Tag: ntfl women’s premier league

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 weekend preview: Round 5

A top four clash and some mid-table battles are among the games this weekend in Round 5 of the Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Women’s Premier League.

PINT vs. ST MARY’S
Saturday, November 2, 12.30pm
TIO Oval No. 2

In what could be a mid-table clash with ramifications for finals spots early in the season, the sixth placed Pint host the eighth placed St Mary’s at TIO Oval, No. 2. The sides are coming off very different results last week which makes up the one-win difference between the sides, following St Mary’s heavy 45-point loss at the hands of reigning premiers, Waratah, while Pint got up on the road with a 29-point victory over Nightcliff. The Saints’ Round 4 loss marked three consecutive defeats since their thrashing win over Big River Hawks in Round 1. Danielle Ponter is a key player for the Saints, having brought all of her experience from Adelaide’s AFL Women’s program, while Aailyah Bailey and Nikita Long have been among the able to get some consistency into the team. Pint has had a yo-yo start to the season, with two big wins, a heavy loss to Southern Districts, and a heartbreaking defeat at the hands of Palmerston Magpies in Round 1. Adelaide’s Jasmyn Hewett let loose last week to boot three of her team’s seven goals in the victory, while Emma Greaves and Kristen Smits have also been sources of scoring in the opening rounds of the season. Pint goes in as favourite for this clash as it looks to stay in touch with the top four, while St Mary’s needs to win in order to maintain a place in the mid-table logjam and not fall too far behind.

DARWIN BUFFETTES vs. NIGHTCLIFF
Saturday, November 2, 12.30pm
TIO Stadium

The team to beat this season thus far is the Buffettes, with Darwin yet to lose in season 2019/20, sitting a win and a massive percentage clear of Waratah and Wanderers. The last two weeks have brought the Buffettes back to reality despite getting away with the points, defeating Palmerston Magpies (five points) and Southern Districts (10 points) after combined wins of 250 points in the opening two rounds against Tracy Village and Big River Hawks. Tikesa Docherty-Cole booted bags of four and three in her two games this season, while Machaelia Roberts was a massive talent but will be missed when she relocates to Victoria to play with Collingwood following being drafted into the AFL Women’s. Young talents, Dominique Carbone and Tayla Hart-Aluni have also been key to the Buffettes’ success thus far, booting three goals in four games each. On the other hand, Nightcliff has lost its past two games, smashed by Waratah (41 points) and then going down to Pint (29 points) after wins over Wanderers – the only team to do so thus far – and St Mary’s in the opening two rounds. Emma-Lou Wolsey and Laura De Hommel have been named among the best on every occasion, while Shantel Miskin-Ripia has only played a couple of games, but booted six goals, including four on one occasion. The Tigers will be keen to measure up against the ladder leaders in this game.

TRACY VILLAGE vs. SOUTHERN DISTRICTS
Saturday, November 2, 2.30pm
TIO Oval No. 2

Ninth placed Tracy Village will hope to bounce back from what has been an undesirable start to the season, losing three of the first four games by a combined 299 points. Luckily for the Razorbacks they managed to hold off newcomers, Big River Hawks by five points to grab a victory, but Southern Districts will be a tougher assignment in Round 5. The Razorbacks have had quite a number of players already pulling on the jumper this season, with the likes of Gabrielle Young, Tara Everett and Alexandra Biggs among the best, while Nickesha Jones is averaging a goal a game. The Crocs sit at 2-2, but one was a loss to Wanderers which was reversed after having an extra player on game day. Last week the Crocs took it right up to the Buffettes, going down by 10 points but showing they are every bit a finals contender. In 2019/20, Ebony Miller has booted eight goals in four games, with a game-high five goals to be a real influence up forward, while the youth of Mattea Breed and Bella Clarke has provided great enthusiasm throughout the season to-date. Southern Districts should win the game, but stranger things have happened.

PALMERSTON MAGPIES vs. BIG RIVER HAWKS
Saturday, November 2, 3pm
Palmerston Oval

Palmerston Magpies sit ahead of the bell curve in fourth, but are only marginally ahead of their nearest rivals, so a win here is non-negotiable against the struggling new side in Big River Hawks. The Magpies are competitive in every game, with the first three rounds decided by two, 10 and five points respectively, however the Magpies have gone down in two of those matches. The last time out in Round 4 was a different story, with a thumping 20-goal win over Tracy Village stamping the visiting side’s authority on the competition. A win here could also see them move to third with second placed Waratah and third placed Wanderers going head-to-head. Arthurina Moreen has been the hero up forward for the Magpies, booting seven goals in four games, five of which came last week. Janet Baird and Taylah Williams are among others who have enjoyed strong starts to the season thus far in the black and white. For the Big River Hawks, there has not been much joy this season, but one positive is the games are getting closer, with two smashings in the opening two rounds combining for a losing margin of 191 points. In the last two rounds, the losses totalled 25 points. Crystal Browne and Deanna Peckham have played every game this season and provided good support, while Jayde De La Couer has been strong in the forward half. Palmerston would be heavy favourites to take out this game.

WARATAH vs. WANDERERS
Sunday, November 3
Gardens Oval

After a shock loss in Round 1 to Southern Districts, reigning premiers Waratah have got back to business as usual in the past three weeks, notching up wins against Palmerston Magpies, Nightcliff and St Mary’s, with each win looking more impressive by the day. While their percentage is nowhere near that of Darwin’s, Waratah still has a gap on Wanderers, who they need to beat to ensure they stay in the top three. With Palmerston likely to win its match, Waratah could slide to fourth, or even fifth if Southern Districts can have a big upset win over Darwin. The Warriors have shared the ball around this season and in front of goal, with Julieanna Kerinaiua and Monet Hunter both slotting three goals, while Lisa Roberts has been an important source of leadership for the club. For Wanderers, they also bounced back from a disappointing loss to Nightcliff in Round 1, but their formline may be one to be wary with given they had a reversed win against Southern Districts in Round 2, and narrow wins over St Mary’s and Big River Hawks who are bottom four sides. This will be the biggest test in a few weeks, and the likes of Shekeine De Satge and Morgan Johnston will need to be at their best to get up. The likes of Sophie Armitstead and Kayliah Motlop could do some damage through the midfield and up forward, but will have to really step up in this game if the Eagles are to cause an upset against what has been the benchmark team over the past few years.