania Parriman
23.Tiffany Parriman 22.Vanessa Mouncy

Southern Districts
B: 17.Chiarah Corpos 30.Donna Reed 21.Tyler Thornton
HB: 14.Maili Clarke 20.Holly Engelhardt 9.Lateesha Jeffrey
C: 10.Megan Craufurd 35.Kelsey Patterson 19.Danielle Opperman
HF: 26.Rhiannon Busch 2.Tayla Thorn 8. Maria Moussa
F: 15.Bella Clarke 4.Indy Sleeth 6.Charles Deegan
R: 3.Ebony Miller 5. Tahlia Holtze 25.Chelsea Pember
Int: 28.Tess Hanna 14.Tessa W 22.Rachele Mchugh
32.Kiarah Jackson 1.Kimberley Mccouat 12.Karina Brink

WARATAH V DARWIN BUFFETTES
Saturday, March 2 2:30pm
TIO Stadium

Darwin’s tactics last week may have beaten Pint, but it will not do against Waratah. The Warriors have 15 premiership players returning for this match and no amount of waiting this team out will help the Buffs. The Buffettes have to go for broke and, missing key players in the midfield and forward line, they may have to mix it up. If Dominique Carbone starts in the centre of the ground, it will free up Machaelia Roberts to push forward. Darwin’s forward line looks completely different when Roberts has the opportunity to cause defenders headaches. This leaves Carbone, Jemma Iacono, and Kylie Duggan to tackle Lisa Roberts, Madeline Gault and Alysha Healy in the midfield, which could go either way.

The Buffettes cannot allow Waratah to dominate the clearances. Amy Chittick is the league’s leading goal kicker and now has Lauren O’Shea for assistance. If the Warriors’ forwards get a taste of blood, they will swarm the Buffs’ backline and devastate the scoreboard.

Waratah also has a player similar to Roberts in Sherayn Puruntatameri. She pushed out from half-back last week to bag three majors. Puruntatameri is an X-factor player, which makes her a difficult match-up for Darwin. Celina Whan might be the Buffs’ best choice for Puruntatameri if she plays down back.

Waratah could easily turn this into an ugly game, but perhaps the rivalry will spur the Buffs to challenge the champions.

TEAMS

Waratah
B: 8.Sharona Bishop 6.Rebecca Pryer 19.Alicia Stanley
HB: 15.Isabelle Rapson 16.Julieanna Kerinauia 12.Sherayn Puruntatameri
C: 3.Peta Starcevic 13.Lisa Roberts 2.Madeline Gault
HF: 17.Tarryn O’Hehir 4.Sue Nalder 5.Breanna Martin
F: 9.Amy Chittick 22.Lauren O’Shea 18.Molly Cooper
R: 7.Joanna Kolodziej 23.Pippa Cox 10.Alysha Healy
Int: 28.Trish Muller 29.Madeline Campbell 14.Jade De Melo
24.Alexandra Harrison-Wolff

Darwin Buffettes
B: 25.Chevaune Fewings 15.Delsey Ah Wang 19.Louise Johnstone
HB: 8.Keisha Tinley 12.Dominique Carbone 11.Nicole Schmitt
C: 13. Alexander Bryan 3.Machaelia Roberts 21.Zoe Anderson
HF: 22.Tamika Bullen 17.Melinda Taylor 1.Mattea Breed
F: 10.Meridith Turner 6.Celina Whan 14.Bianca Stokes
R: 30.Tania Dhu 4.Kylie Duggan 5.Jemma Iacono
Int: 27.Demi Cubillo 16.Nicolette Dunn 7.Rachel Henderson
24.Jaala Alley 9.Eliza Keaney 18.Danielle Totham

Weekend Previews: NTFL Women’s – Week 1 Finals

IT IS finally here, week one of the NTFL Women’s finals will take place today with three exciting games of footy. Despite earlier reports of a top-five finals series, it will be a top-six competition like the previous year, meaning St Marys will go at least one more round.

The first match will kick off with the heavyweights Palmerston taking on the reigning premiers Waratah. This game will serve as a qualifying match as both teams are looking to grab bragging rights early. Up next the Southern Districts will face off against St Marys in the first elimination final. The Crocs have dished out a hiding to the Saints twice this season, but anything can happen in finals. Lastly, the Darwin Buffettes will meet Pint in the final elimination game. The Buffs have been wounded by the loss of key players this year, so will have to dig deep to beat the Queen Ants who are at full fitness.

WARATAH V PALMERSTON MAGPIES
Qualifying Final
Saturday, February 23 12.00pm
TIO Oval 2

The Magpies had an average start to the season, but now they look dangerous. This side of youth mixed with experience is sure to give the Warriors a run for their money.

The midfield of both teams is nothing short of classy. Lisa Roberts, Alysha Healy, and Madeline Gault meet Natasha Medbury, Jessica Stassi, and Tabitha May, which should prove to be a classic battle. Waratah ruck, Joanna Kolodziej may dictate in terms of the hit-outs as she has done for most of the year. If the Warriors win the clearances, Amy Chittick and Lauren O’Shea could wreak havoc on the scoreboard. Fortunately for the Magpies, forward, Lisa Mecli has been missing in action. Billie Byers and Jessie Brock might be the perfect matchup against Waratah’s dynamic duo.

As for Palmerton’s forwards, there is no shortage of talent. Freda Puruntatemeri has danced around the best defenders all year. Her speed and skill are well complemented by teammate Shenaida Bush. This pair of speed demons will need a unique opposition to stop them. Puruntatemeri v Puruntatemeri could be Waratah’s answer while Sharona Bishop keeps an eye on Bush. The game could go either way, but one thing is certain, this is the game to watch this Saturday.

SOUTHERN DISTRICTS V ST MARYS
Elimination Final
Saturday, February 23 2.30pm
TIO Oval 2

This will be an uphill battle for the Saints, with the Districts having crushed the Saints on two separate occasions this season. Charles Deegan and Taylor Thorn have used their size and speed to run St Marys’ defenders off their legs in the past. Lori Niven and Courtney Webb will need a well-organised backline to contain this problem. The ruck area of the game is where the Districts thrive, with the combination of Ebony Miller and Indy Sleeth better than most teams. Their tap work and ability to cover the ground is a class above the rest. Saints rovers, Natasha Dunn-Richards and Simone Garner may need to shark the tap-outs if their rucks aren’t up to the challenge.

Up forward the Saints have a gun and an issue. The gun is Alana Coombes, who looks to be their most damaging forward, while the problem is Districts’ Lateesha Jeffrey. Her leadership down back has created a solid defense for the Crocs and only the fastest forwards can break it down. Unlike some of Coombes’ partners in attacking 50, they lack the speed she has in spades. The Crocs could not be more favoured to win this match, and on paper they seem to have more talent across the board than St Marys. History looks likely to repeat itself this Saturday unless a miracle happens, so the Saints will be hoping for one.

PINT V DARWIN BUFFETTES
Elimination Final
Saturday, February 23 4.30pm
TIO Oval 2

The Buffs have no Brittany Ward, no Tikesea Docherty-Cole, no Jasmine Anderson and no Nicky Anderson, meaning Pint has a huge advantage considering they are going into this match with a full strength team. Machaelia Roberts and Kylie Duggan have been dominant in the centre of the ground, however players like Jemma Iacono and young gun Domonique Carbone need to lift if they want to get the job done. Pint’s Cassie Henderson, Samantha Barnett, and Katie Streeder play as a cohesive unit.

Darwin’s forward line power has been missing over the last few weeks as Celina Whan seems to be carrying the load in attacking 50. Leading goal scorer, Meredith Turner has kicked no majors in her last three games, so will need to produce goals against a strong Pint defense which is no easy task. Queen Ant defender, Erin Hetherington can make life difficult for the Buffs’ forward if the midfield entries aren’t clean. Meanwhile, the Queen Ants forwards have been performing well. Danielle Suddaby has become the new spearhead with the support of Emma Greaves who is in fine form. Add to that talent with Kristen Smidts and Ellie Ryan, the Queen Ants wear a decent crown inside their 50.

Pint has the fitness but Darwin has the experience. It is hard to pick a winner here, but it should be a tight contest.