THE weekend is almost here, and so is the next batch of Northern Territory Football League Women’s (NTFLW) Premier League games. The competition is about to enter its second week of finals, and week one delivered some intriguing results moving forward. St Mary’s season concluded as they were handed a big defeat by Waratah in the elimination final, while the Darwin Buffettes set up a blockbuster clash against Nightcliff with a win over the reigning premiers in the qualifier.
PINT vs Waratah
Saturday, March 5 @ 12:15pm
The action will kick off at TIO Stadium, where PINT will look to make amends for last week’s loss when they take on Waratah on Saturday afternoon. This is an intriguing matchup, given the two sides enjoyed successful seasons, but went on different paths to this match.
Last year’s premiers have endured a tough journey to this contest, after a tumultuous start to the home-and-away season. The side was marred by a growing list of injuries to start the year, and looked a real chance to miss the finals altogether after a number of disappointing losses. However, they were able to turn things around just in time and managed to sneak into the top-three on the eve of finals. They found themselves bested by the Buffaloes in the qualifying final, but this was by just three points, so they will lose no confidence from this result. They come up against a side that is full of confidence themselves, but should still back themselves to get the job done. Expect Reni Hicks to be amongst the action once again after a strong start to her finals series.
The Warriors were simply outstanding in their win over St Mary’s to kick off their postseason campaign in style last weekend. They tore apart their opponents in a magnificent four-quarter performance and will be looking to do this once again against PINT, although the reigning champs should prove a tougher task. Despite the quality opposition, Waratah will still be optimistic about their chances in this matchup. They will be looking to get forwards Stephanie O’Brien and Lisa Miceli involved again this week, given the pair combined for eight goals last week.
Nightcliff Tigers vs Darwin Buffettes
Saturday, March 5 @ 2:15pm
In arguably the most anticipated matchup of the season, the Nightcliff Tigers will kick off their finals campaign when they take on the Darwin Buffettes at TIO Stadium on Saturday afternoon as the two sides faced off for a spot in the big dance.
The Tigers have been the best team in the competition by a considerable margin this season, sitting comfortably on top of the ladder at the conclusion of the home-and-away season. This meant they had the first week of finals off, as their peers fought for a spot in this week’s matchup. It seems unlikely the Tigers will bring any dust into this game, and if they do, it will only be a matter of time before they overcome this and get back to their damaging self. This week, they come up against the only side that has managed to best them so far this season, so revenge will certainly be on their mind, as will a spot in the grand final.
The Buffettes were able to sneak past PINT in their week one matchup, claiming a thrilling come from behind victory to the tune of just three points. They now face the toughest task in the competition as they prepare to take on a rampant Nightcliff side, that has been the benchmark for the entirety of the season. One positive is the fact that Darwin emerged winners last time they clashed, but have not been as damaging since this outing. However, if players such as Kylie Duggan and Molly Althouse get involved again, then they might just get the job done if they can bring their A-game.