2022/23 NTFLW R6 Player Focus: Molly Althouse (Darwin)

DARWIN made light work of a young Palmerston outfit in the Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Womens Premier League, running away 82-point victors at TIO Stadium on Saturday afternoon. In the heat of the day – and the quarters reduced down to 13 minutes plus time-on – each side searched for a leader. The Buffettes had no shortage of standouts, and one of them was reigning Gwynne Medalist, Molly Althouse.

The talented ruck was named best-on for the winners in the victory, as the Buffs kicked nine unanswered goals in the first three quarters to build an unassailable lead. While Palmerston finally got on the board in the way of a major in the last quarter, Darwin still slotted another four goals to run out 13.14 (92) to 1.4 (10) winners.


DOB: 07/05/2002
Position: Ruck
Strengths: Ruck craft, penetrating kick, strength, skills
Improvements: Endurance, speed


Stats: 2 kicks, 1 handball, 3 disposals, 1 tackle, 6 hitouts, 2 clearances

Molly Althouse started the match as she would every other restart, at the centre bounce. After losing the initial hitout, Althouse would work her way over to the ball to win a quick kick, but was half-smothered. She then showed her defensive mindset by laying a good tackle to force a mistake from the Magpies. The ruck would not lose another hitout for the rest of the term as she got productive at the stoppages.

Though she had another potential kick smothered, she managed two clearances from stoppages, both from the initial ruck contest. One came via throwing it on the boot, and another from a handball to space on the outside. At the eight-minute mark, Althouse laid a great bump on the last line to rush a behind. She won two more hitouts to finish the term with six, meaning she won six of her seven ruck stoppage attendances.


Stats: 3 kicks, 2 handballs, 5 disposals, 1 mark, 4 hitouts, 2 clearances, 1 inside 50, 1 rebound 50

Althouse’s second quarter featured five hitouts from seven ruck attendances, as Palmerston started to work hard forward. She was mostly spotted inside the defensive 50 early, winning a few critical stoppages, and again took the ball from the ruck contest and cleared it to safety. Midway through the quarter, Althouse laid a big shepherd to allow her teammate with the ball to run further forward.

A minute later, Althouse took a strong mark inside the defensive 50, and had a clean kick to the wing. After not seeing it for a few minutes, the Darwin tall produced a clean pickup, and gave off an effective handball, then finished off the term with a kick inside 50 to advantage. She would head into half-time with the eight disposals, 10 hitouts and four clearances.

HT stats: 5 kicks, 3 handballs, 8 disposals, 1 mark, 1 tackle, 10 hitouts, 4 clearances, 1 inside 50, 1 rebound 50


Stats: 2 kicks, 4 handballs, 6 disposals, 1 mark, 5 hitouts, 1 inside 50

Althouse’s third term started with a successful hitout from the opening bounce, and followed up her work to win the ball, shrug off a would-be tackler and give the handball off to Machaelia Roberts. The next centre stoppage, Althouse won another clear hitout, then applied a good bump and picked the loose ball up to handball to a teammate cleanly. All her five third quarter hitouts came via centre bounces, with no throw-ins or ball-ups from around the ground where she featured.

A lot of her touches came from the stoppages as well, often having the first touch out of the contest, or reading the ball quicker than anyone else to earn possession. At one stage, Althouse won the ball from the centre, then worked just outside the contest, produced a one-two by hand and kicked inside 50. Her other eye-catching play was a mark at half-back where she was able to deliver to the wing cleanly. With ball-in-hand, there is little doubting Althouse has the technical skill to impact games.

3QTR time stats: 7 kicks, 7 handballs, 14 disposals, 2 marks, 15 hitouts, 4 clearances, 2 inside 50s, 1 rebound 50


Stats: 4 kicks, 2 handballs, 6 disposals, 1 mark, 7 hitouts, 3 clearances, 2 inside 50s, 1 spoil

The game might have been done and dusted by the final break, but Althouse kept putting in the work and won another seven hitouts, with five of those seven coming at the centre bounce. She only lost one hitout all quarter, making it a full-time success rate of 84.6 per cent. Additionally, Althouse had another three clearances, two of which came in almost identical fashion at half-forward a minute apart, straight out of the ruck contest.

Althouse took her third mark of the game on the wing and again was clean and efficient by foot, with her last major influence being a clearing kick off a secondary effort. She had already won the hitout, but then with the ball still in the zone, Althouse scooped it up and thumped it forward. Overall, her performance was consistent across the board, with some natural talent and strength inside the contest making her so hard to stop at the clearances. If she can continue working on her fitness, she could take her game to entirely new level.

FT Stats: 9 kicks, 9 handballs, 18 disposals, 3 marks, 22 hitouts, 7 clearances, 4 inside 50s, 1 rebound 50, 1 spoil


In other matches, Waratah showed no mercy towards Tiwi Bombers at Gardens Oval, destroying the new side by 95 points, 15.11 (101) to 1.0 (6). Early on Saturday, Nightcliff Tigers made light work of Southern Districts, defeating the Crocs despite a somewhat inaccurate display, 9.14 (68) to 1.0 (6). Completing the one-sided weekend of results, PINT held Wanderers scoreless as the Queen Ants piled on 24 scoring shots to blow the cellar dwellers away, 15.9 (99) to 0.0 (0).

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments