Tag: Tayla Thorn

2019/20 NTFL Women’s Premier League season preview

A NEW season of NTFL Women’s Premier League is set to begin this weekend, with a new team added to the mix and plenty of excitement as we head into the 2019/2020 season.

Waratah

The 2018/19 premiers well and truly held their own in convincing fashion, defeating Southern Districts in the grand final to be premiers for the seventh time in eight years. The side had a plethora of talent up forward, with Amy Chittick the leading goalkicker for the season with 27 goals, closely followed by Lisa Miceli (24) and Lauren O’Shea (21) to round out the side’s impressive forward onslaught. Defensively, the efforts of Lisa Roberts were key throughout the season to rebound the footy and propel it forward. With a massive percentage and three 20-plus goalkickers to boot, Waratah are sure to be back for another bit of silverware this season.

2018/2019 Season
Position: 1st (Premiers)
Percentage: 411.84
Win-loss: 13-2-1

Palmerston Magpies

Though the Magpies were frontrunners for majority of the season, they unfortunately went down to Southern Districts in the semi-final to be knocked out of flag contention. Despite a much lower percentage than the top side in Waratah, the Magpies kept in touch with dominant goalkickers of their own as well as a smattering of high impact players that could well and truly change the game when required. Rounding out the goalkicking leaderboard for the season were Magpies’ Freda Puruntatameri (20 goals) and Natasha Medbury (17) while key players Tabitha May and Billie Byers proved their importance on the field time and time again.

2018/2019 Season
Position: 2nd
Percentage: 193.72
Win-loss: 13-3

Southern Districts

The grand finalists may not have been good enough on the day, but they certainly proved their ability to impact the contest time and time again to make it to the big dance with huge wins over St Marys and Palmerston during the finals. With impact players the likes of Tahlia Holtze, Tayla Thorn and Lateesha Jeffrey in the mix the side had plenty left in the tank, however just could not compete in the wet weather against Waratah. A solid percentage and plenty of goalkickers gave Districts the push they needed to make it to the grand final last season but an inability to compete in wet-weather footy was their downfall, meaning they will be back and raring to go once more this season.

2018/2019 Season
Position: 3rd
Percentage: 238.28
Win-loss: 11-5

Pint

Pint will be frustrated by their season-ending elimination final against Darwin Buffettes, knocked out well before they had an opportunity to prove their fourth place finish was deserved. With the likes of Cassie Henderson, Erin Hetherington, Kristen Smits and Danielle Suddaby among the side there was plenty of talent across the field, however it was not enough against powerhouse sides despite their form in the home and away season. It was the side’s inability to impact against teams higher on the ladder early on that kept them out of the top of the ladder, so Pint are likely to push even harder this season to get out of the rut of fourth position and contest against the hard-hitting sides.

2018/2019 Season
Position: 4th
Percentage: 95.24
Win-loss: 11-5

Darwin Buffettes

Another side with a wealth of talent, the Buffettes made it to the semi-final before being knocked out by the soon-to-be premiers at the final hurdle. With the likes of Machaelia Roberts, Celina Whan, Kylie Duggan and young gun Dominique Carbone in the mix there was plenty to be excited about for Darwin, however a confidence boosting win in the elimination final was not enough to get the side into the grand final. Having gone close to cracking 100 points on numerous occasions last season, the Buffettes will want to one-up their 2018/19 form this season and keep their eyes on finals contention once more.

2018/2019 Season
Position: 5th
Percentage: 191.58
Win-loss: 9-7

St Mary’s

Unfortunate to be bumped out in the early stage of finals footy last season, St Mary’s is sure to be back with a vengeance this season, especially safe in the knowledge that the Saints drew even with ladder-topping Waratah back in Round 5 last season – though not much to boast about with the match was called off due to weather conditions. The side had a smattering of big names, with Alana Coombes, Katherine Dann and Marlee Gunderson sharing the load inside 50. Defensively, the likes of Lori Niven and Courtney Webb held up well during the season, unshakeable in their task however were unable to hold up defensively against sides that had a number of goalkicking options in their midst.

2018/2019 Season
Position: 6th
Percentage: 57.56
Win-loss: 5-10-1

Tracy Village

With a seventh place finish last season, Tracy Village just missed out on finals contention. Now the side will surely be ready this season to go that extra mile and ensure a finals berth. While it was only the washout and split points that got St Mary’s over the line last season, Tracy Village just did not do enough in the second half of the season to push past St Mary’s and allow themselves an opportunity in the finals. Kristy Irvine was the side’s leading goalkicker last season closely followed by Rachael Bull, with a number of other players able to have an impact on the scoreboard if it wasn’t for the side being plagued with inaccuracy at inopportune times. Meanwhile, Zhoe Clarke proved key around the ground week in and week out.

2018/2019 Season
Position: 7th
Percentage: 55.78
Win-loss: 5-11

Wanderers

Finishing in eighth, the Wanderers were fortunate to come out of the season off the bottom of the ladder only by percentage. Arthurina Moreen (nine goals from 11 matches) was key for the Wanderers last season, with the side unable to capitalise in front of goal without as key target forward. That being said, Pierre-Angelique Koulakis and Lauren Motlop proved time and time again that they had what it took to get the ball back down the ground, just unfortunately not working in their favour against teams with key figures across the field.

2018/2019 Season
Position: 8th
Percentage: 37.23
Win-loss: 2-14

Nightcliff

Last season’s wooden spooners, Nightcliff will be back with a vengeance this season after falling again and again. Despite rarely finishing games with more than 15 points on the board early in the season, Nightcliff proved they have the capacity to improve and put up a fight to finish out the season much better than they started. Emma-Lou Wolsey, Hannah Turnbull and Sophie Hatzismalis did not give up regardless of the match quality, while young gun Shantel Miskin-Ripia played less than half the season but kicked nine goals from her seven games proving the key position player has plenty in the tank if the ball comes to her and that the side has plenty to prove this season.

2018/2019 Season
Position: 9th
Percentage: 32.88
Win-loss: 2-14

Big River Hawks

The newest side to the NTFL Women’s League for the 2019/2020 season, the Big River Hawks will have plenty to prove when they take on last season’s finalists St Mary’s in Round 1. With little form to go off, the side will be raring to go and put the Hawks on the map this season, especially when taking on two of last year’s finalists in the opening rounds.

VFLW weekend wrap: Round 13 – Top teams remain on the hunt for big wins

ROUND 13 of Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s saw a number of big results, with two close matches and two blowouts all but predicting the final match of the round being a close but high scoring affair. With the top three once again putting away wins they are unlikely to slip out of finals contention, though percentage will certainly play a big role coming into the final rounds with a number of teams hoping to make the cut.

ESSENDON 4.0 | 5.0 | 7.1 | 7.2 (44)
SOUTHERN SAINTS 0.3 | 3.4 | 4.4 | 7.4 (46)

GOALS
Essendon:
J. Stassi 2, A. Quigley 2, M. Collier, M. DeMatteo, L. Stepnell.
Southern Saints: K. Shierlaw 3, E. Mackie, T. Bohanna, O. Vesely, C. Greiser.

BEST
Essendon:
A. Quigley, G. Nanscawen, M. Collier, K. Heil, F. Frew, J. Stassi
Southern Saints: K. Shierlaw, E. Mackie, R. Watt, T. Lucas-Rodd, S. Johnson, O. Vesely

The first match of the round was a down to the wire clash between two sides at completely different ends of the ladder, with the Bombers pushing the Saints at every turn and coming so close to a massive upset. Essendon came out strong, kicking four goals nil in the first to set up a solid lead, however were unable to consolidate their lead in the second, conceding 19 points as the game started to shape up to be an eight-point contest at the main change. The Bombers had another good quarter after the break, finding plenty of the footy and limiting the Saints access, before a massive final quarter from the Saints saw them snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. While Southern Saints fought hard for the victory to continue their winning ways, full credit to the Bombers side keeping the Saints on their toes with accuracy on their side. Jess Stassi and Alexandra Quigley impressed in front of goal, kicking two apiece as the Bombers sought to control the contest. Also right in the action was Georgia Nanscawen, collecting 23 touches and racking up 10 tackles, joined by Shae Audley (22 touches, 10 tackles) and Simone Nalder (30 hitouts). Kate Shierlaw was the sole multiple goalkicker for the Saints with three majors from 15 disposals and five marks, while Tilly Lucas-Rodd and Emma Mackie (21 disposals, four marks apiece) made their presence felt and Samantha Johnson, Alison Drennan and Fiona Steiert combined for 25 tackles.

RICHMOND 1.4 | 2.12 | 6.15 | 7.16 (58)
WILLIAMSTOWN 0.0 | 0.0 | 0.1 | 1.4 (10)

GOALS
Richmond:
S. Frederick 2, M. Conti 2, G. Egan, M. Brancatisano, J. Colwell.
Williamstown: S. Whiting.

BEST
Richmond:
M. Conti, K. Dempsey, M. Brancatisano, S. Frederick, A. Woodward, K. Jacques
Williamstown: J. Kawa, S. Whiting, J. Heard, A. Melnikas, I. Porter, E. Straford

It took a dominant performance by the Tigers to jump back into the top four after an average few weeks on the turf, beating a struggling Williamstown by a convincing 48-point margin. But while Richmond well and truly were in control from the get-go, there was little to be happy about with only a 24-point margin at half-time. Granted, the Seagulls had as yet been unable to put a score on the board, however the Tigers’ inaccuracy was a massive issue with 12 behinds and only two goals on the board at the main change – if it were not for the Tigers’ missed opportunities, they would have had a much bigger percentage boosting margin on their hands. The Tigers lifted their game in the second half, kicking five goals to one to cement a convincing win, however the side will be concerned with their accuracy – or lack thereof – heading into the last few rounds before finals. Monique Conti took the field for the first time since early June to bolster the side, kicking two goals on return and collection 18 disposals, five marks and five tackles on her way to best on ground for Richmond. Alice Edmonds was prolific in the ruck with 35 hitouts while Sabrina Frederick kicked two goals from 10 touches in her first win at the club and Alana Woodward collected a whopping 20 tackles. Despite a disappointing overall performance, the likes of Sharnie Whiting (24 disposals, five marks, one goal) and Gemma Anderson (12 disposals, seven tackles) were among the best for the Seagulls.

COLLINGWOOD 1.2 | 3.4 | 4.4 | 5.5 (35)
CARLTON 0.3 | 0.3 | 2.3 | 4.4 (28)

GOALS
Collingwood:
J. Lambert 2, S. Alexander, N. Hales, S. Chiocci.
Carlton: D. Vescio, C. Leighton, B. Gurr, C. Wilson.

BEST
Collingwood:
B. Davey, J. Lambert, G. Lagioia, A. Porter, S. Casey, G. Buchan
Carlton: C. Dalton, D. Vescio, K. Loynes, L. Brazzale, G. Parker, C. Wilson

It was another close match following Saturday’s battle, with Carlton well and truly taking it to the ladder-leading Magpies to only go down by seven points. The Blues struggled in the first half to put goals on the board, before a four goal to two late resurgence showed some of the impressive intent and intensity this Carlton side can apply. However it was a case of too little and too late with the Magpies just too strong this time around. Once again a match saving goal from Sophie Alexander was what the Pies needed to get over the line, leaving little opportunity for the Blues to claw back. For Collingwood Jaimee Lambert was impressive as ever, kicking another two goals to add to her tally while also picking up 23 touches as she used her footy smarts to both set up clever plays and put goals on the board. Steph Chiocci (20 disposals, seven tackles, one goal) continued her good form with another consistent performance while Bri Davey collected 19 touches against her former side despite being ruled out with injury in the final term. For the Blues, Maddy Prespakis was solid with 22 disposals and four marks while Katie Loynes (17 disposals, eight tackles) and Chloe Dalton (16 disposals, 10 tackles) were also right up in the contest.

CASEY 1.0 | 1.1 | 1.2 | 2.6 (18)
DAREBIN 0.0 | 1.2 | 1.3 | 2.5 (17)

GOALS
Casey:
K. Hore 2.
Darebin: S. Fairchild, N. Morris-Dalton.

BEST
Casey:
T. Hanks, K. Smith, H. Cordner, G. McLean, M. Downie, A. McDonough
Darebin: L. Pearce, E. O’Dea, V. Blackwood, S. David, A. Lister, K. Roe

In yet another match that kept players on their toes down to the final siren, Darebin gave Casey a scare in a one point thriller at Casey Fields. With two Falcons playing their AFL Women’s side there was a lot on the line for both teams in the relatively low scoring affair, with neither side able to capitalise in front of goal. The Demons started well defensively, keeping the Falcons scoreless in the first but having plenty of issues getting on the board with only one goal in the first half, before the Falcons shot back with one of their own midway through the second to even up the ledger, sitting ahead by one point at half-time. A highly contested third quarter came next, with neither team able to find the goals before a 1.4 final term from the Dees just barely got them over the line after trailing by one at the final change. Kate Hore was Casey’s saving grace, kicking both Demons goals and collecting nine tackles – only behind Shelley Scott with 11 tackles, while Lily Mithen (26 disposals, six marks, seven tackles) and Libby Birch (17 disposals, four tackles) combined well across the field. Meanwhile, Darebin’s Lauren Pearce showcased her versatility to finish with a whopping 35 hitouts, 25 touches, six marks and six tackles, aided by Elise O’Dea who continued her fine form with 24 touches and 10 tackles while Nell Morris-Dalton impressed in her second outing for the side with one goal from 12 touches and six tackles.

GEELONG 4.1 | 6.3 | 7.7 | 9.8 (62)
NT THUNDER 1.1 | 2.1 | 2.1 | 3.1 (19)

GOALS
Geelong:
S. Van De Heuvel 2, G. Clarke 2, R. Caris 2, J. Woollett, M. Maguire, R. Benham.
NT Thunder: T. Thorn, M. Roberts, C. Whan.

BEST
Geelong:
R. Webster, R. Cranston, T. Love, R. Caris, G. Clarke, S. Van De Heuvel
NT Thunder: E. Marinoff, M. Breed, T. Thorn, K. Streader, J. Baird, C. Deegan

In the second blowout margin of the round, Geelong got a convincing win over Thunder to put themselves in a position to push for a top-six finish. A convincing first half all but set up the victory, with six goals to two at the main change giving the Cats plenty of confidence coming into the second half. A more inaccurate second half saw the Cats unable to replicate their strong start, however their defensive effort left little to be desired with only one score on the board to Thunder in the second half. Sophie Van De Heuvel, Georgia Clarke and Rene Caris kicked two goals apiece in a shared effort, collecting a combined 36 touches while Caris followed up her effort in the ruck with 31 hitouts against young gun, Mattea Breed with 18 hitouts and 10 touches. Richelle Cranston racked up 24 touches and 11 tackles in an impressive effort, while Danielle Orr picked up 25 touches and four behinds. For Thunder, Ebony Marinoff made her triumphant return having sat out since Round 2, collecting 25 touches and a phenomenal 19 tackles to be best on ground. Lisa Roberts also put in the hard yards with 15 disposals and seven tackles while Tayla Thorn had 13 touches, five tackles and a goal for her best and most consistent performance this season.

MELBOURNE UNI 2.0 | 6.2 | 7.4 | 8.4 (52)
HAWTHORN 3.0 | 5.0 | 11.0 | 12.3 (75)

GOALS
Melbourne Uni:
K. Angelis 2, K. Gillespie-Jones 2, K. Ashmore, L. Walsh, H. Whitford, J. Garner.
Hawthorn: T. Luke 3, S. Perkins 3, S. Gibbs 2, O. Flanagan 2, P. McWilliams, R. Beeson.

BEST
Melbourne Uni:
K. Gillespie-Jones, J. Garner, J. Bruton, K. Ashmore, H. Whitford, B. Gibson
Hawthorn: S. Perkins, T. Luke, C. O’Donnell, S. Gibbs, O. Flanagan, J. Sibley

The highest scoring match of the round was always set to be the final game of the weekend with a big battle between fourth and sixth – only separated by percentage. A win to the Hawks sees the two sides all but swap their ladder positions, with Hawthorn jumping into fifth while Uni slip into sixth with Geelong hot on their tail. It was a relatively close affair up to half time with both sides finding patches of good form, before Hawthorn took hold of the lead in the third and refused to let go against a gallant Mugars outfit. The Hawks’ composure and cleanliness impressed, with the side kicking straight for the most part and 11 straight goals by three quarter time to well and truly control the contest. To Uni’s credit they stayed in the match with their tenacity going for the footy, but were unable to consolidate their halftime lead with only two goals after the main break. With six multiple goal kickers spread across the two teams it was an impressive contest, while both sides shared the load well across the field with no dominant standouts. The ruck match between Lou Wotton (34 hitouts, 10 touches, five tackles) and Vivien Saad (28 hitouts, 11 touches, four tackles) was relatively even, making for a very interesting contest with plenty of players getting good access to the footy. Sarah Perkins and Tamara Luke both kicked three for the Hawks, closely followed by Serena Gibbs and Olivia Flanagan with two apiece. For the Mugars, Kate Gillespie-Jones was consistent as ever with 21 disposals and two goals followed by Katie Angelis with another two goals and 14 touches, while Jasmine Garner had another strong performance with 19 touches and a goal.

VFLW weekend wash-up: Hope tears it up as Bulldogs, Tigers and Pies continue good form

ROUND 5 is done and dusted with two teams still sitting undefeated from five rounds of action, meaning the ladder has almost fully shaped up with the teams to beat well and truly sorted. Carlton were pipped at the post once more, going down by only seven points to remain winless, while the Magpies came away with their fourth win on the trot over the Demons. Meanwhile, Mo Hope showed the competition why she was an AFL Women’s marquee player.

CARLTON: 1.2 | 3.3 | 5.4 | 7.4 (46)
NT THUNDER 2.1 | 2.3 | 6.4 | 8.5 (53)

By: James Halley

GOALS:

Carlton: B. Moody, N. Plane, N. Stevens, M. Clifford, M. Jarvis, T. Cassar, S. Wright.
NT Thunder: T. Holtze 2, K. Irvine 2, S. Riley 2, M. Roberts, S. Hoogeveen-Hill.

BEST:

NT Thunder: K. Irvine, C. Randall, N. Gore, K. Streader, M. Roberts, S. Miskin-Ripia
Carlton: A. McKay, M. Prespakis, J. Hosking, N. Stevens, T. Cassar

Carlton went down to the Northern Territory in their home away from home at La Trobe University by seven points. There was a strong wind going towards the left side of the ground all day, which Carlton were not able to fully capitalise on in the last quarter. The first quarter was hotly contested which resulted in many turnovers for both sides, but Northern Territory was able to edge ahead by five points at the first break. The Blues dominated the second term, keeping the Thunder goalless while kicking two themselves. Thunder’s Tayla Thorn tried her hardest in defence but the volume of entries was too much to handle. The third quarter belonged to the Thunder as they were able to wrestle the momentum back their way, kicking four goals to one to regain the lead heading into the final term. In the last quarter both teams went goal for goal, until Northern Territory’s Machaelia Roberts was able to shrug off two tacklers and stream inside 50 and kick the winning goal for the Thunder with less than two minutes left on the clock. Maddy Prespakis and Breann Moody were instrumental for the Blues in the midfield, while Fremantle AFLW recruit Mia-Rae Clifford was a focal point for Carlton in the forward line. Thorn was massive for the Thunder on the last line of defence, while Chelsea Randall was very classy, using her speed and agility to make the Blues look second rate. The Thunder were very dangerous up forward with Sally Riley, Tahlia Holtze and Kristy Irvine all kicking two goals apiece. To make the loss worse for Carlton, defender Jess Edwards looked to have seriously injured herself in the dying minutes of the match, needing medical assistance long after the final siren sounded.

WILLIAMSTOWN 1.1 | 1.4 | 3.5 | 4.8 (32)
MELBOURNE UNI 0.5 | 2.7 | 5.7 | 6.7 (43)

By: Peter Williams

GOALS:

Williamstown: S. Whiting 2, G. Anderson, J. Heard.
Melbourne Uni: N. Bresnehan, H. Whitford, D. Bannister, K. Angelis, K. Cox, B. Gibson.

BEST:

Williamstown: M. Hope, A. Newman, M. Williamson, S. Whiting, J. Reid, R. Dardengo
Melbourne Uni: B. Gibson, T. Mesiti, E. Hay, A. Runnalls, K. Cox, D. Bannister

A massive game from former Collingwood and North Melbourne AFL Women’s player, Mo Hope was not enough to get Williamstown across the line against Melbourne University on Saturday. The Seagulls led at the first break by two points courtesy of an inaccurate quarter by the Mugars who went goalless with five behinds on the board. The visitors hit the front in the second term, delivering the only two goals of the term to head into half-time with a nine-point advantage. They then extended the lead to 14 points in a high scoring third term which saw five goals kicked, before both teams managed a goal in the final stanza for the Mugars to win and ensure the Seagulls remained winless to start the season. Hope was the talking point in the game, amassing a mind-boggling 39 disposals, two marks, three tackles and a behind, while Melbourne AFLW livewire Aliesha Newman had 22 touches, one mark and four tackles in the defeat. The Mugars on the other hand had an even team effort, with Jess Trend (19 disposals, six marks, one tackle), Sophie Abbatangelo (15 disposals, four marks, four tackles and three behinds) and Daria Bannister (15 disposals, one mark, eight tackles and a goal) all impressive. Sharnie Whiting continued her good form this season for the Seagulls with 2.3 from 14 touches and two marks to be the only multiple goal kicker in the game.

WESTERN BULLDOGS 1.0 | 3.2 | 3.3 | 5.6 (36)
DAREBIN FALCONS 0.0 | 0.0 | 1.0 | 1.2 (8)

By: Peter Williams

GOALS:

Western Bulldogs: M. Ward, S. Jolly, H. Wildes, M. Sandral, E. Gavalas.
Darebin: S. David.

BEST:

Western Bulldogs: K. McLeod, S. Jolly, B. Hunt, E. Gavalas, B. Lochland, B. Toogood
Darebin: B. Patterson, C. Byrne, G. Colvin, S. David, R. Hibbert, A. Lister

Western Bulldogs piled on more pain to Darebin Falcons to remain one of the teams to beat after five rounds, winning four consecutive games to start the season, while Darebin remains winless. The Bulldogs have proven to do it in low-scoring slogs, being only the eighth highest scoring side, but are far and away the number one defensive team, and this weekend was no different, restricting Darebin to just one goal for the match. The Bulldogs had 11 scoring shots throughout the game, starting slowly, and were outscored in the third term when they were held goalless, but steadied to kick the final two goals of the match to win by 28 points. Ellie Gavalas was impressive with 23 disposals, two marks, three tackles and a goal, while Katelyn Betts also played well, notching up 20 touches, one mark and laying a massive nine tackles. Western Bulldogs listed players, Kirstie Lamb and Bonnie Toogood found plenty of the ball too, registering 18 touches each and sharing in 12 marks. For Darebin, the experienced names stood up despite the loss, with Melbourne AFLW ruck, Lauren Pearce helping herself to 22 touches, six marks, three tackles and 23 hitouts, while Gold Coast’s Jamie Stanton finished with 18 touches, one mark and three tackles.

RICHMOND 2.1 | 7.1 | 7.3 | 8.7 (55)
GEELONG 3.2 | 3.3 | 4.3 | 5.3 (33)

By: Peter Williams

GOALS:

Richmond: J. Colwell 2, K. Jacques 2, E. Gunn, T. Stahl, C. Wakefield , J. Kennedy.
Geelong: M. Maguire 2, J. Crockett-Grills, O. Purcell, R. Webster.

BEST:

Richmond: M. Conti, G. Campbell, K. Jacques, L. Davie, A. Makur Chuot, G. Egan
Geelong: J. Crockett-Grills, M. Maguire, O. Purcell, R. Goring, R. Webster, M. Keryk

The high-scoring Tigers remain undefeated in season 2019 after another big win, this time over last year’s grand finalists Geelong. The Cats raced out of the blocks to lead by seven points at the first break, before Richmond clicked into gear with five straight majors to the Cats’ one behind. It was Geelong’s turn to take the advantage in the premiership quarter, booting the only goal of the term while restricting Richmond to two behinds, before the Tigers held firm in the final quarter with a goal each, but extending the final margin to 22 points. The Tiger recruits in Monique Conti and Katie Brennan were sensational, as Conti picked up a game-high 29 disposals, three marks and five tackles, while Brennan had 22 disposals, five marks, five tackles and booted two behinds. Of the non AFLW-listed players, Grace Campbell (16 disposals, four marks and 11 tackles) and Grace Egan (13 disposals, one mark) were busy, while Jenna Colwell and Kobi Jacques both snagged two majors. For the Cats, young gun Olivia Purcell was terrific with 23 disposals, one mark, seven tackles and a goal, while Madeline Keryk helped herself to 15 touches, two marks and three tackles. Rene Caris had a tough task in the ruck against Alice Edmonds as her opponent had 12 touches and 30 hitouts, but Caris was always involved, having 11 touches and 13 hitouts, while Madisen Maguire booted two majors for the Cats.

CASEY DEMONS 2.1 | 2.1 | 4.1 | 5.1 (31)
COLLINGWOOD 1.0 | 4.4 | 4.5 | 5.5 (35)

By: Peter Williams

GOALS:

Casey: M. Guerin 2, K. Smith, A. Kemp, H. Cordner.
Collingwood: S. Dargan 2, S. Chiocci 2, G. Buchan.

BEST:

Casey: H. Cordner, E. Birch, N. Garner, G. McLean, T. Hanks, B. Winbanks
Collingwood: B. Davey, J. Allen, B. Bonnici, R. Schleicher, P. Nash, K. Lee

Collingwood has held on in a thriller to make it four consecutive wins, while handing Casey its second consecutive loss for season 2019. The victory pushed the Magpies into third spot just behind the Bulldogs and Tigers, and marked the return of AFLW captain, Steph Chiocci. The Demons led early with a seven-point advantage at quarter time, but the Magpies capitalised in the second term with three goals from seven scoring shots while strangling the life out of the home side. Casey hit back in the third term to hold the Magpies goalless and cut the deficit to just four points, but a steadying goal in the final term extended the lead to 10, before Harriet Cordner cut the deficit to four once again, but the time ran out for Casey. Chiocci made a successful return with two goals from 13 touches, one mark and three tackles, while Bri Davey had a massive second game back through the middle with 24 disposals, four marks and nine tackles. Sarah Dargan (19 disposals, four marks, 10 tackles and two goals) was sensational, while Maddie Shevlin won 13 touches, one mark and two tackles against her former side. For the Demons, Libby Birch remains a solid investment with another 20 disposals and whopping 13 tackles, while Tyla Hanks goes from strength to strength with 19 disposals and nine tackles. Cordner also had 15 touches, five marks, four tackles and six hitouts in the loss, while Maddy Guerin added another two majors to her total for the year, as well as 14 disposals, two marks and four tackles.

Waratah in seventh heaven after premiership victory

FOR the seventh time in eight years, Waratah was crowned premiers in the Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Women’s Premier League. The Warriors battled it out on a wet day for footy in a tight matchup against Southern Districts, who failed to kick a major through the downpour. With bad weather only the beginning for the Southern Districts, Waratah managed to work through the onslaught, outlasting the Crocs in a low-scoring affair.

WARATAH: 2.1 | 2.3 | 2.3 | 3.3 (21)
SOUTHERN DISTRICTS: 0.1 | 0.2 | 0.3 | 0.3 (3)

GOALS:

Waratah: S. Nalder, J. De Melo, M. Gault.
Southern Districts: Nil.

BEST:

Waratah: L.Roberts, A.Stanley, M.Gault, S.Bishop, J.Kolodziej, A.Healy
Southern Districts: E.Miller, T.Thorn, M.Moussa, R.Busch, I.Sleeth, T.Holtze

The Warriors kicked off the game with a bang. Madeline Gault got plenty of the ball early and hit up Sue Nalder, who slotted her first goal for the day. Jade De Melo was next to hit the scoreboard, with a contested mark in the goal square and a simple set shot that had the Southern Districts rattled early on. Lisa Roberts was dominant in defence as she rebounded everything from the defensive 50, while Joanna Kolodziej held her own in the ruck.

With the Crocs’ situation dire, Ebony Miller was placed in defense while Indy Sleeth took over the ruck responsibilities. In the second term, Sleeth was getting the upper hand over Kolodziej while Tayla Thorn was getting busy. The Crocs soon found themselves in front of goal with Amelia Bartlem winning a free kick. However, Bartlem shanked the kick and Waratah piled on the pressure. Some missed opportunities by the Warriors kept the Southern Districts in the game, but nobody was prepared for the storm that came.

At the beginning of the third quarter, the rain hit TIO Stadium hard. Experienced players had trouble controlling the ball in the extreme weather and pressurised conditions. It was here that the Crocs started to fight hard and gain momentum. The wet weather seemed to suit the Crocs as Thorn had a breakaway snap at goal but failed to convert. Continuation of the match was called into question with sightings of lightning, causing a break five minutes into the quarter and breaking the Crocs’ momentum. Eventually the game went on as both teams fought to a standstill heading into the final quarter.

Waratah’s defense was a wall that held strong in the last term. In the end, the margin that seemed so close was impossible for the Crocs to match. Gault managed to put some icing on the cake in the final moments, as a poor lapse in judgment by Thorn in defense had Gault capitalise for her first major. After that it was official, as Waratah were named the 2018/2019 premiers. Roberts won the medal for Best on Ground, while Lateesha Jeffrey praised her girls for their performance in a tough game. As for the Tahs, it’s just another Grand Final victory for a superb side.

Weekend preview: NTFL Women’s – Grand Final

IT has been a long journey for both Waratah and Southern Districts. Waratah is a powerhouse which holds a dominant winning record over the past seven years. They were defeated in the 2016/2017 season but now are looking for back to back premierships as they head into Saturday. The Crocs, on the other hand, will be making their first Grand Final appearance in history.

The Crocs entered the women’s competition in the 2013/2014 season but have not seen a finals series until now. After years of underwhelming seasons, the Crocs enlisted coach Tarmon Elliott to turn the team around. Elliot has delivered in spades by bringing a strong culture, new recruits, and possibly their first flag. After defeating Palmerston, Southern Districts could not be more ready to face Waratah for the ultimate prize.

WARATAH V SOUTHERN DISTRICTS
TIO Stadium
Saturday, March 5 4:30pm

This match will be like a game of chess. What makes Waratah and Southern Districts different than other teams is their players have the ability to shift into different roles. This makes matchups hard to predict in this battle of tactics. Tayla Thorn was elite down back but can also play in the midfield or forward. However, considering the dangers of Amy Chittick and Lauren O’Shea, she will most likely stay in defence. She will be well supported though by Maria Moussa, who had a blinder last weekend with the most defensive rebounds for Districts.

In the Warriors defence Rebecca Pryer, Isabelle Rapson, and Lisa Roberts will make it difficult for the Crocs to score. Kelsie Patterson kicked three majors last week but it could have been more if she kicked straight. Tahlia Holtze had a very quiet game last week, but the Districts will need her to have her kicking boots on to breach the Tah’s defensive wall.

The fight in the ruck contest may have Waratah at a disadvantage. Ebony Miller and Indy Sleeth might as well be tall midfielders as they cover the ground exceptionally well and are proven goal kickers. Joanna Kolodziej and Julianna Kerinaiua will have a tough fight in this contest.

As for the midfield battle, there could be as many as twelve different rovers rotating throughout the game. Lateesha Jeffrey and Bella Clarke may push up or back from the centre, but Megan Craufurd is the constant tagger that shuts down key midfielders. She may have the job on Sharona Bishop who is in fine form. Madeline Gault is similar to Craufurd but plays more of a run-with role rather than a shutdown tagger. Gault would be a perfect opponent for Jeffrey if she plays in the midfield.

Waratah has the advantage in this match as many players on their list have seen at least one premiership. Lisa Roberts and O’Shea have been in this position six times for five flags. The Crocs are a very different story, unlike their opponent, this level of competition is completely new to them having qualified for the first time. They were the underdog last week and beat the odds, and defeated Waratah in their last outing. They just need to dig in one more time and given it is the Grand Final, and anything can happen.

TEAMS:

Waratah

B: 18.Molly Cooper 6.Rebecca Pryer 19.Alicia Stanley
HB: 15.Isabelle Rapson 10.Alysha Healy 13.Lisa Roberts
C: 3.Peita Starcevic 2.Madeline Gault 23.Pippa Cox
HF: 17.Tarryn O’Hehir 4.Sue Nalder 5.Breanna Martin
F: 9.Amy Chittick 22.Lauren O’Shea 12.Sherayn Puruntatameri
R: 7.Joanna Kolodziej 28.Trish Muller 8.Sharona Bishop
Int: 29.Madeline Campbell 14.Jade De Melo 16.Julieanna Kerinaiua
24.Alexandra Harrison-Wolff 20.Amie Love 1.Angela Perkins

Southern Districts

B: 22.Rachele Mchugh 8.Maria Moussa 28.Tess Hanna
HB:14.Tessa W 2.Tayla Thorn 6.Charles Deegan
C: 30.Donna Reed 9.Lateesha Jeffrey 25.Chelsea Pember
HF:17.Chiarah Corpos 20.Holly Engelhardt 11.Maili Clarke
F: 5.Tahlia Holtze 4.Indy Sleeth 35.Kelsey Patterson
R: 3.Ebony Miller 10.Megan Craufurd 15.Bella Clarke
Int:21.Tyler Thornton 26.Rhiannon Busch 19.Danielle Opperman
32.Nicole Paterson 1.Kimberley Mccouat 27.Samantha Hoogeveen-Hill

Weekend wash ups: NTFL Women’s – Week 2 finals

THERE is no greater build up for this year’s Grand Final. Southern Districts outworked Palmerston and the reigning premiers smashed their old rivals, Darwin. This weekend Waratah will look to win back to back premierships, while the Southern Districts will play their first Grand Final in NTFL Women’s history.

PALMERSTON MAGPIES 2.2 | 3.3 | 5.3 | 5.3 (33)
SOUTHERN DISTRICTS 2.1 | 3.2 | 4.4 | 7.9 (51)

GOALS:

Palmerston Magpies: F. Puruntatameri 2, Shenaida Bush, Michaeline Brown
Southern Districts: K. Patterson 3, T. Holtze, E. Miller, T. Thorn, L. Jeffrey

BEST:

Palmerston Magpies: B. Byers, F.Puruntatameri, J. Baird, J. Stassi, J. Misob, J. Brock
Southern Districts: T.Thorn, M. Moussa, E. Miller, I. Sleeth, C. Deegan, R. Busch

During the home and away season, the Southern Districts met the Pies twice and lost twice. This time was different as they raised their intensity to block the superior speed of Palmerston and win the game.

The Magpies drew first blood, but the Crocs quickly responded through Kelsey Patterson and Lateesha Jeffrey who snuck forward. Ebony Miller was controlling the hit-outs, but Jessica Stassi kept finding the ball despite the ruck dominance. Shenaida Bush struck back for the Pies by booting a goal late to finish the first term. Down back, Billie Byers was impressive with her run and carry, as she ran around seemingly unchecked by her opposition. However, on the other side of the field, Tayla Thorn was the difference for the Crocs. Thorn’s clearance ability and second efforts at the contest were second to none in the Districts back line.

The second quarter saw a great pack mark by Michaeline Brown inside attacking 50. Dead in front, she made no mistake extending the Pies’ lead to seven points. The Crocs answered quickly as Miller took a mark 40 meters from goal. Miller had no problem making the distance, her goal ending the term. Freda Puruntatameri had been busy for most of the game, but in the premiership quarter she gave Palmerston a touch of magic with a pack mark in the goal-square to kick her first goal of the match. The Crocs bounced back with a quick snap by Patterson, but Puruntatameri kicked an inspirational goal off the burst to head into the final quarter.

The Pies had a five-point buffer but Southern Districts would not be denied. Thorn, Rhiannon Busch, and Charles Deegan were chucked into the centre of the ground. It was the smartest move for the side, as the trio proved their skill in the competition. The clearances and tackles were dominated by the Districts, while the Magpies seemed to be running on empty fumes. Patterson kicked her third to put the Crocs in front, but it was Tayla Thorn’s booming goal that put the game beyond doubt. Tahlia Holtze ended the game with a free kick after the siren to end the well-fought victory for the Southern Districts.

WARATAH: 2.4 | 4.6 | 8.8 | 8.8 (56)
DARWIN BUFFETTES: 1.0 | 2.1 | 3.2 | 3.3 (21)

GOALS:

Waratah: A. Chittick 4, J. De Melo 2, S. Prunntatemeri, S. Nalder.
Darwin Buffettes: M. Roberts 2, M. Breed.

BEST:

Waratah: A. Chittick, L. Roberts, A. Healy, T. O’Hehir, M. Gault
Darwin Buffettes: M. Roberts, K. Duggan, N. Dunn, A. Bryan, C. Whan

A game of missed opportunities and bad mistakes saw Waratah walk away comfortable winners over Darwin.

The game opened up with Machaelia Roberts kicking the first, pushing into the forward line and making an immediate impact. Waratah hit back but only managed four behinds due to inaccuracy. Lisa Roberts was sent to defense, proving a class above the rest with her intercept marking and disposal efficiency. Kylie Duggan, on the other hand, was working hard around the ground. Duggan seemed to be working overtime again for the Buffs, getting plenty of the ball early. Jade de Melo broke the ice for the Warriors, booting their first goal. Amy Chittick was soon to follow with her first to end the term.

Darwin began the second quarter with a positive start. Nicolette Dunn kicked her first goal for the Buffs, keeping her team’s momentum up. It was quickly shattered when Zoe Anderson missed the perfect opportunity to run into an open goal and put the Buffs in front. Waratah responded in kind with Sue Nalder kicking her first for the day, before Sherayn Paruntatameri was next to extend the margin to 17 points and end the first half.

Machaelia Roberts lifted her team in the third quarter by booting the first goal of the term. Mattea Breed was next to snap a goal for the Buffs, bringing the deficit back to 10 points. Unfortunately, Amy Chittick had an instant response for Waratah, kicking two majors. De Melo would add to Darwin’s pain kicking her second, followed by Chittick booted her fourth shortly after, meaning Waratah headed into the final quarter with a heavy lead.

Only one behind was scored in the final quarter as both teams were out on their feet. Waratah simply proved too powerful for the Buffs, and will now head into their seventh consecutive Grand Final.

Weekend previews: NTFL Women’s – Week 2 finals

THIS week’s semi-finals will undoubtedly see the best of the best duel one last time before the ultimate battle. Palmerston’s loss against Waratah was painful, but now they face the Southern Districts. The Pies have beaten the Crocs twice this season, but the Crocs are coming off a high after smashing the Saints. In the afternoon, Waratah will meet Darwin for another classic bout. The Warriors are heavy favourites for this match, and with the Buffs’ extended injury list, it is easy to see why.

PALMERSTON MAGPIES V SOUTHERN DISTRICTS
Saturday, March 2 12:30pm
TIO Stadium

Southern Districts somehow find themselves in St Marys’ shoes at the moment, having met Palmerston twice this season and lost on both occasions. For the Crocs to win they must use every opportunity and advantage they have to deny the Pies the ball. the Districts’ first advantage lies in their ruck stocks. Ebony Miller and Indy Sleeth will make sure their hit-outs give their midfielders first use of the ball. Meanwhile, Jessica Stassi and Natasha Medbury will help to control the clearances. If things get dire, Miller and Sleeth can simply punch the ball forward to gain ground.

Crocs forwards must put Billie Byers inside 50 or she will rebound the ball like it was never there. If Tayla Thorn can get off to the start she had last week, it may set the perfect foundation for the Districts to rise from. Rhiannon Busch is a proven goal kicker and has had a stellar couple of weeks, while Charles Deegan, though recently getting extra attention from defenders, is always dangerous around goals.

On the other side of the field, Shenaida Bush and Freda Puruntatameri are starting to click. This could prove very damaging to the Crocs as both are very quick and deadly accurate. Lateesha Jeffrey and the Districts backline will have a tough task keeping this pair quiet. If they can, it could prove the difference between victory and defeat.

Palmerston will walk into this match favorites, but Southern Districts may give the Pies a shock in this heavyweight bout of the Semi-Finals.

TEAMS

Palmerston Magpies
B: 32. Jess Leamey 15. Charmaine Marshall 20.Ellie Misob
HB: 2.Jessie Brock 13. Billie Byers 10.Jacintha Misob
C: 3.Hayley Davey 24. Tabitha May 33.Janet Baird
HF: 31 Karlee King 1.Nicole Simons 7.Shenaida Bush
F: 28.Tanisha Garling 25.Wynonna Barlow 8.Freda Puruntatameri
R: 18. Bianca Mayo 5.Natasha Medbury 26.Jessica Stassi
Int: 31.Celina Lloyd 12.Joanne Huddleston 14.Tania Parriman
23.Tiffany Parriman 22.Vanessa Mouncy

Southern Districts
B: 17.Chiarah Corpos 30.Donna Reed 21.Tyler Thornton
HB: 14.Maili Clarke 20.Holly Engelhardt 9.Lateesha Jeffrey
C: 10.Megan Craufurd 35.Kelsey Patterson 19.Danielle Opperman
HF: 26.Rhiannon Busch 2.Tayla Thorn 8. Maria Moussa
F: 15.Bella Clarke 4.Indy Sleeth 6.Charles Deegan
R: 3.Ebony Miller 5. Tahlia Holtze 25.Chelsea Pember
Int: 28.Tess Hanna 14.Tessa W 22.Rachele Mchugh
32.Kiarah Jackson 1.Kimberley Mccouat 12.Karina Brink

WARATAH V DARWIN BUFFETTES
Saturday, March 2 2:30pm
TIO Stadium

Darwin’s tactics last week may have beaten Pint, but it will not do against Waratah. The Warriors have 15 premiership players returning for this match and no amount of waiting this team out will help the Buffs. The Buffettes have to go for broke and, missing key players in the midfield and forward line, they may have to mix it up. If Dominique Carbone starts in the centre of the ground, it will free up Machaelia Roberts to push forward. Darwin’s forward line looks completely different when Roberts has the opportunity to cause defenders headaches. This leaves Carbone, Jemma Iacono, and Kylie Duggan to tackle Lisa Roberts, Madeline Gault and Alysha Healy in the midfield, which could go either way.

The Buffettes cannot allow Waratah to dominate the clearances. Amy Chittick is the league’s leading goal kicker and now has Lauren O’Shea for assistance. If the Warriors’ forwards get a taste of blood, they will swarm the Buffs’ backline and devastate the scoreboard.

Waratah also has a player similar to Roberts in Sherayn Puruntatameri. She pushed out from half-back last week to bag three majors. Puruntatameri is an X-factor player, which makes her a difficult match-up for Darwin. Celina Whan might be the Buffs’ best choice for Puruntatameri if she plays down back.

Waratah could easily turn this into an ugly game, but perhaps the rivalry will spur the Buffs to challenge the champions.

TEAMS

Waratah
B: 8.Sharona Bishop 6.Rebecca Pryer 19.Alicia Stanley
HB: 15.Isabelle Rapson 16.Julieanna Kerinauia 12.Sherayn Puruntatameri
C: 3.Peta Starcevic 13.Lisa Roberts 2.Madeline Gault
HF: 17.Tarryn O’Hehir 4.Sue Nalder 5.Breanna Martin
F: 9.Amy Chittick 22.Lauren O’Shea 18.Molly Cooper
R: 7.Joanna Kolodziej 23.Pippa Cox 10.Alysha Healy
Int: 28.Trish Muller 29.Madeline Campbell 14.Jade De Melo
24.Alexandra Harrison-Wolff

Darwin Buffettes
B: 25.Chevaune Fewings 15.Delsey Ah Wang 19.Louise Johnstone
HB: 8.Keisha Tinley 12.Dominique Carbone 11.Nicole Schmitt
C: 13. Alexander Bryan 3.Machaelia Roberts 21.Zoe Anderson
HF: 22.Tamika Bullen 17.Melinda Taylor 1.Mattea Breed
F: 10.Meridith Turner 6.Celina Whan 14.Bianca Stokes
R: 30.Tania Dhu 4.Kylie Duggan 5.Jemma Iacono
Int: 27.Demi Cubillo 16.Nicolette Dunn 7.Rachel Henderson
24.Jaala Alley 9.Eliza Keaney 18.Danielle Totham

Weekend wash ups: NTFL Women’s – Week 1 finals

THAT is a wrap for the first week of finals with some expected and surprising outcomes. Waratah showed why they are still the team to beat after a tug-of-war ended in a decisive victory over Palmerston. The Pies looked the goods early, but the Warriors were the team that played out four quarters of football. Southern Districts smashed St Marys for the third time in a row. The Saints had no answer for the Crocs and finished the season on a low. The final elimination match saw the Buffs outlast Pint in a low scoring affair. The Buffs will now meet old rivals Warratah while the Southern Districts face off against Palmerston.

WARATAH: 3.0 | 4.4 | 8.9 | 8.11 (59)
PALMERSTON MAGPIES: 3.0 | 3.0 | 3.1 | 5.2 (32)

Goals:
Waratah: S.Puruntatameri 3, A.Chittick 2, J. de Melo 2, S.Nalder
Palmerston: S.Bush 2, F.Puruntatameri 2, C. Lloyd

Best:
Waratah: A.Chittick, L.Roberts, J.Kolodzeij, R.Pryer, S.Bishop
Palmerston: G.Garling, T.May, V.Mounsey, J.Baird, J.Stassi

A good start in the first quarter saw Palmerston up with three unanswered goals thanks to Freda Puruntatameri and Shenaida Bush. Unfortunately for the Magpies, they found out why the Warriors have won six out of the last seven premierships. Waratah flipped the switch in the last few minutes of the first term to kick three instant replies. Going into the second quarter both teams were neck and neck.

That balance quickly shifted as Waratah flexed their muscles. Skipper, Lisa Roberts rose up to the occasion for her 150th game, pushing to a new level as the game went on. Amy Chittick found it tough to replicate her usual performance, but still managed to put two majors on the board. However, the real game changer was Sherayn Puruntatameri pushing forward to bag three goals. Jessica Stassi and Tabitha May fought valiantly in the midfield, but the Pies’ forward line was well held by Sharona Bishop and Rebecca Pryer. Their efforts put a halt to the Magpies’ forward efforts until the final quarter when the game was out of reach.

Palmerston will have to regroup and prepare for the Southern Districts next week, while Waratah will face the Buffettes with all the confidence in the world.

SOUTHERN DISTRICTS: 2.1 | 7.3 | 8.8 | 11.9 (75)
ST MARYS: 0.1 | 0.1 | 2.2 | 2.3 (15)

Goals:
Southern Districts: T.Thorn 2, M. Moussa 2, E. Miller 2, H. Englehardt 2, C. Deegan, B. Clarke, K. Patterson
St Marys: Not supplied

Best:
Southern Districts: Not supplied
St Marys: Not supplied

The Saints struggled against the Crocs for the third game in a row in what was a consistent outing for these two teams. The Crocs got the upper hand early with the Saints scoring only one behind for the quarter as Tayla Thorn kicked things off by booting the first two majors of the opening term. The onslaught continued in the second term as the Crocs hit the scoreboard hard. Districts’ best and fairest Ebony Miller pushed forward to kicked two majors while Indy Sleeth controlled the ruck. Matters got worse for the Saints when Maria Moussa popped up with two goals of her own. The Saints went into the third quarter with only one point to their name, proving their troubles down the field.

St Marys managed to kick two goals early in the second half, but the Crocs quickly replied with one of their own. Charles Deegan had no issue showing her skill by kicking a major off one step. In the final term, the Saints had lost hope and the Crocs kicked two more late goals to end St Marys’ season. Now they will get ready to face Palmerston who they haven’t beaten all year. This will be the ultimate test for the Southern Districts.

PINT: 0.0 | 0.0 | 1.1 | 1.2 (8)
DARWIN BUFFETTES: 0.1 | 0.2 | 1.5 | 3.5 (23)

Goals:
Pint: K. Streeder
Darwin Buffettes: N. Dunn 2, M. Taylor

Best:
Pint: Not supplied
Darwin Buffettes: N. Dunn, D. Tootham, K. Duggan, D. Ah Wang

This was a very tight and exhausting game as both teams struggled to get a score on the board. By the end of the first half, the only scores produced were Darwin’s two behinds. Stoppages were everywhere in this contest with most players struggling to find space. Pint’s Katie Streader broke the drought with the Queen Ants finally kicking the first goal of the match in the third quarter. Melinda Taylor responded with one of her own as Darwin went into the fourth term four points in front.

A hero finally came in Nicollette Dunn who booted the last two goals to seal the match. The efforts of Kylie Duggan in the midfield and Delsey Ah Wang in the backline were outstanding. The pair held it together when most couldn’t on a hot day. Unfortunately, they will now have to meet Waratah in the Semi-Finals, who look invincible after pounding the Magpies.

Weekend Previews: NTFL Women’s – Week 1 Finals

IT IS finally here, week one of the NTFL Women’s finals will take place today with three exciting games of footy. Despite earlier reports of a top-five finals series, it will be a top-six competition like the previous year, meaning St Marys will go at least one more round.

The first match will kick off with the heavyweights Palmerston taking on the reigning premiers Waratah. This game will serve as a qualifying match as both teams are looking to grab bragging rights early. Up next the Southern Districts will face off against St Marys in the first elimination final. The Crocs have dished out a hiding to the Saints twice this season, but anything can happen in finals. Lastly, the Darwin Buffettes will meet Pint in the final elimination game. The Buffs have been wounded by the loss of key players this year, so will have to dig deep to beat the Queen Ants who are at full fitness.

WARATAH V PALMERSTON MAGPIES
Qualifying Final
Saturday, February 23 12.00pm
TIO Oval 2

The Magpies had an average start to the season, but now they look dangerous. This side of youth mixed with experience is sure to give the Warriors a run for their money.

The midfield of both teams is nothing short of classy. Lisa Roberts, Alysha Healy, and Madeline Gault meet Natasha Medbury, Jessica Stassi, and Tabitha May, which should prove to be a classic battle. Waratah ruck, Joanna Kolodziej may dictate in terms of the hit-outs as she has done for most of the year. If the Warriors win the clearances, Amy Chittick and Lauren O’Shea could wreak havoc on the scoreboard. Fortunately for the Magpies, forward, Lisa Mecli has been missing in action. Billie Byers and Jessie Brock might be the perfect matchup against Waratah’s dynamic duo.

As for Palmerton’s forwards, there is no shortage of talent. Freda Puruntatemeri has danced around the best defenders all year. Her speed and skill are well complemented by teammate Shenaida Bush. This pair of speed demons will need a unique opposition to stop them. Puruntatemeri v Puruntatemeri could be Waratah’s answer while Sharona Bishop keeps an eye on Bush. The game could go either way, but one thing is certain, this is the game to watch this Saturday.

SOUTHERN DISTRICTS V ST MARYS
Elimination Final
Saturday, February 23 2.30pm
TIO Oval 2

This will be an uphill battle for the Saints, with the Districts having crushed the Saints on two separate occasions this season. Charles Deegan and Taylor Thorn have used their size and speed to run St Marys’ defenders off their legs in the past. Lori Niven and Courtney Webb will need a well-organised backline to contain this problem. The ruck area of the game is where the Districts thrive, with the combination of Ebony Miller and Indy Sleeth better than most teams. Their tap work and ability to cover the ground is a class above the rest. Saints rovers, Natasha Dunn-Richards and Simone Garner may need to shark the tap-outs if their rucks aren’t up to the challenge.

Up forward the Saints have a gun and an issue. The gun is Alana Coombes, who looks to be their most damaging forward, while the problem is Districts’ Lateesha Jeffrey. Her leadership down back has created a solid defense for the Crocs and only the fastest forwards can break it down. Unlike some of Coombes’ partners in attacking 50, they lack the speed she has in spades. The Crocs could not be more favoured to win this match, and on paper they seem to have more talent across the board than St Marys. History looks likely to repeat itself this Saturday unless a miracle happens, so the Saints will be hoping for one.

PINT V DARWIN BUFFETTES
Elimination Final
Saturday, February 23 4.30pm
TIO Oval 2

The Buffs have no Brittany Ward, no Tikesea Docherty-Cole, no Jasmine Anderson and no Nicky Anderson, meaning Pint has a huge advantage considering they are going into this match with a full strength team. Machaelia Roberts and Kylie Duggan have been dominant in the centre of the ground, however players like Jemma Iacono and young gun Domonique Carbone need to lift if they want to get the job done. Pint’s Cassie Henderson, Samantha Barnett, and Katie Streeder play as a cohesive unit.

Darwin’s forward line power has been missing over the last few weeks as Celina Whan seems to be carrying the load in attacking 50. Leading goal scorer, Meredith Turner has kicked no majors in her last three games, so will need to produce goals against a strong Pint defense which is no easy task. Queen Ant defender, Erin Hetherington can make life difficult for the Buffs’ forward if the midfield entries aren’t clean. Meanwhile, the Queen Ants forwards have been performing well. Danielle Suddaby has become the new spearhead with the support of Emma Greaves who is in fine form. Add to that talent with Kristen Smidts and Ellie Ryan, the Queen Ants wear a decent crown inside their 50.

Pint has the fitness but Darwin has the experience. It is hard to pick a winner here, but it should be a tight contest.

Weekend wash-ups: NTFL Women’s -Round 18

THAT is a wrap for the home and away season as we look to finals this week, but first, we take a look at Round 18’s action. The Southern Districts cruised passed Nightcliff in another win plagued with scoring inaccuracy. Palmerston dominated against the Wanderers, with the Magpies looking a cut above the rest as they get ready for Waratah on Saturday. The Warriors are also ready for the Pies after brushing off Darwin with ease. The last match of the round saw the Queen Ants crawl over the Saints. Pint is more ready than ever take on the Buffettes this Saturday.

SOUTHERN DISTRICTS 1.3 I 1.4 I 4.4 I 5.8 (38)
NIGHTCLIFF 0.1 I 0.1 I 1.1 I 1.2 (8)

Goals:
Southern Districts: S. Hoogeveen-Hill 3, C. Deegan, B. Clarke.
Nightcliff: S. Miskin-Ripia.

Best:

Southern Districts: Not supplied
Nightcliff: E. Smart, H. Turnbull, J. Puautjimi, T. Taylor-Kickett

A dominant display by the Crocs should have seen more reward for their efforts, with scoring inaccuracy plaguing the Southern Districts all year. Charlie Deegan was the tip of the spear in the forward line early in the season, easing off and producing single majors over the last three matches. Tayla Thorn has been lively but seems to play the role of hit-up forward rather than a full forward, while Samantha Hoogeveen-Hill booted three goals last Saturday in her fifth match. Perhaps she can provide some much-needed firepower against St Marys. As for the Tigers, it’s all over with another wooden spoon to finish a disappointing year.

PALMERSTON MAGPIES 7.4 I 14.7 I 20.11 I 22.15 (147)
WANDERERS 2.0 I 3.0 I 4.1 I 6.1 (37)

Goals:
Palmerston Magpies: M. Brown 4, H. Davey 3, T. May 2, A. Mclennan 2, J. Baird 2, N. Medbury 2, J. Brock 2, J. Misob, N. Lloyd, G. Garling.
Wanderers: Not supplied.

Best:
Palmerston Magpies: T. May, H. Davey, B. Byers, J. Misob, J. Brock, G. Garling
Wanderers: Not supplied

Tabitha May, Janet Baird, Billie Byers, Natasha Medbury and Michaeline Brown dominated on field against the Eagles, with the Eagles struggling under the forceful forward play of the Magpies. This game was an impossible obstacle for the Wanderers as they ended the season with a big loss. In comparison, the Magpies will be looking forward to facing the reigning premiers this weekend. For once Waratah may be the underdog.

WARATAH 3.1 I 3.1 I 4.5 I 6.6 (42)
DARWIN BUFFETTES 0.1 I 2.1 I 2.1 I 4.4 (28)

Goals:
Waratah:L. Roberts 2, S. Nalder 2, L. O’Shea, A. Chittick.
Darwin Buffettes: Not supplied.

Best:
Waratah: S. Bishop, P. Starcevic, L. Roberts, A. Stanley, A. Healy
Darwin Buffettes: Not supplied

Although not as entertaining as their last match, Waratah still has the goods of the Buffs. Veteran, Lisa Roberts was outstanding, kicking two goals and covering the ground with nothing but class. Sharona Bishop held up well in defense with Alicia Stanley, while Alysha Healy stood up in the midfield. The Buffs are a different tale as they seem to be missing players left right and centre as they head into finals. The reigning premiers will face a huge challenge against Palmerston but Darwin will also have their hands full with Pint.

PINT 4.3 I 6.4 I 9.6 I 10.8 (68)
ST MARYS 1.0 I 2.1 I 3.2 I 3.3 (21)

Goals:
Pint: E. Greaves 3, D. Suddaby 2, J. McFee 2, K. Streader, E. Ryan, K. Smits.
St Marys: Not supplied.

Best:
Pint: Not supplied
St Marys: Not supplied

A good start for Pint made the Saints chase their tails all day. Emma Greaves had her kicking boots on with three, while her partner in crime Danielle Suddaby kicked two. Cassie Henderson and Samantha Barnett had a standard day of brilliance as the midfield domination saw Pint control the clearances. Now Pint has every chance of knocking out the Buffs come Saturday. The Saints have a much more difficult task. St Marys may have made finals, but the Crocs have haunted them all year with devastating defeats.