DARWIN inflicted a remarkable upset in Saturday’s qualifying semi final, earning passage to the final day of the season by overcoming minor premier, Pint. Meanwhile, Nightcliff’s dream run from fifth spot continued as the Tigers sent St Mary’s out in straight sets, setting up an intriguing final fortnight of Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Women’s Premier League action.
ST MARY’S 1.0 | 1.0 | 1.3 | 2.3 (15)
NIGHTCLIFF 2.1 | 6.3 | 8.3 | 11.4 (70)
St Mary’s: S. Stevens, L. Dunn
Nightcliff: M. Ward 4, K. Irvine 3, J. Anyon-Smith 2, L. Gooden, K. Hill-Carter
Nightcliff sent St Mary’s packing in straight sets with a comprehensive 55-point drubbing in Saturday’s elimination semi final. Having won two finals, the Tigers are on a dream run after ranking fifth during home-and-away fixtures and have now set up a preliminary final meeting with Pint.
The Tigers were hardly challenged, leading at every break and setting up the win with a six-goal to one opening half. It was all but over at the next break as Nightcliff was seven goals up and well on its way to the eventual 11.4 (70) to 2.3 (15) triumph.
Mickayla Ward was the key destroyer with a game-high haul of goals, supported well by three from Kristy Irvine. Sophie and Olivia Hatzismalis were again terrific in defence and the ruck respectively, while Jamie-Lee Puautjimi and Georgia Kennedy were useful with ball in hand.
Alana Coombes was among St Mary’s best in the loss, along with the likes of Isabelle Porter and Jasmine Anderson as the green machine suffered its third-straight loss to end what was otherwise a solid season of top flight football.
PINT 3.0 | 6.0 | 7.0 | 7.1 (43)
DARWIN 1.0 | 3.0 | 6.2 | 8.3 (51)
Pint: C. Morris 2, J. Downey, J. Hewett, C. Fabris, H. Grubb, A. Chittick
Darwin: A. Bush 3, M. Ellis 2, D. Carbone, S. Henry, Z. Anderson
Darwin became the first side to advance to this season’s grand final with a stunning eight-point comeback win over minor premier, Pint. The upset snaps Pint’s 16-game undefeated run on the season, while serving a reminder of the Buffettes’ potential.
The result did not come without its drama either, as Darwin was forced to fight back from a three-goal deficit at half time. Having hit the front in term three, the Buffettes again fell behind before one final inspired push saw them gain ascendancy at the ideal time and win 8.3 (51) to 7.1 (43).
Ashanti Bush booted a game-high three goals as one of Darwin’s best up forward, as the likes of Talia Corrie, Machaelia Roberts, and returning star Dominique Carbone also stood up when it mattered. Michelle Ellis (two goals) finished as her side’s only other multiple goalkicker.
Pint had its contributors as usual, with Rebecca Pryer earning plaudits while Jasmyn Hewett was at her impactful best through the ruck and Katie Streader found plenty of the ball. The Queenants will now face Nightcliff for a spot in next week’s premiership decider.
Image Credit: Celina Whan/AFLNT Media