Queen Ants march to second flag in three years

PINT lived up to its regular season expectations by toppling Waratah in the NTFL Women’s Premier League Grand Final on Saturday and marching to its second flag in three seasons. The Queen Ants had a battle on their hands early, but kicked away after that, slamming home seven goals to one over the next two quarters to set up the 40-point victory, 12.8 (80) to 6.4 (40).

Just a fortnight earlier, Waratah upset PINT in the second semi-final, grinding out a 4.11 (35) to 3.4 (22) win to advance through to the decider. Having had an extended break due to unfortunate fixturing, the Queen Ants were a little rusty that match, but stormed home in the final term against St Mary’s in the preliminary final to record an unbelievable six-point win last week.

Entering the grand final, the minor premiers might have gone in as underdogs, but the Queen Ants knew what they were capable of, kicking three straight goals in the opening quarter, as Waratah missed a few opportunities and trailed by three points. Once into the match rhythm, PINT got going with 3.2 to 1.0 in the second term to build a handy 17-point lead and already look far more potent than in its first two NTFL Women’s Premier League finals.

Though Waratah has the firepower to close the margin, it simply could not as PINT put the foot down in a memorable third term. It might be called the premiership quarter for a reason, as the Queen Ants set up their victory in the term, slotting 4.4 to 0.1 and put the lead out to an impressive 44-point lead. Needing a miracle in the final term, the Tahs to their credit did outscore PINT, but the 3.0 to 2.2 scoreline would not be enough, and the minor premiers became the actual premiers thanks to the 40-point win.

Adelaide AFLW premiership player Jasmyn Hewett slotted three goals in the win to win the Williams Medal for Best on Ground in what has become a typical performance from the gun ruck. Steph Lawrence joined her on three by the end of the game, including a crucial brace in the second quarter, while Casey Morris also kicked the three majors. Along with the goalkickers, Reni Hicks and Katie Streader were also impressive in the victory.

Unfortunately to Waratah, absences of Steph O’Brien and Lisa Miceli hurt the runners-up, while an injury to key player Megan Hunt in the second term further compounded the Tahs’ woes. In defeat, Kierra Zerafa tried her best, while Isobel Hartog and Lauren Pluker also battled on despite the scoreline.

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