Tag: jenna singh

Weekend preview: 2020/21 NTFL Women’s Premier League – Round 4

ROUND 4 of the 2020/21 NTFL Women’s Premier League season will see all four matches played on Saturday once more, with reigning premiers Southern Districts having a week off with the bye this round. Nightcliff and Pint still sit atop the ladder on three wins straight, while one of the three winless teams will get points on the board in the opening match of the round. A battle between ladder-leading Nightcliff and third placed St Mary’s looms as the match of the round, though the battle to stay off the bottom of the ladder could prove much more significant with three teams sitting on just the one win – making a big move up the ladder a viable outcome at the end of the round.

Palmerston Magpies vs. Tracy Village
Saturday, October 24

One of the three winless sides will get points on the board this round when Palmerston and Tracy Village go head-to-head, and while the two cellar dwellers have only played two matches apiece thanks to respective bye rounds, both teams need to get something on the board this week to give them a chance of bouncing back from the rough start. Ultimately, neither team has been a real worry on the scoreboard, combining for just 32 points throughout the opening rounds. That being said, there have been some consistent performers across the field for both teams, with Magpies’ Iesha Ronberg, Khani White and Shanoah Leedie named in the best twice, as have Razorbacks’ Indianna Hughes – the side’s lone goalkicker – Meagan Wylie and Sarah Wilson. Expect a tight match between these two, although the Magpies’ success and winning mentality over past seasons will surely work in their favour against the Razorbacks.

Wanderers vs. Pint
Saturday, October 24

The Wanderers have a tough battle this week, coming up against a Pint outfit that still sits undefeated after three rounds and have shown no signs of stopping. While Wanderers do have the one win on the board from Round 2, the side’s main issue has been a lack of opportunity up forward, tending to crumble under tight defensive pressure. Pint, however, have found some excellent form with the help of a couple new names from down south, and weathered the storm well when required to showcase how their defensive outfit can be just as cohesive as their exciting frontline. With plenty of firepower out the front and six of their eight goalkickers on multiple majors, Jasmyn Hewett and Jessie Baumer (five goals from three games and four from two, respectively) are big targets while Cassie Henderson has been influential time and time again. For Wanderers, Djimila Totham has been critical around the ground, named in the best three times while Kaitlyn Armstrong has proved hard to stop when she gets going, booting 10 majors in three games to be equal-leading goalkicker.

St Mary’s vs. Nightcliff
Saturday, October 24

A top battle is expected when ladder-leading Nightcliff head to take on third placed St Mary’s, with the Saints’ Round 3 victory over the Buffettes injecting plenty of confidence into the side. Both teams are more than capable of maintaining pressure and composure even in a close contest while firepower is no issue for either side, with Nightcliff boasting the current equal-leading goalkicker in Emma-Lou Wolsey (10 goals) and Mickayla Ward (equal second with five goals, two bests). While St Mary’s does not feature in the top five for scoring, that is more due to the shared load out the front than a lack of opportunity with 10 individual goalkickers so far this season and three who have booted more than one. Ash Melnikas and Michaela Long (four goals apiece) are the ones to watch inside 50, with the former and Megan Williamson named in the best three times from three matches. 

Waratah vs. Darwin Buffettes
Saturday, October 24

These two sides come into an unprecedented matchup in at fourth and fifth, though Buffettes have only played two games – only winning one – thanks to the bye while Waratah won by default in the first round and were faced with a draw in Round 3. While Waratah has been competitive in patches, expect the firepower of the Buffettes to control proceedings with so many players capable of shouldering the load. Both Zoe Anderson and Machaelia Roberts boast not only goal sense but also plenty of composure with five and four goals to their name, while Waratah’s Jenna Singh has been consistent as ever, booting three goals alongside Caitlin Couch who has booted three from two outings. Lauren O’Shea and Lisa Roberts are excitement machines when they get going, and while both have put a goal on the board to start the season they will hope to explode out of the blocks.

2020/21 NTFL Women’s Premier League wrap: Round 3

ROUND 3 of Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Women’s saw Nightcliff keep their winning record intact with a come-from-behind victory while Southern Districts and Waratah played out the first draw of the season. Tracy Village had a bye this week, keeping them stuck at the bottom of the ladder while Pint flexed their muscles to claim an impressive 44-point win.

ST MARYS 2.3 | 3.3 | 4.3 | 5.3 (33)
DARWIN BUFFETTES 0.1 | 1.4 | 1.4 | 3.5 (23)

St Marys were on-song from the opening bounce, skipping out to a handy lead in the first term thanks to a two goal to zip start and never really looked back. Despite having a wealth of opportunities to hit the scoreboard inaccuracy plagued the Buffs who simply could not find their range while St Marys made it count where it hurt, on the scoreboard. In the end it was a case of too little, too late for the Buffettes who strung two goals together but could not overrun their opponents as St Marys brought home a 10-point victory.

There were no multiple goal kickers for either side, instead the scoring was scattered across a number of players with Claudia Whitfort once again popping up for St Marys and proving to be a menace in and around goals. Whitfort was also named amongst the best for her performance against the Buffettes while teammates Alana Coombes and Jasmine Anderson boasted a similar stat line with a goal and nod in the bests. Ashlea Melnikas returned to the goal kicking brigade this round to take her tally to four for the season while Madison Ludwig also found the big sticks. For the Buffettes, Martha De Santis showed what she is capable of snagging a goal while Zoe Anderson continued her hot form in front of goal with a major of her own. Bianca Stokes impressed in her first outing for the Buffs while Kiera Kurnoth settled into the line-up and earned a spot amongst the best.

SOUTHERN DISTRICTS 2.0 | 2.2 | 2.3 | 4.4 (28)
WARATAH 1.0 | 4.3 | 4.4 | 4.4 (28)

The first draw of the season took place on Saturday with Southern Districts and Waratah unable to be split at the final siren. After a sluggish first quarter, Waratah put the foot down in the second to steal the ascendancy heading into the main break thanks to three unanswered goals. However they plateaued in the second half unable to find a major and only registering one point  while the Crocs found their mojo in the final term to pile on two goals and secure a draw.

Michala Shaw made her presence felt in front of the goals nailing two majors in her first appearance of the season for the Crocs, while Tayla Thorn managed a goal of her own and was named amongst the bests. The only other goal scorer for Southern Districts was Kelsey Patterson. Ebony Miller was recognised for her four quarter performance for the Crocs as was Indianna Hickling and Makayla Siddons. The scoring was shared in the Waratah camp as Caitlin Couch, Monet Hunter, Danica Pedersen and Jenna Singh all slotted one with the latter making it three weeks straight she has hit the scoreboard.

PINT 1.2 | 6.8 | 7.8 | 9.10 (64)
PALMERSTON MAGPIES 1.3 | 1.4 | 2.6 | 2.8 (20)

A blistering second term from Pint all but gifted the home side the win, blowing the Magpies out of the water, piling on five goals to nothing. Down by a point at the first change Pint came out with a real pep in their step in the second and could have inflicted more scoreboard damage had they been more accurate slotting four behinds to accompany their five goals. The Magpies had their chances to strike but simply could not find the big sticks and suffered from inaccuracy much like Pint.

Jessie Baumer was a menace inside 50 for Pint kicking a bag of three while Gemma Cusack navigated the goals with ease in her first appearance for the season piling on two majors. Cara Evans and Jasmyn Hewett also popped up with two goals apiece in a collective effort for Pint with the latter also named amongst the bests for her performance. Cassie Henderson was influential for Pint as was Amy Chittick. For the Magpies their goals came from Arthurina Moreen and Tyra McKay as the duo slotted a major each while Iesha Ronberg was once again named in the bests for her efforts across the ground. Billie Byers and Shanoah Leedie also plied their trade in the losing side, working hard for every possession.

WANDERERS 0.3 | 3.3 | 3.4 | 3.4 (22)
NIGHTCLIFF 1.0 | 3.1 | 3.2 | 6.5 (40)

A dominant final quarter from Nightcliff saw the current table toppers come from behind and clinch a victory against Wanderers. Unable to generate their usual flow in the second and third terms, they ramped up the pressure in the last quarter to wrestle the game back onto their terms and stop the Wanderers from scoring. Nightcliff managed to add three goals to their half time tally as opposed to the Wanderers mere point, ultimately handing them the 18-point victory and keeping their undefeated record intact.

Although goals were hard to come by for some, that was not the case for Wanderers forward Kaitlyn Armstrong who slotted three majors to keep her side in the contest. She was the only real avenue to goal, making the most of her opportunities that came her way up forward. Armstrong was named amongst the best as was Morgan Johnston for the second consecutive week. Georgia Halkitis backed up her performance from last week while for Nightcliff a couple of familiar faces were once again at the forefront of the action with Lauren Gooden finding the big sticks twice. She was not the only one to kick a bag with in-form goal kicker Emma-Lou Wolsey slotting two with teammates Jacqueline Anyon-Smith and Gracie Reid also adding some scoreboard pressure. Hannah Turnbull earned a spot in the bests as did Laura de Hommel in what was a gritty performance by the ladder leaders.

Tracy Village bye

Picture: NT News

Weekend preview: 2020/21 NTFL Women’s Premier League – Round 3

ROUND 3 of the 2020/21 NTFL Women’s Premier League season will see all four matches played on Saturday once more, with bottom of the ladder Tracy Village set to sit out with the bye this round. Nightcliff and Pint still remain undefeated at the top of the ladder after solid starts to the season, while this round will be headlined by a 2019/20 grand final rematch between Southern Districts and Waratah with both sides sitting towards the lower end of the ladder after two rounds.

St Mary’s vs. Darwin Buffettes
Saturday, October 17

Darwin Buffettes may have only played the one match for the season so far but well and truly exploded out of the blocks last week, compared to St Mary’s who showcased impressive form in Round 1 but could not consolidate on a huge third quarter fight back and eventually went down in a close affair with Pint. With so many quality players across the field and both teams seemingly in solid form heading into this match, expect the Saints to explode out of the blocks and the Buffs to use their flurry of forward targets to apply plenty of scoreboard pressure. Machaelia Roberts and Zoe Anderson fired on all cylinders last round for Darwin, booting four goals apiece, while both Michaela Long and Ash Melnikas have been handy goalkickers for the Saints. Melnikas and Megan Williamson have been named among the best in both matches for the Saints, while Molly Althouse impressed for the Buffs last round.

Southern Districts vs. Waratah
Saturday, October 17

Southern Districts need a win this week in the grand final rematch to restore some of their 2019/20 dignity after a rough start to the season, going down by 48 points in Round 1 and 49 points in Round 2. While the Crocs are by no means lacking options up forward, they have seemed to lack that forward push and volume up forward, and this could be the side’s best chance to do so against Waratah with the Warriors also coming in off the back of a loss in Round 2 and a default victory in Round 1 – although the default came when the side was ahead. Just two players have hit the scoreboard more than once for Waratah, with usual suspect Jenna Singh and newbie Caitlin Couch kicking two apiece over the first two matches, while Danica Pedersen and Eliza Straford have been solid across the ground. For Districts, Megan Crauford is a solid target. 

Pint vs. Palmerston Magpies
Saturday, October 17

Palmerston will head into this round renewed after the bye, but come in against an improved Pint outfit that sits in second on the ladder with two wins from two. Pint has proved it has a heap of firepower and while an excellent first round victory showcased the side’s winning ability, it was a low-scoring victory in Round 2 that makes this battle so interesting given the side’s ability to outlast under pressure. Look for Amy Chittick and Jasmyn Hewitt inside 50 when it comes to Pint with both players able to hit the scoreboard, while Jacinta Reid, Rebecca Pryer and Cassie Henderson have had solid starts to the season. For the Magpies, fans will hope that Cassie Ormsby can return to the fray after a first round high hit that saw the match finish at half time. Meanwhile, Tabitha May is always a force to be reckoned with.

Wanderers vs. Nightcliff
Saturday, October 17

The lone match between two Round 2 winners, Nightcliff will come into this battle with plenty of confidence given they sit atop the ladder with a significant percentage boost ahead of Pint in second. Meanwhile, Wanderers have one win on the board which came in Round 2 and the significant margin in that match will see the side certainly take it up to Nightcliff. Expect an intriguing matchup here, with the top four goalkickers in the competition likely to take the field in this battle. That being said, three of the four are from Nightcliff who are arguably the team to beat at the moment given their firepower up forward and multitude of options inside forward 50. Emma-Lou Wolsey (eight goals), Mickayla Ward (five goals) and Darcy Elliston (four) have proved to be constant and consistent goalkickers out the front, sitting first, third and fourth on the leading goalkicker tally at this stage, with second spot taken by Wanderers’ Kaitlyn Armstrong who is just one goal behind Wolsey on seven. Just two players across the two teams have been named in the best twice – showcasing the calibre of talent across the two teams – with Ward (Nightcliff) and Djimila Totham (Wanderers) those players.

2020/21 NTFL Women’s Premier League preview

THE 2020/21 Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Women’s league season is set to commence this weekend, with four huge matches coming up and Darwin Buffettes handed the first bye for the season. While last season saw Big River Hawks join the fray, the side will not field a team this season taking the tally back to nine teams playing across 18 rounds, with finals taking place at the end of February.  We take a look at each of the NTFL Women’s teams and what to expect of them this season.

Round 1 will see three matches played this coming Saturday with Wanderers and St Mary’s opening proceedings, before Pint has the tough task of taking on the reigning premiers in Southern Districts. Next up, Nightcliff and Tracy Village will go head to head in the only night match of the fixture, while Sunday will see Waratah take on Palmerston Magpies in an intriguing battle given the two sides finished within the top three last season. Meanwhile, Darwin Buffettes have an extra week at their disposal, with the first bye of the season.

While the Warriors were the minor premiers in season 2019/20, they were just pipped at the post by Southern Districts in the grand final. Waratah had some exciting names in the mix, with both Lauren O’Shea (24 goals) and Jenna Singh (20) among the top five goalkickers, the side struggled with bouts of inaccuracy across a number of matches which inevitably saw the Warriors have some issues when they came up against other powerful forward-lines. Nevertheless, the Warriors will have a point to prove and were not minor premiers for no reason last season, making Waratah one to watch once more. Waratah has picked up Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s duo Danica Pedersen and Eliza Straford over the off-season, bolstering the side’s stocks. 

The reigning premiers last season, Southern Districts were virtually unstoppable when they got going despite a few blips in the radar very early in the season when two wins were removed by default. That being said, there was no denying the Crocs were among the best in the competition, with leading goalkicker Ebony Miller kicking 61 majors across 17 outings – including two bags of 10 in Rounds 7 and 18. With very little going against the Districts last season, expect the Crocs to come out with a fire in the belly to replicate their premiership glory and go back-to-back. 

A highly exciting side last season, the Magpies had plenty of firepower but did not always have the consistency they needed to get the job done. With 12 wins and five losses, the Magpies were rarely out of the contest with a flurry of goal kickers at their disposal with teenagers Arthurina Moreen (36 goals in 15 games) and Freda Puruntatameri (24 in 12) among the top five for the competition but both unable to string a full season together and ultimately still young players themselves. While the Magpies had some strong competitors among the troops last season, they will need a few more of those veteran players to step up and provide a spark when the young guns are well covered. 

The Buffettes had an excellent start to the season before suffering against the top teams later but ultimately could not be underestimated with some very impressive youngsters among them last season. Another high firepower team, the Buffs put on some outstanding showings and, as a confidence side, managed an excellent winning rate once they got one on the board, stringing along consistent victories. The Buffettes very rarely faltered but when they did it was when it was least expected, meaning the side will want to lift that intensity and consistency to fire as much against the lower teams as the top ranked sides this season. 

After a number of years at the bottom of the ladder, 2019/20 was Nightcliff’s season coming in at fifth on the ladder and coming away with a stellar nine wins and eight losses. While the side lost in the elimination final to the Buffettes, it was full credit to Nightcliff to making it to finals for the first time and showcasing some real up and coming talent in the side which helped lead them to victory. While they had a couple of shaky showings early in the season against the top sides, and some sloppy outings at the midway point, Nightcliff really hit their stride once they realised a potential finals berth was coming. They were strong competitors in just about every match bar a frustrating fixture which saw significant back-to-back losses in Rounds 16 and 17 against the top four Buffettes and Magpies. 

A finals berth and subsequent semi-final last season is sure to put a bit of confidence into the Pint side heading into this season, with the Queen Ants challenging a few sides and, like many teams, only really coming off second best to the top teams. Even then, Pint continuously built in confidence to provide a chance at finals, making it through the elimination round despite all fingers pointing the other way and their great season was nipped in the bud by Waratah. Pint has picked up Williamstown’s Jacinta Reid to join a quartet of ex-Waratah names on their new-look list, with Amy Chittick, Gemma Cusack, Maddi Gissing and Bec Pryer all joining the Queen Ants in what could be a huge chance for the side to go one step further in 2020/21. 

A solid season from the Wanderers saw them sit for much of the season in the middle of the mid-table logjam, and while they lost four of their last five matches, it was overall a competitive season from the Wanderers who were rarely defeated easily. While two of their wins came by default, the Wanderers consistently put competitive scorelines on the board and were fairly accurate at that, especially in the latter stage of the season when they tightened up out the front. That being said, improvements can be made in their ability to compete and really contest against the top sides, so will hope to put up a challenge this season to break through to finals contention, having just missed out by default given Pint’s draw with the Buffettes saw the Queen Ants steal sixth spot.

Inconsistency plagued St Mary’s in 2019/20,  with a couple of impressive showings really challenging the top teams but then struggling other rounds in what could have been achievable wins. Like many other teams, St Mary’s did not cope well defensively when there were multiple forward targets within the opposition’s forward-line, making it tough for the side to stay in touch. That being said, St Mary’s were able to keep the scorelines relatively low throughout most of their effort – apart from the top teams – and almost always responded well on the scoreboard. St Mary’s is another team that has picked up a couple of Victorian players, with Williamstown pair Megan Williamson and Ash Melnikas and St Kilda AFL Women’s talent Claudia Whitfort joining the fray.

It is safe to say that season 2019/20 was a rough one for Tracy Village, with just two wins on the board – both technically against Big River Hawks, with the latter in Round 12 a win by default when the Hawks forfeited. Realistically, the Razorbacks just lacked the firepower out front to really challenge teams and struggled to compete against the top teams that had multiple targets up forward. This season will likely be another of rebuilding, and given the side suffered with inaccuracy inside 50 with 23 goals and 40 behinds for the season, they will want to adjust that ratio to challenge teams a bit more. 

Southern Districts rewrite history with Grand Final win over Waratah

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

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

GOALS

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

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

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

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

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

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

NTFL Women’s Premier League Grand Final preview: Districts with fighting chance against Waratah

THE 2019/20 Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Women’s Premier League comes to a head with  the grand final between Southern Districts and Waratah to finish off a massive season of action. 

SOUTHERN DISTRICTS V. WARATAH
Grand Final, March 7
4:30pm
TIO Stadium

In a replica of the 2018/19 season finale, Waratah and Southern Districts will once again go head to head for the ultimate victory on Saturday afternoon.While both sides have had stellar seasons, one cannot go past the skill and scoring ability of the Waratah outfit though they do not necessarily have the winning record against the Crocs this season, going down all three times they took the field. Round 1 and 11 both went the way of the Districts though the initial win was revoked, before Waratah were once again beaten at their own game in the qualifying final only two weeks ago, meaning the Crocs well and truly have the upper hand, finishing the season in second despite having two wins taken off them. But while the Crocs have the consistency to get the job done, Waratah have the finals experience and kept the Districts goalless last year, so will want to replicate that effort – or hold off the Districts long enough to continue their stronghold on the NTFL Women’s Premier League.

When talking about Southern Districts, it is hard to look past the impact of Ebony Miller, the NTFL Women’s leading goalkicker managed 61 majors from 16 matches and is a key cog inside 50 for the Crocs. Tahlia Holtze has also impressed regularly with her ability to create opportunities for her teammates, but will need to ensure the Districts outfit does not rely on Miller to put goals on the board. Miller may be the major goalkicker but she will really need to be backed up by the likes of Grace Mulvahill and Kelsey Patterson to ensure there is more than one target for Waratah’s defensive unit to focus on. For Waratah, expect Lisa Roberts and Rebecca Pryer to continue their impressive efforts, while the side’s shared effort inside 50 will be key in this match thanks to a plethora of goalkickers able to have an impact. Lauren O’Shea is the leading goalkicker with 23 goals from 15 matches, closely followed by Roberts and Jenna Singh on 20 apiece. Roberts will be the one to watch for Waratah with 11 best on ground nominations for the season thanks to her consistency, ability to impact the play and find the footy with ease. 

With both sides able to switch on the pressure and intensity in a moment flat, expect an exciting and hotly contested grand final this time around with both sides sure to put on their best display of the season so far, especially following on from respective close wins last week proving they can prevail in tight contests. While Waratah ultimately had the easier win in the semi taking on Pint, both teams were able to take control of the contest and apply pressure across the ground to ensure their side stayed in possession. Districts’ Maria Moussa has had a solid finals run so will want to continue that form alongside Mulvahil who has booted two goals in each final to take some of the pressure off Miller. Meanwhile, Waratah’s Sue Nalder and O’Shea have performed well recently alongside Singh making for an interesting battle across the field.

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

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

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

GOALS:

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

BEST:

Waratah: N/A
Pint: N/A

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

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

GOALS:

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

BEST:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NTFL Women’s Premier League wrap: Pint shock Magpies to book semi-final spot as Waratah utilises second chance

WITH a big round of Northern Territory Football League Women’s Premier League finals footy over the weekend done and dusted, Waratah will be happy they finished top of the ladder after a loss in this final still allows them a second chance at a grand final appearance. Fellow top four side Palmerston Magpies were not so lucky, bumped out by a tough Pint outfit. Meanwhile, Southern Districts and Darwin Buffettes will look to back up their respective efforts next round, with Nightcliff joining the Magpies on the outs. 

PALMERSTON MAGPIES 1.0 | 3.1 | 6.2 | 7.3 (45)
PINT 2.2 | 6.2 | 7.4 | 7.5 (47)

GOALS

Palmerston Magpies: N/A
Pint: N/A

BEST

Palmerston Magpies: N/A
Pint: J. Baumer 4, E. Ryan, J. Downey, K. Streader

It was an uncharacteristically slow start for the Magpies when they took on a lively Pint unit on Saturday, going down by two points despite a stellar second half giving them a real chance at stealing victory. While the Magpies snuck up through the second half to well and truly outscore Pint four goals to one, it was the Queen Ants’ first half effort that got them over the line with an impressive four goal second quarter all but cementing victory over the third ranked side in the competition. This win takes Pint one step further in their quest for finals after being eliminated in this stage last season, while Magpies will be disappointed to not back up their semi final effort from the 2018/19 season. Pint’s Jessie Baumer was influential throughout, booting four goals and once again proving a key option in the forward line, taking her season tally to 17 goals from 13 matches. Despite strong efforts from Natasha Medbury, Iesha Ronberg and Billie Byers, it was just not enough to get the job done against a side hungry for a win. This loss sees the Magpies miss out on a semi finals opportunity while Pint progresses to take on ladder leaders, Waratah.

DARWIN BUFFETTES 1.1 | 1.1 | 3.2 | 4.2 (26)
NIGHTCLIFF 1.0 | 1.1 | 1.1 | 2.3 (15)

GOALS

Darwin Buffettes: N/A
Nightcliff: N/A

BEST

Darwin Buffettes: N/A
Nightcliff: N/A

Nightcliff put up a gallant effort in their first ever Women’s Premier League final against the Buffettes but it was ultimately to no avail, unable to keep up with the Buffs in the second half. An even start saw both sides contest well with little chance to put goals on the board, but not for a lack of trying. With strong performers across the field, key opportunities were shut down to deny entry inside 50 with the footy ping-ponging up and down the ground for majority of the first half, with both sides sitting one 1.1 (7) apiece at half time. But when the Buffettes lifted their game after half time, the Tigers were unable to match, booting only one goal from a number of opportunities in the second half while the Buffs took a handy 13 point led into the final quarter and extended with an extra goal in the final term to well and truly earn the victory. Strong efforts from the likes of Emma-Lou Wolsey and Eliza Morrison kept Nightcliff in it for much of the match while Buffettes’ young guns in Dominique Carbone and Tayla Hart-Aluni once again did their job alongside Kylie Duggan. Nightcliff is out of the running for grand final contention with this loss, while Darwin will want to put up a strong effort next week against Southern Districts.

WARATAH 0.3 | 0.4 | 2.4 | 2.6 (18)
SOUTHERN DISTRICTS 0.1 | 0.1 | 1.3 | 4.3 (27)

GOALS 

Waratah: L. O’Shea, A. Chittick
Southern Districts: G. Mulvahil 2, K. Patterson, E. Miller

BEST

Waratah: M. Cooper, P. Cox, L. Roberts, T. O’Hehir, J. Singh
Southern Districts: M. Moussa, M. Nankervis, T. Thornton, R. Busch, M. Derschow

A slow but even start from the top two in Waratah and Southern Districts saw a close match for majority of the match with no goals scored before the main break. Both sides kicked it up a notch after half time enjoying patches of greatness while trying to assert themselves on the game. While it was a relatively low scoring game, especially for these two sides, it was a real testament to the defensive efforts of both teams to limit scoring opportunities, with both sides usually peppering the scoreboard with ease and known for doing so. For Waratah, Lauren O’Shea and Amy Chittick kicked a goal apiece in an uncharacteristically slow day for the Warriors, while the likes of Molly Cooper, Pippa Cox and Lisa Roberts put in solid efforts respectively and Jenna Singh was impressive as ever. For the Districts, Grace Mulvahil was a key cog inside 50, providing a solid option and proving necessary as the only multiple goalkicker for the match, aided by goals from Kelsey Patterson and ball magnet Ebony Miller. Maria Moussa, Malory Nankervis and Tyler Thornton were named among the best for their efforts, with the trio helping to deny Waratah any chance of scoring. Both sides progress to the next round despite the results, though Waratah will certainly need to lift their game this week against Pint after a sloppy effort this round.

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.