Saints rise to first NTFLW win in 2022/23 season

IN what has a been a tough start to the 2022/23 Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Women’s season, St Mary’s finally grabbed its first win, running out 61-point winners over Wanderers. In a bottom two clash between the only winless sides of the season, the Saints were powerful from start to finish, booting 11 goals to one to move up to seventh on the table with the victory.

Playing at TIO Stadium on Saturday evening, St Mary’s booted the only two goals of the first term to lead by 13 points, before piling on another four in the second term. The Saints lead grew to 38 by the main break, and by the last change it had extended to 43 points. Wanderers had rued missed chances with just four behinds to-date, then finally kicked their first – and only – goal of the match in the last term, but St Mary’s piled on 4.1 to run out 11.6 (72) to 1.5 (11).

Billie Byers was one of three multiple goalkickers for the Saints in the win, slotting two goals and was named among the best alongside Tikesa Dockerty-Cole. Ciaralli Parnell also kicked a couple of majors, while Emily Forshaw and Roslyn Starr impressed. Nikita Kearney kicked Wanderers only goal, while Tiffany Parriman and Paige Holt tried hard across the four quarters for the Eagles.

Meanwhile over at Gardens Oval, Waratah was busy storming to victory against Palmerston to make the most of PINT having a Round 3 bye. The Tahs’ piled on 24 scoring shots to three against the Magpies, as the defeat saw Palmerston slip to eighth on the table. Waratah kicked seven goals in the first half while keeping the Magpies scoreless to build a 49-point buffer by the ain break. Though the Magpies were more competitive after the main break – keeping Waratah to a goal in the third term, then kicking a goal themselves in the fourth – the Tahs’ proved too strong to win, 11.13 (79) to 1.2 (8).

Young gun Kierra Zerafa slotted three goals in the win, with fellow AFLW Draft hopeful Annabel Kievit also slotting a couple of majors. Courtney Fretter and Mikaela Sawyer both slotted two goals piece, with Kaitlyn Bailey and Madeleine Jeans among the better Tahs. Letoya McCoy kicked Palmerston’s only goal of the match, with Denisha Chilman, Daysia Creed-Wray and Rose-Maree Goninon named among the Magpies’ best.

In a Cazaly’s Arena nail-biter, Darwin Buffaloes scraped past a gallant Southern Districts outfit to win by three points, 5.9 (39) to 5.6 (36). Bouncing back from a loss to Waratah the week before, the Buffaloes stepped up when down in their Round 4 match, booting the last three goals of the match to come from behind and snatch the win. Southern Districts lead by 17 points at half-time and three quarter time, but could not score in the final term as the Buffs’ kicked 3.2 to grab the three-point victory.

It was a shared effort from the Buffaloes, with Molly Althouse strong, and Tayla Hart-Aluni also hitting the scoreboard and named among the best. Elisa Niki and Machaelia Roberts also impressed, as did Crystal Browne. For the Crocs, youngster Sophie Berry slotted a couple of majors alongside Emma Forsyth, while Tiarna Hansen was named best-on for the losers.

In the shock of the round, Tiwi Bombers took down Nightcliff at Nightcliff Oval to win by five points to leapfrog the Tigers. The Bombers played out of their skin in the win, as the Tigers struggled with inaccuracy, taking a nine-point lead into quarter time and an 11-point advantage into the main break. They held that buffer until the final term where the Tigers finally put another one through the big sticks, but they unfortunately could not consistently make the most of their chances despite five more scoring shots, and Tiwi won 5.3 (33) to 3.10 (28).

Natasha Puautjimi slammed home three goals for Tiwi Bombers in the win, with Maria Rioli and Jasmine Ware continuing their great form to hit the scoreboard for the winners. Bayley Valentini and Rhiannon Busch were productive as well, while for the losers, Mickayla Ward, Christy Landwehr and Maighan Fogas were named among the best Buffs.

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