PINT survive thriller; book NTFLW Grand Final spot

PINT has backed up its minor premiership with an incredible preliminary final win to ensure it can have a crack at the NTFL Women’s Premier League title. The Queen Ants had an extended break leading up to their first final with a bye in the last round, then the first week of finals off, and subsequently fell to Waratah in the semi-final. Luckily for PINT, it utilised its double chance with a 6.8 (44) to 6.2 (38) victory over St Mary’s in the preliminary final.

For the majority of the match, PINT looked on the ropes, seemingly destined to end up out in straight sets and wasting what had been set up to be a promising finals series. Luckily the Queen Ants dug deep and managed to crawl out of the hole they faced with a four goals to nil final term helping them to run over the top of the Saints and claim victory.

Early on, St Mary’s was running hot, booting 2.1 to 0.3 in the opening term to capitalise on its scoring shots. Though PINT continued to pepper the goals in the second quarter, it could not fully maximise its forward half chances, booting 1.3. St Mary’s on the other hand converted two goals from its only two scoring shots, then repeated the effort in the third term to stretch the 13-point half-time lead into a 19-point three quarter time margin.

Staring down the barrel of a straight sets exit, PINT somehow found something special. Needing four goals in the last, the minor premiers found a way with the experienced Jasmyn Hewett, as well as Casey Morris and Amy Chittick converting majors. Then it was Hewett who slotted the matchwinner with a minute remaining in the match, using all of her AFLW experience to get the job done.

Hewett starred alongside Chittick for PINT as they had to overcome another AFLW talent in Danielle Ponter who slotted three goals in a best-on appearance for the losing side. Morris, Kate Atkins and Sarah Ingram were named among the best for the Queen Ants. For the Saints, competition leading goalkicker Kaitlyn Armstrong slotted two goals, while Billie Byers, Jemma Iacono and Jacinta Friel were impressive.

PINT now heads to the grand final to take on Waratah who booked its spot via a 13-point win over the Queen Ants in the second semi-final. With that result just a fortnight earlier than the grand final, both teams will be aware of the huge battle ahead at TIO Stadium on the weekend.

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