Finals kick off with a pair of intriguing matchups

THE 2021/22 home and away season has concluded for the Northern Territory Football League Women’s (NTFLW) Premier League, with the competition now entering the finals’ series over the coming weeks. Unfortunately, four of the league’s teams did not qualify for the upcoming postseason, but the remaining five are now given the opportunity to claim the ultimate prize.

This week will see the ladder-leading Tigers get a week off, as the four teams below them battle it out to see who moves on to next week.

Waratah vs St Mary’s
Saturday, February 26 @ 12:30pm
TIO Stadium

The weekend’s action kicks off at TIO Stadium, with Waratah hosting St Mary’s for Saturday afternoon’s elimination final, with the loser set to be booted from the finals, while the winning side gets to move on to next week.

The Warriors will be given ‘home-field advantage’ in this matchup, given they finished higher in the standings at the conclusion of the season. Waratah was probably unlucky to slip this low, given the strength of their season at times, but this drop in form also means they will need to bring their best this weekend. Pressure makes diamonds, and elimination finals always bring the heat, but if Waratah can get back to their best (as they displayed throughout the season), then they may advance.

St Mary’s have also found themselves in a lower position than many may have predicted, with a reasonable drop in form over the closing weeks of their 2021/22 campaign. They demonstrated the ability to boot a massive score throughout the season, but could not do so in their Round 18 matchup against the reigning premiers and lost their shot at a double-chance. However, they are given the opportunity to make amends this week against the Warriors, and if players such as Emma Stark can impact the contest, then they might move on to next week.

Darwin Buffaloes vs PINT
Saturday, February 26 @2:30pm
TIO Stadium

The second and final match in this weekend’s schedule is the clash between the Darwin Buffaloes and PINT in a qualifying final at TIO Stadium on Saturday afternoon, as the side’s battle for a chance to take on the Tigers for a spot in the grand final next week.

For much of the season, the Buffaloes were the most dominant team of the 2021/22 season, even being the only side to take down Nightcliff. However, they experienced a seriously quiet patch towards the back-end of the season, and will be looking to return to the form that saw their opponents dismantled on a weekly basis. They face an in-form PINT side this week, but we all know what Darwin is capable of if they hit their stride. Expect Dominique Carbone to be involved if her side is to emerge victorious.

The reigning premiers were able to get the job done against St Mary’s in Round 18, moving themselves into the top three and securing a spot in this very final. They appear to be back to their damaging best and if last year showed us anything, its that PINT’s best can topple anyone. Despite this, they take on a Darwin side that was ruthless at stages of this season, so they will need to potentially even improve their current form if they are to advance to next week’s matchup with Nightcliff. Hillary Grubb was once again amongst the best last round, and will likely play a key role in PINT’s path to success on Saturday.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments