Tag: jenna singh

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.

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 preview: Round 17 – Top of the table clash headlines penultimate route

WARATAH and Darwin are set to go head-to-head in a top of the table clash to round out a big weekend of Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Women’s Premier League action, with finals spots still to be determined. The round kicks off tonight under lights, with three Saturday fixtures capping off the weekend.

PALMERSTON MAGPIES vs. ST MARY’S
Friday February 7, 7:00pm
Cazalys Arena

Palmerston hosts the opening fixture of Round 17 under Friday night lights, set to face off against St Mary’s in a game which could propel the Magpies into the top three. After hitting the ground running again following a bye, the Magpies are well placed to climb even further among the final six having already secured post-season security. The Saints’ fate is also all-but sealed, with a finals berth looking unlikely given they have to win in their last two games and hope both Wanderers and Pint cannot pick up another set of points – whether four or two. But a two-pronged Magpies attack featuring Arthurina Moreen (32 goals) and Freda Puruntatameri (16) is in good form of late, and should cause plenty of headaches for the St Mary’s defence which has conceded the second-most points of the nine remaining sides. Given Palmerston’s current standing and form, they should be able to officially end the Saints’ season here with a big win.

NIGHTCLIFF vs. SOUTHERN DISTRICTS
Saturday February 8, 2:00pm
PSC BM Oval

Two finals-bound sides lock horns at PSC BM Oval as Nightcliff plays host to Southern Districts in the first of three Saturday fixtures. The Tigers’ four-game winning run was comprehensively brought to an end last time out at the hands of Palmerston, another top six side, but Nighcliff’s form heading into the back end of the year suggests it can still make an impact come finals time. Safe in the top six, Nightcliff can throw caution to the wind in this clash against a more fancied opponent, with the potential to even draw level on points with the Crocs on offer. But Southern Districts will come in fresh off a bye and ready to resume its strong season, with its scoring prowess making it primed to blow any side out of the water. Led by competition leading goalkicker Ebony Miller (47 goals) and Tahlia Holtze, the Crocs should fancy themselves to grab a third-straight win, but will have to be weary of post-bye blues.

WANDERERS vs. TRACY VILLAGE
Saturday February 8, 3:00pm
TIO Oval No. 2

Wanderers will look to go a step closer to securing safety in the top six when it faces cellar dweller, Tracy Village in the first of a TIO Oval double-header. The Eagles have slid slightly of late on the back of three-straight losses, going dangerously close to being overtaken by Pint, which beat them in that streak. But Tracy Village is in the midst of a similar trend, losing in its last four outings and 12 of its last 13 – only managing to topple the now-folded Big River Hawks. The Razorbacks have struggled for goals throughout a lowly campaign, but the Muk Muks have hardly blown sides away with its percentage sitting at just 76. Morgan Johnston and Shekeine De Satge will have to again lead the Eagles with finals security on the line, and some time to turn their form around.

DARWIN BUFFETTES vs. WARATAH
Saturday February 8, 5:00pm
TIO Oval No. 2

A top-of-the-table clash is left til last in Round 19 as Darwin and Waratah do battle on Saturday evening. After suffering just their second loss for the season over a month ago, the Warriors are proving it to be a mere speed-hump with four-consecutive wins following the surprise result. The Buffs also experienced a similar result in the last month – incidentally against the same opponent, Nightcliff – but boast three wins in their last four outings as the clear second-best side in the competition. This fixture will ultimately serve as not much more than a finals preview given Waratah has already wrapped up the minor premiership, but should be a corker given the talent in either squad. Lauren O’Shea, Jenna Singh, and Lisa Roberts have all been influential for the Warriors in finding the big sticks, while Tayla Hart-Aluni has been terrific for the Buffs across 15 games along with Kylie Duggan and Dominique Carbone. That is only a slither of the potential talent on show, with significant bragging rights up for grabs.

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 wrap: Round 15 – Nightcliff clinch victory as Waratah and Southern Districts continue dominance

WITH two blowout scores and an unexpected victory in the books, Round 15 of the Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Women’s Premier League well and truly shook up the competition heading into the final stretch, with only three rounds remaining. Only two sides switched on the ladder to finish the round, with the Magpies’ bye putting them into fourth below Southern Districts, the Buffettes will be rueing a missed opportunity while Wanderers will well and truly be wondering what went wrong.

TRACY VILLAGE 0.0 | 0.1 | 0.1 | 0.1 (1)
SOUTHERN DISTRICTS 5.4 | 12.6 | 17.9 | 24.14 (158)

GOALS

Tracy Village: N/A
Southern Districts: E. Miller 10, K. Waterbury 3, K. Patterson 3, C. Deegan 2, A. Lewis 2, K. Toy, M. Clarke, H. Engelhardt, M. Moussa

BEST

Tracy Village: N/A
Southern Districts: D. Lee-Feeney, E. Miller

Tracy Village did good on their promise to equal their Round 5 score but unfortunately Districts blew them out of the water with a massive 157-point margin to jump ahead on the ladder. It was the biggest win of the season so far and the Districts will look to bring this intensity to their final few matches of the season to boost their chances in the finals. A five goal first quarter set up the impressive match, with the Crocs relentlessly applying pressure to the scoreboard and denying the Razorbacks even a sniff of opportunity. Booting seven goals in both the second and fourth quarters, the Crocs proved once again that they have plenty of options inside 50 with accuracy to boot. But it was Ebony Miller that starred collecting 10 majors the second time this season showing just how deadly she can be inside 50. She was well aided by Keeley Waterbury and Kelsey Patterson with three goals apiece, alongside Charles Deegan and April Lewis who managed two. Four more players put goals on the board while D’Koda Lee-Feeney earned her second best on ground nomination for the season.

PINT 1.5 | 3.9 | 6.11 | 8.11 (59)
ST MARY’S 0.0 | 2.0 | 2.1 | 4.1 (25)

GOALS

Pint: C. Morris 3, J. Baumer 2, J. Downey, R. Fecht , K. Smits
St Mary’s: N/A

BEST

Pint: N/A
St Mary’s: N/A

Pint went one better this time around, staying true to their form and well and truly reigning supreme over St Mary’s. The Saints may have had a Round 5 victory in the books but Pint had the consistency to get the job done, though could have done with a bit more accuracy something they will have to address in the coming weeks if they hope to leap into finals contention. While both sides had a slow start to the match, it was only Pint’s inaccuracy that saw St Mary’s stay afloat early with five behinds giving the Saints the ability to make their way back into the match. But the Queen Ants were not going to let this one go that easy, applying more scoreboard pressure in the second to well and truly dominate the contest, and though the Saints booted two goals in the quarter it was not enough to close the gap. A further five goals to two in the second half cemented Pint’s seventh win for the season, giving the side a real chance to fight for a place in the finals. Pint’s Casey Morris (three goals) and Jessie Baumer (two) were influential inside 50, unable to be stopped and monopolising the footy to well and truly control the match from the forward half. 

NIGHTCLIFF 3.0 | 4.2 | 4.3 | 4.6 (30)
DARWIN BUFFETTES 2.0 | 3.0 | 4.2 | 4.3 (27)

GOALS

Nightcliff: J. Anyon-Smith 2, R. Russell, S. Millar
Darwin Buffettes: C. Browne 2, D. Ah Wang 2

BEST

Nightcliff: E. Morrison, L. de Hommel, S. Miskin-Ripia
Darwin Buffettes: T. Hart-Aluni, D. Carbone, T. Dhu, K. Duggan, B. Stokes

Nightcliff proved they have what it takes to beat the upper echelon of the competition with a confident win over the Buffettes. It was a close match throughout with neither side really able to find much purchase, though Nightcliff did have the upper hand from the beginning and had the match under control at the first and second changes despite only being a goal ahead. The Buffs fought back in the third however, catching up and denying the Tigers easy access to the goals to hold them in the tracks and come into the final quarter with the momentum. The Tigers were too good defensively however, and while neither team put a goal on the board in the final term Nightcliff were able to hold on for the three-point victory. While the Tigers of old may have collapsed at the Buffs’ onslaught, they held up well this time around under pressure and have beaten three of the top four this season with a chance to make it a clean sweep against Palmerston next round. Darwin missed their usual onslaught of forward-50 options with only Crystal Browne and Delsey Ah-Wang putting goals on the board, with two apiece. Youngsters Tayla Hart-Aluni and Dominique Carbone continued their impressive streak of matches with another bests nomination apiece. Fellow 2019 Under-18 player Shantel Miskin-Ripia was similarly as influential for Nightcliff, while Eliza Morrison put up another fantastic effort and Jacqueline Anyon-Smith booted two goals. 

WARATAH 7.3 | 12.5 | 14.7 | 17.8 (110)
WANDERERS 0.0 | 1.0 | 1.0 | 2.0 (12)

GOALS

Waratah: J. Singh 5, L. O’Shea 4, L. Roberts 3, B. Martin 2, G. Cusack, M. Campbell, M. Cooper
Wanderers: N/A

BEST

Waratah: L. O’Shea, B. Martin, L. Roberts, J. Singh, M. Cooper
Wanderers: N/A

Waratah have well and truly made themselves the team to beat after a stellar victory over a real smokey in the Wanderers, with the Eagles having put themselves on the map this season but unlucky to come up against the reigning premiers at such a pivotal stage of the competition. Waratah seem to have cleaned up their act in the accuracy department, booting 17 goals to their eight behinds, something they have noticeably improved on throughout the season, while their defensive pressure was far too good for the Wanderers who have shown glimpses of brilliance this season. With a frankly awful start to the match, the Wanderers were chasing throughout, conceding seven goals alone in the first before cleaning up their defensive efforts but ultimately to no avail. Waratah were impressive with seven goalkickers, with Jenna Singh (five goals) and Lisa Roberts (three goals) among the key players, while Lauren O’Shea earned her fourth best on ground nomination, booting four goals and playing a vital role across the field.