NTFLW Premier League Round 8 Wrap: St Mary’s continue their charge

THE eighth round of the Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Women’s Premier League has concluded, and it was a welcome return for some sides, while others continued to struggle to find any momentum moving forward. As we near the halfway point of the season, the ladder positions are beginning to solidify, with every result holding its fair share of significance. Round 8 saw plenty of big scores, with one side passing the 200-point mark for the first time this season. In this week’s featured match, St Mary’s have resumed their impressive form as they look to chase down a top-two spot on the ladder.

Palmerston Magpies 2.4 (16) def by. St Mary’s 11.4 (70)

St Mary’s have continued their strong run of late, winning their fifth match in this season’s seven games with a commanding 54-point triumph over the Palmerston Magpies at TIO Stadium on Sunday afternoon. It was a convincing performance from St Mary’s, who currently occupy third spot on the ladder and will be looking to catch the undefeated sides above them, so victories such as these will prove crucial in not only securing a finals spot, but also making sure they are in the best position possible. While there were many impressive factors in their win, perhaps there were none more so than the accuracy in front of goal for St Mary’s. As they are likely to generate many scoring shots throughout a game, accuracy as good as this will be vital in securing wins in their matches to come.

It did not take long for St Mary’s to hit the scoreboard, booting their first in the opening minutes of the game with Maddison Harris slotting one from a sharp angle out of the stoppage. This kicked off a wave of momentum for St Mary’s, who booted one shortly after this with Eliza Shannon converting her set shot. The backline of St Mary’s held up strongly and were even able to act as the catalyst for a number of scores for their side. The Magpies entered quarter time facing a 22-point deficit with plenty of ground to cover moving forward.

St Mary’s opened the second term in the same fashion that they finished the first, booting their first goal in the first minute of the quarter. It looked like a training drill at times for the Saints, who were once again not only dominant, but accurate too. Palmerston flirted with the idea of slotting their first major through a number of inside-50’s, but none of these proved successful. However, while the St Mary’s lead was maintained, it was not extended with Palmerston putting up a strong fight for the majority of the quarter, particularly in their defence. By the time the halftime siren rolled around, the lead was at 27 points after a hard-fought second term.

The Magpies opened the second half in ideal fashion, booting their first goal of the match within the first 30 seconds of the third term, as the ball was bundled over their goal line, with the umpire deeming it off the boot of a Palmerston player amongst the chaos. The play was hotly contested for the next few minutes, but a 50m penalty and converted goal via the boot of Gabrielle Stanley saw St Mary’s extend their lead again. St Mary’s once again found themselves at the top of their game, scoring with ease as they cruised home in the last quarter and a half to claim a nine-goal triumph.

For St Mary’s, it was the usual suspects who delivered, with Isabelle Porter and J’Noemi Anderson once again amongst the best players for the side. The duo are frequently the two strongest performers for the Saints, and have once again proved their value with strong outings against the Magpies. For Palmerston, Tabitha May was a standout in the loss, continuously fighting tooth and nail to drag her side back in the contest.

Around the grounds now, the Southern Districts kicked off Round 8 with their third consecutive win as they took down the Wanderers to the tune of 18 points at TIO Stadium on Saturday morning. Despite starting the season with three losses from three matches, the Districts have produced a remarkable turnaround, and suddenly they find themselves in fifth spot, just percentage behind PINT in fourth spot thanks to their win over the weekend.

The Nightcliff Tigers have kept their strong season rolling, taking down last season’s premiers in PINT in a convincing 38-point victory at TIO Stadium on Saturday morning. The Tigers currently sit on top of the table, and executed what may be considered a changing of the guard as they recorded their seventh win from seven matches on the weekend. With the Buffaloes hot on their tail, the Tigers simply did what was required to stay as ladder-leaders by defeating the reigning champions.

Saturday’s final match saw the Darwin Buffaloes deliver the season’s biggest score to date, booting 34 goals in the match to take down Tracy Village by a whopping 215 points at Tracy Village Oval on Saturday afternoon. It was as commanding a performance as we have seen from any side in recent memory, with three players booting five goals or more. There is no doubt that the Buffaloes have announced themselves as a firm premiership contender after this performance, and may have even overtaken the Tigers, who are a spot above them and are yet to have their bye.

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