IT is Round 14 of the Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Women’s competition and with finals five weeks away, the contenders for this season’s premiership are becoming obvious. Up first, Southern Districts return to take on Tracy Village. The Crocs were average in their first match back from the holiday break, but with the Razorbacks’ current record, the Crocs may dine on Bushpigs. The following match is the main event where the Darwin Buffettes face the Palmerston Magpies. The Buffs’ have enjoyed an easy run of victories lately, but on Saturday, they could receive a wake-up call from the Pies. At the same time at TIO Oval, St Marys will battle the Wanderers. The Saints will be eager to continue their good patch of football. Lastly, reigning premier, Waratah wounded from their previous defeat, needing a convincing win over Pint.
SOUTHERN DISTRICTS V TRACY VILLAGE
Saturday January 19, 10:00 am
If the Crocs ever needed a tune-up match, this is it. Southern Districts forwards, Tayla Thorn and Charlie Deegan have been missing in action in recent games. The Crocs would be very anxious to get this pair up and firing this week. Tracy Village’s defence was overwhelmed by the Saints’ pressure last weekend and if Thorn and Deegan kick straight, it could prove disastrous for Tracy Village. Razorbacks midfielders, Kristy Irvine and Zhoe Clarke know how to win the clearances, but their forwards are always last to the ball. This must not happen against the Crocs’ backline because Lateesha Jeffrey will send the ball 50 metres in the opposite direction. The Southern Districts’ main problem has been accuracy in front of goal, and they will need to tighten up their skills before they meet Palmerston next week.
PALMERSTON V DARWIN BUFFETTES
Saturday January 19, 4:00 pm
After the Magpies defeated the reigning premiers last Sunday, it is hard to choose a favourite for this match. Darwin has not beaten Waratah all year, but the Magpies will provide a good challenge. Palmerston should be welcoming back Tabitha May after a stint on the sidelines. May, Natasha Medbury and Janet Baird will face possibly the most balanced midfield in the competition. The main threat for the Pies is Machaelia Roberts, whether playing forward, midfield or half-back, she can prove a menace on the ground. However, she is not the only problem. Jemma Iacono, Dominique Carbone, Kylie Duggan and Tikesa Docherty-Cole are very capable of picking up the slack. This is another game where it could be head or tails, yet the Buffettes might have more to play for after their easy run of wins.
ST MARYS V WANDERERS
Saturday January 19, 4:00 pm
Tio Oval No. 2
It hs been a long hard season for the Eagles. Under-18 representative, Arthurina Moreen has proven to be the standout for the Wanderers up forward. Unfortunately for Moreen, she has not had the midfield to feed her. With the added support from the Adelaide Crows (Danielle Ponter, Jasmyn Hewett, and Ailish Cosidine), St Marys should prove too powerful for the Wanderers. Mathematically, the Saints can make finals, but logically a win here is just a consolation prize.
WARATAH V PINT
Sunday January 20, 11:30 am
Pint is one win away from securing a top five spot. The only problem for the Queen Ants is they must defeat Warratah on Sunday. Normally Waratah would come in as heavy favourites, but with players like Madeline Reisinger, Sherayn and Christine Puruntatameri possibly missing another week, Pint has a chance. Erin Hetherington has been sensational across half-back, carrying as much influence as Cassie Henderson does in the midfield. However, Warriors stars, Lisa Roberts, Madeline Gault, Lauren O’Shea and Sharona Bishop are still a very lethal combination. If the Queen Ants manage to pull off the win, it will provide serious momentum for them in the upcoming weeks.