Tag: Megan Williamson

2021 VFL Women’s Round 1 preview: Revamped state league returns after lost season

THE Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s competition returns this weekend, with a revamped structure seeing the season run concurrently with that of the AFL Women’s (AFLW). As somewhat of a reserves league to aligned sides in the top flight, the VFLW features 12 teams in 2021, including Port Melbourne after the Borough took on Richmond’s license. Round 1 sees fixtures spread evenly over Saturday and Sunday, starting at Arden Street as North Melbourne hosts Port Melbourne.

North Melbourne vs. Port Melbourne
Saturday February 27, 10:00am
Arden Street Oval

North Melbourne welcomes competition newcomer, Port Melbourne to the VFL Women’s on Saturday morning as the two sides open season 2021 at Arden Street Oval. While still a proud standalone club, the Borough has taken on Richmond’s VFLW license and will thus have access to Tigers players who miss out on AFLW selection. Likewise, North Melbourne’s top flight alignment will see some senior listed Kangaroos line up in the blue and white each week.

The likes of Richmond forward Christina Bernardi and Melissa Kuys will be among the experienced names set to lead the Borough’s efforts, while an all-Richmond half-back line of Hannah McLaren, Sarah Sansonetti, and Laura McClelland should prove difficult to budge. Murray Bushrangers graduate Sophie Locke is another exciting young talent in Port’s side, named in the back pocket.

New Roo Katelyn Cox is set for a reserves outing in North’s midfield, lining up next to Meagan Kiely and Bethany Lynch with Lexi Hamilton a handy ruck to be roving under. Nikki Wallace, another with AFLW experience lines up in defence and Brooke Brown gets a gig at the other end of the ground. Brown was taken by North Melbourne as a surprise father-daughter selection in 2020.

Expect North Melbourne’s hardness and pressure around the ball to be a real feature, as Port looks to bring an exciting transition style to the fore in what should be a competitive start to the 2021 season.

Geelong vs. Collingwood
Saturday February 27, 12:00pm
Deakin University, Geelong (Waurn Ponds)

AFLW-aligned sides Geelong and Collingwood go head-to-head at Deakin University in Waurn Ponds on Saturday afternoon, looking to start their campaigns on the right foot. Both sides boast a strong mix of youth and experience in their Round 1 lineups, with the Cats benefitting significantly from their alignment to the top flight when it comes to the young talent at their disposal. Collingwood, of course, remains the reigning premier after the 2020 season was scrapped.

Among the exciting brigade of up-and-comers, Olivia Barber has been named at full forward and will spearhead the attack alongside skipper, Michelle Fedele. Paige Sheppard is poised to make her return to football in the hoops, named among an exciting midfield with Cats AFLW youngsters Laura Gardiner, Darcy Moloney, and ruck Rene Caris having all gained experience at senior level.

Collingwood’s tall stocks should trouble the Cats, particularly up forward. Senior ruck Bella Smith takes up the full forward spot with Sarah King set to take the first bounce, while Imogen Barnett is another to watch in Collingwood’s front half. Smith’s former Norwood teammate Matilda Zander looms as an exciting addition from the SANFL, with the Magpies’ forward depth pushing Amelia Velardo to half-back.

The Magpies will look to adopt a similar gameplan to their AFLW side, looking to take the game on in transition with an exciting handball style while also taking hold of the game when required. Geelong will also play an attacking brand, with youthful exuberance and instinct also poised to come into the Cats’ thinking.

Carlton vs. Casey Demons
Saturday February 27, 2:00pm
Princes Park

Another all-aligned clash takes place at Princes Park as Carlton and Casey Demons lock horns, rounding out Saturday’s fixtures. The Blues have hit the reset button on their VFLW program and will look a very fresh side this year, adopting a strong youth focus to help feed their AFLW squad. Casey also has strong ties to its AFLW-aligned team in Melbourne, with a fit and strong Demons unit out to prove just how fruitful their preseason has been.

The Blues will be led from the back with skipper Ally Bild lining up next to vice-captain Jen Lew across half-back, while Carlton-listed speedster Charlotte Hammans completes the line. Coming down from Cairns, Jasmine Ware is another to watch in Carlton’s defence, while Akayla Peterson looms as a high-upside type at the other end. Carlton draftees Winnie Laing and Paige Trudgeon will also get some run into their legs in the front half.

Casey captain Samantha Johnson is her side’s major off-season coup and will anchor the midfield alongside first year Melbourne midfielder, Megan Fitzsimon. Both will benefit from the ruckwork of Maggie Caris, while an all-Melbourne half-back line of Mietta Kendall, Isabella Simmons, and Irishwoman Lauren Magee should prove exciting to watch. Brenna Tarrant also features at full back, with three senior games under her belt this year.

With new coach Peter Mercoulia also embedded in Melbourne’s coaching staff, Casey will look to play fast and put heavy scoreboard pressure on. Carlton is led by a new coach of its own in Luke O’Shannessy, who should be able to extract great things from the Blues’ young talent with his vast pathways experience.

Western Bulldogs vs. Hawthorn
Sunday February 28, 10:00am
Whitten Oval

The Western Bulldogs kick off their 2021 campaign at home as Hawthorn rolls into town on Sunday morning, looking to take a big scalp early. The Bulldogs have built one of the best young AFLW lists, with the vast array of talent spilling into its reserves side and making for an exciting squad on paper. The standalone Hawks are also strong on youth, but have attracted some big-name experience with Bec Goddard set to take the reins as head coach for the first time since 2018.

An embarrassment of riches sees the Bulldogs’ forwardline stacked with five AFLW-listed talents, including Isabella Grant, Gemma Lagioia, and the experienced Lauren Spark. Mary Sandral is the lone VFLW-listed player to start in attack, though the likes of Nicole McMahon (ruck), skipper Riley Christgoergl (half-back), and vice-captain Katelyn Betts (centre) will be consistent VFLW figures this year. Under McMahon, the likes of Isabelle Pritchard, Brooke Hards, and Britney Gutknecht should be served well in midfield.

Some well-renowned names in female footballing circles will provide invaluable experience to Hawthorn’s fledgling side, with stalwart Meg Hutchins poised to take on a number of roles aside from her forwardline listing, while Abbey Holmes is a tough body at the contest who will rotate forward through midfield. Skipper Jess Trend is another with AFLW experience who should impact greatly, while Northern Territory recruit Dominique Carbone has serious potential. She is set for her VFLW debut on the same weekend the Darwin Buffettes play finals back home.

The Hawks should prove a well structured side under Goddard and will be sure to crack in hard, though the abundance of promising young options for the Bulldogs will be incredibly tough to overcome. Should they not rely on too few, the Hawks will be ultra competitive in the face of the Dogs’ rawness and fierce style.

Essendon vs. Southern Saints
Sunday February 28, 10:30am
The Hangar

Essendon is set to unveil its shiny new facilities at The Hangar on Sunday morning, hosting the Southern Saints in what should be a competitive clash. Gunning for an AFLW license, the Bombers remain standalone but have built a strong list with more continuity than other sides heading into 2021. The Saints have their St Kilda alignment to lean on, but are looking strong in their own right after a solid preseason.

Anchoring Essendon’s side will be skipper Georgia Nanscawen, who is part of a terrific spine in the red and black. Cecilia McIntosh lines up down back, while Courtney Ugle provides some grunt, and Mia-Rae Clifford gets a fresh start up forward. Of the up-and-comers, Eloise Ashley-Cooper and Alana Barba have already performed well in the sash, with a host of young prospects set to filter through Essendon’s lineup as the season progresses.

Tara Bohanna (full back) and Deanna Jolliffe (rover) will lead the Saints out as co-captain Frankie Hocking has not been named. Georgia McLean is one to watch off half-back having crossed from Casey, while Poppy Kelly and Alice Burke are the only St Kilda AFLW players to feature in the lineup – both named on the interchange bench ahead of three emergencies from the senior squad.

The Saints have not put a ceiling on their potential and promise to open the game up with unpredictable ball movement. The Bombers’ continuity as a group and greater poise with such experience could well play a factor in this clash, with both sides backing their cohesion after so long away from competitive action.

Darebin vs. Williamstown
Sunday February 28, 11:30am
La Trobe University, Bundoora

Pioneer club, the Darebin Falcons take on Williamstown in Round 1’s closing fixture on Sunday, set to play out at La Trobe University in Bundoora. Both proud standalone clubs, these two sides will be made up purely of VFLW-listed talent early on before gaining access to NAB League and potentially even AFLW talent as those seasons are run and done. The two sides already faced off during preseason, with Williamstown winning by 11 points at the same venue.

Led by the returning Stephanie Simpson, Darebin has a bunch of leaders set to build the standards under coach Mitch Skelly. In defence, Gena Lawson-Tavan is one who promises to do exactly that as vice-captain, while fellow leaders Cherelle Byrne (centre) and Alyssa Mifsud (full forward) are other leaders littered up and down the spine. One Falcon to watch is Stephanie Elarmaly, a youngster who has come through Darebin’s youth system.

2019 premiership coach Penny Cula-Reid crossed from Collingwood after her flag triumph, and takes over an exciting standalone squad. Skipper Erin Meade has locked in a spot at half-back, with reigning best and fairest winner Megan Williamson set to resume her midfield duties. Asha Price and Eliza Straford should be good value up forward, while Scarlett Dunell, the sister of former Seagull Sam lines up in defence.

There is often a great unknown around the standalone sides, especially after so long away from competitive action, but the two sides will know each other well after their preseason meeting and will get a good assessment of their 2021 chances in this bout.

Image Credit: Kelly Defina/AFL Photos

2021 VFLW season preview: Williamstown

WILLIAMSTOWN boasts a squad brimming with fresh faces and young talent ahead of the 2021 Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s season. After the 2020 season was cancelled, the Seagulls have faced an agonising wait to make good on their 2019 campaign which yielded just one victory in 13 games.

The proud standalone club will again prepare to be lead by head coach Penny Cula-Reid, who coached Collingwood to the 2019 premiership. With a list made up of true VFLW talent and strong coups to build on important re-signings, the Seagulls will look to compete with aligned clubs and nurture the draftable talent potentially entering their program from elite pathways.

While the latest round of practice matches was scrapped due to lockdown laws, the Seagulls managed to fit one in before restrictions were put in place. They locked horns with the Darebin Falcons at La Trobe University and came up trumps by 11 points, showing great maturity to start and finish the game strongly. The win came after players participated in a three-day camp in Trafalgar, preparing them mentally and physically for the fast-approaching season proper.

Erin Meade was announced as captain for 2021 having become a mainstay among her side’s defence and midfield, leading a promising mix in the engine room. 2019 best and fairest winner Megan Williamson is set to play a key part in proceedings once again, while the likes of fellow inaugural Seagull Lauren Suleiman, Ruby Tripodi, and Eliza Straford have all also re-committed to the club.

Tahlia Merrett and Asha Price have been identified as two players to watch up forward having both come to the fore during preseason. Merrett is a rising star of the competition who is usually sighted down back, but the raw tall has been pegged for a move to centre half-forward this year. 23-year-old Price was a 2020 signing from Melbourne University and will likely be employed deeper inside the attacking arc.

Among the new recruits, former NAB League trio Zoe Garth, Payton Ozols, and Malaya Rodezno all come in with plenty of promise. Garth hails from the Geelong Falcons region and was a highly touted junior who adds to Williamstown’s outside run. Ozols is a fast-improving defender who also moves well, while Rodezno is a former basketballer who adds to the club’s tall stocks.

The club has also announced the signings of Danika Di Santo, Tori Snelleksz, Bridget Costello, Allana Dickie, Scarlett Dunell, and Sasha Long. No fixture has been released, but the 2021 season is set to get underway in late-February, running adjacently with the AFL Women’s and NAB League Girls seasons which have already commenced.

Image Credit: Williamstown FC

Weekend preview: 2020/21 NTFL Women’s Premier League – Round 14

ROUND 14 of the 2020/21 Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Women’s Premier League season could prove crucial on the road to finals, with the top three sides all facing teams lower on the ladder while fourth placed Southern Districts have the bye this week. Pint will look to keep its winning streak intact while neither St Mary’s nor Darwin Buffettes can afford to slip up.

Pint v. Wanderers
Saturday, 16 January

The Queen Ants will come into this encounter with plenty of confidence, not just because they are still undefeated after 13 rounds, but also because of the form and consistency the side has shown throughout the season. While the Wanderers certainly have players who have stepped up to the task week in week out, the side has lacked some connection through the midfield and versatility up the ground, with just the one key goalkicker throughout the season in Kaitlyn Armstrong. While Armstrong sits second on the goalkicking tally this season, there are little other options for the Muk Muks in the front end, and could be the kicker in this encounter against Pint given their relative firepower at both ends of the ground. Expect Pint lynchpins Amy ChittickJasmyn Hewett and Cassie Henderson to step up as per usual, with the former two plying their trade in front of goal combining for 29 goals between them. Add in the extra work rate of Casey Morris (14 goals) and Jessie Baumer (11), and the Queen Ants are hard to stop. Wanderers’ Morgan JohnstonCassie Ormsby and Tishara Davern have been consistent throughout the season, although the side’s 94-point loss to Pint back in Round 4 could be a difficult margin to overcome this round.

Tracy Village v. Palmerston Magpies
Saturday, 16 January

Palmerston Magpies will look to inch up the ladder this week when they take on the winless Tracy Village, with a blistering 87-point Round 4 victory sure to spark plenty of confidence for the black and white side. The Razorbacks have only managed to boot one goal since that encounter which certainly puts the Magpies in good stead, however this could be one of Tracy Village’s last opportunities to put a competitive scoreline on the board before the end of the season, so could be the kick in the right direction for the cellar-dwelling side. With both sides coming into this match off the back of losses, expect both teams to come out with a point to prove. For Tracy Village, expect the ever reliable Zhoe Clark to step up to the front once more, while three of her four fellow consistent best on ground teammates in Meagan WylieKahla DumbrisIndianna Hughes and Kiri Marschall have booted the side’s three goals. For the Magpies, Iesha Ronberg and Tabitha May have proved to be as tough as they come, both named in the best a whopping 10 times, while Crystal Browne (10 goals in seven games) and Arthurina Moreen (seven in three) are crucial out the front.

Waratah v. Darwin Buffettes
Saturday, 16 January

Expect a tighter battle in the third match of the round, with Darwin Buffettes certainly improving as the season goes on – with last round’s blitz against Tracy Village a testament to that – while Waratah have found some form in patches but ultimately not quite had the consistency across quarters, or indeed matches, to apply real pressure on the competition. That being said, last time these sides met the Buffettes only just escaped with a seven-point victory, pushed throughout by a fired up Waratah side. The Warriors come into this match off the back of an extra week on the sidelines following a bye last round, so will look to fly out of the blocks against the Buffs who will be swimming in confidence up in third on the ladder. Waratah’s Lisa Miceli has booted 17 goals in eight gams to sit in third on the goalkicking tally and leads the charge for her side, with regular performers Jenna SinghDanica Pedersen and Breanna Martin providing firepower out the front. For Darwin, Jemma Iacono has played every match and been named in the best six times, while Kiera Kumoth (four bests from eight games), Zoe Anderson (16 goals in nine games) and Machaelia Roberts (11 goals in nine games, four bests) are all players to watch in this matchup.

Nightcliff v. St Mary’s
Sunday, 17 January

The final match of the round is a standalone Sunday afternoon battle between fifth and second on the ladder, with St Mary’s on an excellent run of form while Nightcliff has certainly stepped up throughout the 2020/21 season but somewhat struggle against the top sides. With three wins separating the two sides but a huge difference in percentage, Nightcliff will really need to turn on the afterburners to stay in contact with the powerful Saints outfit and maintain intensity throughout the contest. While they play for opposing sides, Michaela Long (St Mary’s) and Jacqueline Anyon-Smith (Nightcliff) are huge threats and provide significant firepower for their respective teams, booting 17 and 16 goals for the season and both consistently are named in the bests for their workrate. Nightcliff’s Mickayla Ward and Eliza Morrison have continued on from their excellent 2019/20 form with dominant performances when they take the field, while the likes of Emma-Lou Wolsey and Rose Russell have also supplied plenty of scoreboard pressure. For the Saints though, there is no doubt Jasmine Anderson (seven best nominations and nine goals in 11 games), Megan Williamson (seven bests in seven matches) and a smattering of multiple goalkickers – 20 in fact – make the side hugely threatening and tough to stop when they get going given the consistency and firepower across the entire playing group.

Picture credit: Chris Kent – AFLNT Media

2020/21 NTFL Women’s – Midseason review: Pint, St Mary’s, Southern Districts

HEADING into a break over the Christmas period Draft Central takes a look at the NTFL Women’s Premier League so far, putting each team under the microscope and considering elements such as key standouts for each side, current win-loss ratio and who they are set to face when play returns in January 2021.

Pint

Position: 1st
Win-loss-draw: 11-0-0
Percentage: 362.36%

Sitting pretty in first place on the ladder, the Queen Ants have been in ripping form and are yet to drop a game showcasing their ability to close out games and weather the storm from opposition teams. The only team that has gotten close to Pint so far this season was Darwin back in Round 8 where the Queen Ants got up by a mere two points. They are cool, calm and collected and most importantly have placed themselves in a good position to challenge for a premiership and will be hoping to inflict plenty of pain on Nightcliff when the action resumes in January.

Pint has no shortage of players able to step up and steer the ship with the goal scoring shared between three main contributors in Amy Chittick, Casey Morris and Jasmyn Hewett. Chittick leads the pack with 14 goals, Morris has 13 and Hewett with 12 while Jessie Baumer has proven to be a handy option in front of the big sticks with a season total of nine. Chittick is not only integral in front of goal but so too across the ground named in the bests six times alongside Cassie Henderson. Reni Hicks has proven to be effective for Pint as has Jacinta Reid with the duo frequently making their way onto the top performers list throughout the season.

St Mary’s

Position: 2nd
Win-loss-draw: 8-3-0
Percentage: 360.69%

Currently second on the ladder St Mary’s will be keen to keep their two game winning streak intact when they return against Palmerston Magpies. After somewhat of a slow start to the season the Saints built some strong form through the midpart stringing together four consecutive wins and subsequently rising up the ladder. However the past five games have not been as convincing coming off the bye and losing two games before downing both Tracy Village and Wanderers to recapture their mojo.

The Saints have a number of players that are able to take the game by the scruff of the neck and have an influence with Michaela Long leading the pack with 17 goals in 11 games while Ashlea Melnikas has also chimed in to average a goal a game. Danielle Ponter has not played since mid-November but was a commanding presence with her eight goals while Jasmine Anderson and Tesharna Maher have both been consistent figures for the Saints. Megan Williamson has been a real ball magnet for St Mary’s and has been regularly recognised for her efforts while Alana Coombes is another one to keep an eye out for.

Southern Districts

Position: 4th
Win-loss-draw: 6-3-2
Percentage: 158.41%

The Southern Districts have been up and down throughout the 2020/21 season registering six wins and three losses but could have been higher up the ladder had they closed out games as shown via their two draws. Currently holding down fourth spot on the ladder heading into the break the Crocs will be hoping to regroup after going down to Pint in the final round. But prior to the loss were flying, going on a three game winning streak and registering a draw. They face the Wanderers in their first game back.

There are two main options inside 50 with Tayla Thorn a key cog and able to kick multiple goals each time she steps out taking her tally to 25 for the year. She is often assisted by teammate Grace Mulvahil who is a real livewire in attack recording 11 goals for the year while Jessie Brock is the next best with six majors to her name. In terms of bests it is no surprise that Thorn is right up there given her influence on the scoreboard while Bella Clarke and Emma Forsyth are also formidable figures for the Crocs. Malory Nankervis has steadily found her groove as has Ebony Miller with the two featuring highly for the side.

Weekend preview: 2020/21 NTFL Women’s Premier League – Round 11

EXPECT a tight round of NTFL Women’s Premier League action, with the competition well and truly heating up now as we enter Round 11. The penultimate round before the Christmas break, Saturday’s fixtures will either set teams in motion heading into the latter rounds of the season, or separate the top sides even further from the bottom. Wanderers have the bye this week, and will look to recuperate after a tough match last round.

Southern Districts v. Palmerston Magpies
Saturday, December 12

Expect an interesting matchup here between the Districts and Magpies, with the two sides opening the round and never failing to put on a show. While it was the Districts who got the chocolates in their first encounter of the season – their second straight win, which effectively sparked their better form to sit in fourth now – the Magpies have been putting up competitive scorelines for much of the season proving the side is capable of great things, they just need the extra polish and consistency around the ground to push it all the way. With two wins on the board to the Crocs’ five and two draws, the Magpies are certainly capable of pulling another solid effort out here, but will need to really come out flying against the Districts to get the job done.

Districts’ Tayla Thorn is currently leading the overall goalkicker tally, so will hope to continue her excellent form over the past few rounds, as will Emma Forsyth who sits even on four bests alongside Thorn. Grace Mulvahil and Jessie Brock have been a couple of other major targets up forward, while there is no denying the impact of the likes of Bella ClarkeEbony MillerMalory Nankervis and Megan Craufurd. When it comes to consistency, there is no doubting the workrate of Magpies’ Iesha Ronberg and Tabitha May, with the duo named amongst the best on seven of their nine respective matches, showcasing just how impactful they are. Billie Byers is also high up for the Magpies with five bests, while Crystal Browne (nine goals) and Arthurina Moreen (seven) have proved crucial up forward, but have only played four and three games respectively, showcasing the Magpies’ requirement for more players to step up in their absence.

Nightcliff v. Darwin Buffettes
Saturday, December 12

Another intriguing battle is expected in the second match of the round, with the Tigers and Buffs going head-to-head. A 49-point margin last time they met was certainly not what Nightcliff was expecting, and it is safe to say the side will be looking to not only redeem themselves for that scoreline, but also continue on from their solid victory last round to jump up the ladder. Given both teams are coming off Round 10 victories and some fairly consistent form, expect a show from the two, though Buffettes may have the number of the Tigers given their dominance last time around and confidence, sitting in second on the ladder.

While Thorn leads the goalkicking tally with 18, Buffettes’ Zoe Anderson is not far behind on 16 goals and realistically, could be far higher if it was not for the amount of forward 50 options the Darwin side has at its disposal. With both Machaelia Roberts (nine goals) and Delsey Ah Wang (eight) right up there too, there is no doubt the Buffettes have the firepower to consistently get the job done. Add in the constant pressure of the likes of Jemma Iacono, Dominique Carbone and Katelyn Hazlett and the Buffs are hard to stop once they are on. For the Tigers, Mickayla Ward is a real lynchpin, listed in the bests on six of her seven outings and leading the side’s goal tally on 13. Emma-Lou Wolsey and Jacqueline Anyon-Smith both sit on 12 apiece, with the former leading the competition tally early in the season, while Lauren Gooden has been a consistent figure for the side.

Pint v. Waratah
Saturday, December 12

Pint will look to continue their consistency and dominance this week, and a win over Waratah – a side which has been such a force to be reckoned with in the competition for so many years – would certainly do the trick. While Pint has been at the top of the ladder since Round 4, Waratah had to escape a rough start to the season and are now currently suffering in the mid-table logjam, putting on some solid performances but not quite hitting the mark against the top sides. A 36-point loss to Southern Districts last round certainly would not have helped that, while Pint is yet to falter with their closest margin two points back in Round 8. It will require a huge effort from the Warriors here to have a chance against the powerful Queen Ants.

There is no doubt that Pint has plenty of firepower, with Amy ChittickCasey Morris and Jasmyn Hewett all registering double figures in front of goal, credit to not only their ability to find the ball, but also the side’s midfielders’ ability to deliver the footy on a silver platter. The trio have combined for 37 goals so far this season, with Chittick also racking up five bests alongside Cassie Henderson who rarely skips a beat. While Waratah does not record bests, the likes of Lisa Miceli and Jenna Singh have consistently provided not only that forward foray, but also the ability to score well with 15 and nine goals to their names, respectively. Miceli and Danica Pedersen (seven goals) have both only played six of the side’s nine games, proving just how impactful they can be when they get ball to boot.

St Mary’s v. Tracy Village
Saturday, December 12

St Mary’s will look to redeem themselves after a couple of disappointing days on the track, with a battle here against Tracy Village. While the Saints’ past few rounds have not been ideal, the side still remains amongst the top sides in the competition and it will take a huge, season-changing effort from the Razorbacks to get over the line here. Although the Razorbacks have shown glimpses of form, the side has failed to score in four of their nine encounters – including against the Saints in Round 6 – and has not scored since Round 7 – a single behind against Southern Districts. Expect a confidence-boosting win here from the Saints, who will need a boost to ensure their percentage stays high coming into the later stages of the season.

When it comes to sharing around the footy and accolades, there is no doubt that the Saints excel at showcasing their depth of talent. While Michaela Long leads the goal tally with 13 to her name from nine matches, Danielle Ponter and Ash Melnikas both have eight to their name while four more players have multiple goals on the board. Megan Williamson has been named amongst the best in all seven of her matches, while Melnikas, Ponter and Jasmine Anderson have been listed five times each, and three more players have been named four times apiece, proving the consistent efforts around the ground. For the Razorbacks, Zhoe Clarke and Kiri Marschall are right up there, rarely skipping a beat or letting up on the pressure regardless of the scoreline.

Weekend preview: 2020/21 NTFL Women’s Premier League – Round 10

AS quick as a flash, the NTFL Women’s Premier League season has flown by as the competition has now officially passed its midway point of the 2020/21 season. The finals race is heating up with a mid-table log-jam evident already, while Pint sit comfortable and undefeated at the top of the ladder as the competition heads back into return fixtures. Tracy Village are yet to win a game but will get some valuable rest this week with a second bye for the season, while this weekend of action will see some teams hope to replicate their Round 3 form from their last encounter against their respective sides.

Nightcliff v. Wanderers
Saturday, December 5

While Nightcliff come into this match off a Round 9 bye, Wanderers will be looking to take every chance they have of upsetting the Tigers this week. Neither team has significant issues finding the goals, but at times seem to lack the defensive pressure to limit their opposition in the scoring department making for an intriguing matchup here. Nightcliff came away with the “W” in their Round 3 encounter, downing the Wanderers by 19 points and certainly giving the Tigers some confidence coming into this one, but will need to be hyper-aware of the side’s ability to fly out of the blocks and challenge teams.

Kaitlyn Armstrong (Wanderers), Lauren Gooden and Emma-Lou Wolsey (both Nightcliff) were crucial for their respective teams last time around, hauling much of the forward load. The Wanderers will need some of their other forward targets to take some of the load off Armstrong if they are to win this one, with Shekeine de Satge and Tishara Davern the likely suspects although the former is more of a transitional player. Wolsey’s powerful kick was huge early in the season but a couple of quiet weeks have allowed the likes of Darcy Elliston and Lauren Gooden to step up, while there is no doubt Jacqueline Anyon-Smith and Mickayla Ward will be up for a big match after a week off.

Waratah v. Southern Districts
Saturday, December 5

This battle between last year’s premiership sides is sure to be a big one, with their Round 3 match ending with a draw in a fitting finish to the close encounter. Factor in that both Waratah and Southern Districts come into this round with a couple of season-saving wins on the board over the last three rounds, and this match could realistically go either way. Neither side lack in firepower, but at times they seem to fall apart when their key forwards are under pressure, with both sides’ leading goalkickers in Tayla Thorn (Southern Districts, 17 goals) and Lisa Miceli (Waratah, 14 goals) flying under the radar for the most part until the past few rounds.

Expect the usual suspects to command the footy in this match, with plenty of key options on both sides able to hit the scoreboard and do so with ease. Add in the fact that both teams need a win here to realistically stay in touch with the top sides and this should be just as tight a matchup as it was the first time around. Given Waratah need a victory on the board to generate some more confidence and Districts are only a leg up due to a second draw, expect the firepower to be out in spades with the aforementioned duo just the tip of the iceberg for both teams. Crocs young gun Grace Mulvahil and Jessie Brock are able to switch on with ease, while for the Warriors there is no doubt Jenna Singh will be out with a vengeance as will Danica Pedersen.

St Mary’s v. Darwin Buffettes
Saturday, December 5

While the battle between St Mary’s and Darwin Buffettes was close last time around, expect big things from the two top four sides this week with much more at stake as the finals race heats up. The Saints have breezed through this season for the most part, soaking up pressure and outlasting in tough battles, but came off second best last round to the Crocs which allowed the Buffs to equal the Saints on points and be in with a fighting chance of taking over second on the ladder. Neither side has any shortage of key options around the ground, and have both continuously showcased defensive capabilities to match their respective forward firepower, with plenty of options able to put on consistent performances.

Intriguingly, when taking a look at the season stats so far there is a significant similarity between the two sides and the way they go about their game, particularly inside forward 50; while both sides have a key option up forward, they do not rely on that one player and have no shortage of key pillars inside 50. While this was not as evident in their last battle, where the two sides combined for 56 points overall with no multiple goalkickers, the likes of Saints trio Michaela Long (12 goals), Danielle Ponter and Ash Melnikas (both eight), and Buffs trio Zoe Anderson (14 goals), Machaelia Roberts and Delsey Ah Wang (both eight) showcased their respective abilities to hit the scoreboard with ease. While the Saints realistically should get the job done here given the consistency of Megan Williamson, Ponter and Melnikas, the Buffs have a plethora of key figures around the ground with the workrate of Dominique Carbone and Jemma Iacono unquestionable.

Pint v. Palmerston Magpies
Sunday, December 6

The final match of the round is a standalone Sunday fixture, pitting top-of-the-table Pint against the lowly Magpies. Given the Queen Ants still sit undefeated after nine rounds and rarely come off second best in their closer encounters, able to play through tough pressure and conditions, they should realistically have this one tied up with a confident 44-point Round 3 victory telling much of the tale prior to the match beginning. That being said, the Magpies have finally put a few wins on the board, albeit not consistently, and have proven they are capable of forcing teams into close margins so will look to do exactly that in this encounter. Realistically, the Magpies need a win here if they want any chance of moving up the ladder for a chance of finals footy.

Last time they met, Pint put on a show with Jessie Baumer leading the charge with three goals to her name, while Cassie Henderson showcased her consistency to lead from the front. With three multiple goalkickers behind Baumer and conceding just two goals from the Magpies, it is safe to say the Queen Ants will come into their second battle with plenty of confidence. The Magpies have no shortage of star players, but just have lacked the fire in the belly to really get the job done. Tabitha May and Iesha Ronberg have consistently stood up throughout the season, while Arthurina Moreen and Crystal Browne have ben solid fixtures inside 50 combining for 15 goals across their respective three games apiece. For Pint, Amy ChittickCasey Morris and Jasmyn Hewett are the ones to watch out for up forward, with 13, 10 and eight goals, with Chittick a consistent performer alongside Henderson.

2020/21 NTFL Women’s Premier League weekly wrap – Round 7

THERE was no shortage of close encounters throughout Round 7 of the NTFL Women’s Premier League with two of the games decided by less than 20 points. While the ladder leaders in Pint had the week off, second placed St Mary’s kept the heat on notching up their fifth win to remain in the hunt for that top spot. At the other end of the table, Tracy Village fell to their sixth straight loss.

WANDERERS 1.1 | 1.1 | 2.1 | 5.2 (32)
DARWIN BUFFETTES 4.4 | 5.5 | 6.6 | 7.7 (49)

A fast-starting Buffettes side was ultimately the difference between the two teams, as Darwin piled on four goals to one in the opening term and therefore managed to dictate the terms of the game for the remaining three quarters. Despite a strong last quarter performance from the Wanderers they simply could not peg back the margin enough to get over the line as the Buffettes walked away with their fifth win of the season. Darwin could have won by more had they been more accurate in front of the big sticks, notching up seven behinds, but overall will be pleased with their ability to halt the Wanderers in their tracks.

Zoe Anderson continued her stellar form in front of goal to make it three straight weeks where she has contributed to the scoreboard, posting two majors in this clash against the Wanderers. She was not the only multiple goalkicker in the side with Delsey Ah Wang bobbing up for two goals of her own while in her first game for the season Tayla Hart-Aluni also managed to slot one through the big sticks. Dominique Carbone was once again named in the bests for the Buffettes as was Molly Althouse for her second time in three weeks. Talia Corrie and Bianca Stokes also made their presence felt across the ground in their side’s win. For the Wanderers, Kaitlyn Armstrong once again found her range slotting a major while Shekeine De Satge and Kiarhii Williams also managed a goal apiece. Morgan Johnston was a constant threat across the ground and was recognised for her efforts, making her way into the bests for the third straight week as did Tishara Davern.

TRACY VILLAGE 0.0 | 0.0 | 0.0 | 0.1 (1)
SOUTHERN DISTRICTS 5.5 | 13.6 | 15.7 | 21.21 (138)

It is fair to say that it was all one-way traffic with Southern Districts handing Tracy Village a 137 point thumping. The Crocs had the ball on a string and came out with a real fire in the belly, not allowing Tracy Village any easy touches. The real damage was done in the second quarter where Southern Districts piled on eight unanswered goals as Tracy Village simply had no remedy to stop the avalanche of scoreboard pressure. it was not until the final quarter that the bottom of the ladder Razorbacks managed to register a mere point.

There is no denying that Tayla Thorn was the best afield with the Crocs forward putting on a show and walking away with a staggering 10 goal haul for her efforts inside 50. She was a constant firepower and showcased her impressive goal nous to take her season tally to 16. Emma Forsyth, Megan Craufurd and Grace Mulvahil all collected two goals each highlighting the number of goalscoring options the Crocs had. Michala Shaw and Indianna Hickling both stood up to be named in the bests joining the likes of Thorn, Forsyth and Craufurd.

PALMERSTON MAGPIES 1.5 | 2.6 | 3.8 | 4.8 (32)
NIGHTCLIFF 1.1 | 2.5 | 3.6 | 6.9 (45)

It all came down to the final quarter of action with Nightcliff pulling away and showcasing their high level of endurance and footy smarts to come from behind at three quarter time and steal the win. The lead chopped and changed throughout the game testament to the intensity and closeness of the match however a three goal to one final quarter allowed the Tigers reign supreme. Inaccuracy plagued both sides but the Magpies will be ruing their sloppy start to the game, monopolising the play and scoreboard but just unable to capitalise on their chances.

Goal-scoring machine Arthurina Moreen was up to her usual tricks and while it was not enough to get her side over the line her two goals kept them in the hunt. Crystal Browne was the only other Magpies player to hit the scoreboard nailing two majors of her own. Tabitha May continued her dominant ways across the ground, named in the bests for her third consecutive week while Michaeline Brown and Jo Guthridge also slotted into the mix. For Nightcliff, Mickayla Ward proved to be handy inside 50 nailing two goals as first gamer Amy Pittman booted a major to kick off her season. Jacqueline Anyon-Smith returned to the goalkickers list this round while in terms of best performers, Andi Moliere, Emily Casey and Eliza Morrison were recognised for their performance.

ST MARY’S 2.3 | 4.4 | 4.4 | 4.6 (30)
WARATAH 0.1 | 0.1 | 0.1 | 1.3 (9)

In the final game of the round, St Mary’s flexed their muscles with a strong showing against Waratah to collect a 21-point victory and edge closer to the top of the table Pint. It was a fast start from St Mary’s that set the tone for the match and while accuracy was somewhat of a problem they still managed to get the job done and shut down Waratah’s every move, rendering them goalless until the final term. The second and third quarters proved to be a stalemate for both sides, unable to create any real fluidity however the Saints had all but set the game up.

Ashlea Melnikas was in hot form converting three goals to take her season total to eight while Claudia Whitfort was the only other goal scorer for the victors. Melnikas was also named in the bests credit to her output throughout the game as Danielle Ponter and Megan Williamson also made their third straight appearance in the bests. Eliza Shannon and Annabelle Shannon both plied their trade across the ground for the Saints. The only goal scorer for Waratah was Lisa Roberts who showcased her goal nous while the bests are yet to be released for the Tahs.

2020/21 NTFL Women’s Premier League weekly wrap – Round 6

ANOTHER weekend of blowout margins headed up Round 6 of the NTFL Women’s Premier League, with three of the four winners conceding less than 10 points in their respective matches and little changing on the ladder with three of the top four collecting significant wins. While Nightcliff had an eye-opening encounter with Darwin Buffettes they still sit within the top four, and Southern Districts seem to have gotten into the swing of things now with a second straight win after four consecutive losses to start the season. All that, and more, in our weekly women’s wrap.

NIGHTCLIFF 1.0 | 1.0 | 1.0 | 1.0 (6)
DARWIN BUFFETTES 0.3 | 3.5 | 5.5 | 8.7 (55)

Darwin Buffettes have continued their excellent start to the season, limiting fourth-ranked Nightcliff to just one goal and overcoming a shaky start to come away with a 49-point margin. It was an explosive second and fourth quarter that saw the side really create a buffer against the Tigers, booting 3.2 in each quarter and backing it up around the ground with their defensive effort. For Nightcliff, it was a disappointing outcome especially given their great start to the season, meaning they will really have to lift their game to get back to their early season form with three straight losses on the board.

For Nightcliff, the side’s lone goalkicker Emma-Lou Wolsey remains atop the goalkicking leaderboard by the skin of her teeth, sitting equal first alongside Darwin’s Zoe Anderson who matched her with one goal of her own this week too. Mickayla Ward and Sophie Hatzismalis were both named best for the Tigers, while for the Buffs there were a flurry of gamemakers around the ground with Machaelia Roberts (three goals), Delsey Ah Wang (two goals), Lucy Louis and Jemma Iacono putting on solid performances.

 

TRACY VILLAGE 0.0 | 0.0 | 0.0 | 0.0 (0)
ST MARY’S 7.2 | 12.3 | 13.6 | 17.8 (110)

It was another disappointing outing for Tracy Village this round, making for the side’s fifth straight loss and second time in two weeks that they were unable to put a score on the board. To the Saints’ credit though, they did not leave any stone unturned with a shot at rocketing their percentage this week sitting in second on the ladder, seeing 11 players hit the scoreboard and only two register multiple majors, such was their complete and utter dominance on the contest.

St Mary’s did not seem to put a single foot wrong throughout, navigating traffic with ease and seeing Danielle Ponter and Michaela Long enter the leading goalkicker list with four goals apiece. Both players were named among the best, as were Megan WilliamsonFatnowna Frances and Shailyn Doreen Peris who all put a goal on the board in the comprehensive victory.

 

WARATAH 0.0 | 0.0 | 1.0 | 1.1 (7)
PINT 2.1 | 2.3 | 3.4 | 5.6 (36)

Waratah narrowly escaped a goalless outcome when they took on Pint, booting a major in the third term to edge back the margin slightly, but seeing the Queen Ants reign supreme in a lower scoring affair than expected. While certainly not the outcome the Warriors wanted, Pint still sit atop the table undefeated so to come out and limit Pint’s firepower up forward is certainly a credit to the Waratah outfit. That being said, Pint was clinical once more in this effort with the work rate high and expectations higher a third of the way through the season.

For Waratah, the ever reliable Jenna Singh was the lone goalkicker, while Pint’s Jessie Baumer booted two to sit on six goals from three matches, and was joined by Gemma Cusack, Jacqueline Downey and Erin Lavis on the goalkicking list this round.

 

PALMERSTON MAGPIES 0.3 | 0.3 | 1.5 | 3.8 (26)
SOUTHERN DISTRICTS 0.2 | 3.4 | 5.6 | 6.6 (42)

Southern Districts have inched their way up the ladder with a second straight win this week, downing the Palmerston Magpies and proving they are capable of much better performances than they have put out thus far in season 2020. It was a seesawing affair between the two sides, seeing both teams battle for the upper hand and finding a couple of purple patches to extend or reduce the margin, with the Districts’ three goal to nil second quarter allowing them to take the lead and hold onto it. While the Magpies had a better final quarter, booting 2.3 to Districts’ 1.0, it was unfortunately not enough after allowing the Crocs to get on top early in the high pressure outing.

For the winning side it was Tayla Thorn and Jessie Brock who led the charge out the front, booting two goal apiece, while young gun Grace Mulvahil and milestone 50-gamer Ebony Miller also found the big sticks. Malory Nankervis and Rhiannon Busch were named among the best in a solid and much better team effort from the Crocs. For the Magpies, Kiara White, Natasha Medbury and Jasmine Duturbure booted a goal apiece, with the former also named among the best alongside Tabitha May and Iesha Ronberg.

Weekend preview: 2020/21 NTFL Women’s Premier League – Round 5

JUST one team remains at the top of the Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Women’s Premier League ladder heading into Round 5, and one side that was knocked off their perch with a loss last round will look to execute the same result this round when Pint and Nightcliff go head-to-head. A renewed looking Palmerston Magpies will look to continue their rise up the ladder after a sloppy start to the season, while Tracy Village will have their work cut out for them. As per usual, all four matches will play on Saturday afternoon, while Waratah was handed the bye.

Southern Districts vs. Wanderers
Saturday, October 31

Reigning premiers Southern Districts will be chomping at the bit after a bye last round, with no wins on the board yet in season 2020/21 and plenty to play for. The Crocs are possibly in their best position to win this round after the shaky tart, with fresh legs and a similarly struggling opposition in the Wanderers. While the Wanderers had a similarly shaky opening round, they were fortunate to take on Tracy Village in Round 2 which built up some confidence but have struggled since then. While their form is technically in better shape than Districts’ at this point in time, the reigning premiers cannot be underestimated given their scoring ability when they get going and plenty of pride coming into this match. 

Wanderers’ Kaitlyn Armstrong may have been rendered goalless last round but has proven to be a huge threat up forward so far this season, but if she can be held off by the Crocs this week the Wanderers could be in trouble with just four other players managing to get on the board thus far. Djimila Totham and Shekeine De Satge have been named in the best on three occasions, while for the Crocs they will be looking to not only bring a little bit of consistency to their game but also some excitement from Ebony Miller and Tayla Thorn.

Pint vs. Nightcliff
Saturday, October 31

A huge top three battle is set between the undefeated Pint and Nightcliff, with the former holding mantle at the top of the ladder and the latter looking to avenge their frustrating Round 4 loss last week. Both teams have had an excellent start to the season and have rarely faltered out the front, with the Queen Ants ultimately coming into this match as favourites credit to their firepower and proven ability to win under pressure. While Nightcliff have plenty of talent of their own inside their forward 50, with 237 points for compared to Pint’s 252, they have conceded the most points of the teams within the top four so will need to ensure their back end matches the firepower up forward.

Nightcliff’s Emma-Lou Wolsey still leads the goal tally following Round 4 with 11 majors to her name, with Jacqueline Anyon-Smith zipping up the leaderboard with three goals last round, stepping up as Wolsey was kept quiet by the Saints. But while Wolsey has dominated up forward for the Tigers, Pint’s Jasmyn Hewett and Casey Morris have been sharing the footy around, combining well up forward and providing a couple of crucial targets on a list with 12 proven goalkickers just across the opening four rounds. Between the two teams, Pint centurion Cassie Henderson is the lone player to have been named in the best three times.

Tracy Village vs. Darwin Buffettes
Saturday, October 31

Collecting two wins under their belts from three matches, the Buffettes will look to capitalise here and look to break into the top three when they take on the lowly Tracy Village. Always a tough ask, The Darwin side has dropped just one game in a close encounter, and otherwise have been fairly consistent this season. They outlasted a tough Waratah outfit last round and have plenty of exciting names across the field, so will hope to put some real pressure not only on the scoreboard this round but also on the three teams sitting above them on the ladder. The Razorbacks are yet to score more than single digits per game throughout the season so far, and while they have only played three matches from four rounds, they have struggled to not only put goals on the board but also negate their opposition – something Darwin will hope to capitalise off with its flurry of consistent goalkickers.

With just two goals for the season so far, Meagan Wylie and Indianna Hughes will hope to provide a spark up forward for the Razorbacks, and with both named in the best two and three times respectively, they can be relied on to do just that with their continuous hunt on the ball. For the Buffettes, Zoe Anderson and Machaelia Roberts lead the goalkicking tally, with a flurry of other handy options able to put goals on the board where required making for a hugely unpredictable side up forward.

St Mary’s vs. Palmerston Magpies
Saturday, October 31

The final match of the round will see St Mary’s host Palmerston Magpies, with the Saints sitting up in second on the ladder on percentage and the Magpies sitting in sixth after finally getting their first win on the board last round. While the Saints certainly have the winning form going into this round, only defeated by ladder-leading Pint in Round 2 by a close margin, there is no doubt the Magpies’ excellent 87-point win over the Razorbacks last round will give the side plenty of confidence heading into this matchup.

One of the intriguing things about St Mary’s this season is their winning ability regardless of the high turnover of players each round. Watch out for Michaela Long who has booted six goal across her four outings while five other player have booted more than one goal this season. Megan Williamson has been named among the best in all four matches, while Claudia Whitfort has been named in the best three times and booted four majors. For the Magpies, Arthurina Moreen (four goals) and Natasha Medbury (three) were crucial in last round’s victory, both playing just their second games for the season and will look to overwhelm the Saints’ defence this week.

2020/21 NTFL Women’s Premier League wrap: Round 4

ROUND 4 of the Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Women’s Premier League saw Palmerston and Pint secure blowout victories, while St Mary’s and Darwin got the better of fellow top five opponents on what was a super Saturday of play. The results see Pint remain the sole undefeated side atop the ladder, while Tracy Village is still searching for its first win and Southern Districts freshened up with a bye. All that, and more in our weekend wrap.

PALMERSTON MAGPIES | 3.1 | 4.5 | 9.8 | 14.12 (96)
TRACY VILLAGE | 0.1 | 0.2 | 1.3 | 1.3 (9)

GOALS:

Palmerston: A. Moreen 4, N. Medbury 3, T. May 2, I. Ronberg, E. Pretlove, M. Brown, C. Byers, J. Baird.
Tracy Village: M. Wylie.

BEST:

Palmerston: J. Guthridge, J. Baird, T. May, A. Moreen, M. Brown, B. Byers
Tracy Village: I. Hughes, K. Battel, K. Marschall, L. Toner, Z. Clarke, R. von Prott

Palmerston got on the board for season 2020/21 at the third time of asking, thumping the winless Tracy Village by 87 points at Cazaly’s Arena on Saturday. The Magpies took an early lead and never looked back, setting up their victory with four goals to nil in the first half. The damage was only compounded after half time despite the Razorbacks getting on the board, as Palmerston piled on a further 10 goals to storm home 14.12 (96) to 1.3 (9) winners.

Arthurina Moreen (four goals) and Natasha Medbury (three) combined to claim half of the Magpies’ majors, while Tabitha May rounded out the multiple goalkickers with two. Meagan Wylie was Tracy Village’s lone player to find the big sticks, as her side was soundly outdone going forward. The likes of Janet Baird and Michaeline Brown were others to both be named among the best and hit the scoreboard for Palmerston, but it was Jo Guthridge who earned best afield honours. Indianna Hughes gained the same credit for Tracy Village in the loss.

WANDERERS | 0.0 | 0.0 | 0.0 | 1.3 (9)
PINT | 2.2 | 7.5 | 12.7 | 16.7 (103)

GOALS:

Wanderers: C. Ormsby.
Pint: C. Morris 5, K. Smits 3, G. Cusack 2, J. Hewett 2, R. Pryer 2, S. Ingram, K. Streader.

BEST: 

Wanderers: M. Johnston, T. Davern, D. Peckham, C. Ormsby, S. De Satge, T. Parriman
Pint: A. Chittick, C. Henderson, J. Hewett, C. Morris, K. Streader

Pint maintained its flawless start to the season with a resounding 94-point win over Wanderers at TIO Oval on Saturday morning. The Queen Ants started steadily with a two-goal buffer at the first break, before piling on five goals in both the second and third terms to set up the big victory. All the while, Wanderers went scoreless, with Cassie Ormsby converting the Eagles’ first six-pointer in the final term en route to the 16.7 (103) to 1.3 (9) scoreline. It did little to arrest Pint’s momentum, as the victors also put through another four majors.

Casey Morris led a remarkable group of five multiple goalkickers for Pint, bagging a handful of goals while Kristen Smits (three) managed the next-best haul. Jasmyn Hewett was another to trouble the scorers with two majors as she was named among the Queenants’ best behind Amy Chittick and Cassie Henderson. Meanwhile, Morgan Johnston and Tishara Davern led the way for Wanderers alongside goalkicker, Ormsby as the Eagles fell to a second-consecutive defeat to sit seventh at 1-3. Pint is still riding high in top spot having knocked over every challenger thus far.

ST MARY’S | 3.1 | 7.2 | 9.8 | 11.10 (76)
NIGHTCLIFF | 1.2 | 2.2 | 4.2 | 5.2 (32)

GOALS:

St Mary’s: J. Anderson 3, A. Coombes 3, M. Long 2, J. Bryant, C. Whitfort, D. Ponter
Nightcliff: J. Anyon-Smith 3, L. Gooden, E. Wolsey

BEST:

St Mary’s: A. Coombes, D. Ponter, M. Williamson, S. Peris, J. Anderson, C. Whitfort
Nightcliff: K. Simmons, L. Gooden, J. Anyon-Smith

Finals ramifications were in play when St Mary’s and Nightcliff went to battle at TIO Stadium on Saturday morning, and it was the Saints who gained a big boost by becoming the first side to defeat the Tigers this season. The 44-point victory saw St Mary’s jump its opponent into second spot, with both sides currently boasting 3-1 records within the top five. A five-goal to one second term in favour of the victors did most of the damage, as Nightcliff failed to match the Saints’ firepower and fast ball movement throughout the contest.

Jasmine Anderson and Alana Coombes snared three goals apiece for the green and gold, with Michaela Long (two goals) rounding out St Mary’s multiple goalkickers. Up the other end, Jacqueline Anyon-Smith spearheaded the Tigers’ attack with three majors, as fellow goal-getter Lauren Gooden was named among the best behind Katrina Simmons. Coombes was adjudged St Mary’s best afield in front of Adelaide Crows AFLW livewire Danielle Ponter, as well as the likes of Megan Williamson and Claudia Whitford, who have enjoyed strong starts to the season among others.

WARATAH | 1.0 | 4.4 | 5.4 | 6.7 (43)
DARWIN | 2.3 | 4.4 | 5.8 | 7.8 (50)

GOALS:

Waratah: L. Miceli 5, L. Roberts
Darwin: J. Dodsworth 2, A. Bush, D. Ah Wang, S. Henry, M. Gargan, Z. Anderson

BEST:

Waratah: N/A
Darwin: M. Roberts, T. Hart-Aluni, K. Kurnoth, K. Hazlett, J. Iacono

Another top five clash rounded out the weekend proceedings, as Darwin defeated Waratah by seven points in by far the closest game of the round. Tahs’ were simply unable to catch the Buffettes back up after drawing level at half time, with a two-goal to one final term sealing the 7.8 (50) to 6.7 (43) win for Darwin. The result sees the Double Blues return to the winners list and gain a positive record, while Waratah slides to 1-2-1 and has not won since the opening round. However, the Warriors remain fifth having clinched a draw last time out.

It was not all bad for Waratah, especially given Lisa Miceli bagged an equal round-high five goals, with Lisa Roberts their side’s only other goalkicker. A more even spread saw Johanna Dodsworth (two goals) finish as Darwin’s lone multiple goalkicker, as five more Buffettes’ found the big sticks across the day. Unsurprisingly, Machaelia Roberts and Tayla Hart-Aluni fronted Darwin’s best players, with Jemma Iacono also instrumental in the win from defence. After the hotly-contested match, Waratah will look to rebound on the back of a bye next week.

Featured Image: Action from the NTFL Women’s Premier League clash between Darwin and Waratah | Credit: Celina Whan/AFLNT Media