NTFLW Premier League Round 3 wrap: Nightcliff emerges as the real deal

WITH the weekend concluded, the Northern Territory Football League Women (NTFLW) Premier League have wrapped an exciting day of football that saw big wins across the board. With all the games decided by at least three goals and two margins exceeding 50 points, there were plenty of sides succeeding at stamping their authority on their opponent, as the ladder standings begin to heat up after three rounds. The round’s action was headlined by a dominant victory from the ladder-leaders, who have now firmly established themselves as the competition favourite.

Wanderers Premier Women 2.1 (13) def by. Nightcliff Tigers Premier Women 10.8 (68)

The Nightcliff Tigers have tightened their grip on the remainder of the competition, with a commanding 55-point triumph over the Wanderers on Saturday afternoon. Heading into the clash, the Tigers were the favourites given their dominant form to start the season, but there was potential of an upset, with the Wanderers starting the year in impressive fashion themselves. However, the Tigers proved too strong throughout the contest, and would now widely be seen across the league as the team to beat.

The opening minutes of the game were back and forth, with both sides generating plenty of run, but unable to capitalize on the scoreboard. This was interrupted with a big tackle from Tiger Andi Moliere, who chased down an opponent at the top of her team’s 50 metre arc. She then booted the ball inside the Tiger forward line where teammate Mickayla Ward was able to take an impressively strong mark, which was converted into a goal. Ward then booted her second in as many minutes, as the Tigers began to take clear control of the contest. The remainder of the quarter belonged to Nightcliff, as they were able to generate plenty of inside-50’s and scoring shots. They were able to slot their third of the term, with Danielle Wiseman joining in on the fun by converting her set shot from the forward pocket to giver her side a three-goal lead at the first break.

It did not take long for the Tigers to pick up where they left off to open the second term, with Wiseman running into an open goal to extend the lead for her side early in the quarter. The next few minutes saw the Wanderers fight back, as they were able to lock the ball in their half for the next few minutes, but this did not convert to scoreboard success. The rest of the quarter was incredibly even, with the Wanderers matching Nightcliff’s run and dash, but the Tigers were still able to conjure the next goal. This was followed by Wiseman’s third goal of the half, as Nightcliff began to storm away from their opponents. The blows continued with Ward running in to join Wiseman with her third goal of the half as things got messy for the Wanderers. When the Tigers booted their fifth for the term, the game looked out of reach before the half time siren had even sounded.

The Wanderers were able to deliver a stronger level of play in the second half, and while they couldn’t chase down the whopping margin, they were able to stop the bleeding that came from the avalanche of goals in the second term. They didn’t allow Nightcliff to score a single major in the term, locking down defensively thanks to their adjustments at half-time.

The fourth quarter saw Nightcliff’s Amy Pittman boot her second of the match early in the term, with the game firmly out of reach. The Wanderers were once again able to halt the fast scoring ways of the Tigers, even snagging a goal themselves through Rhiannon Fecht. The final margin stood at just over nine goals when the final siren sounded, with the Tigers walking away with a powerful victory.

For the victors, Wiseman and Ward were dominant up forward, combining for six goals in an outing that would have defenders around the league nervous, while Moliere was also impressive throughout the contest with her hard running and pressure a highlight. While the scoreline may not reflect this, the Wanderers delivered an admirable performance, with the final margin likely much closer if not for the second term.

Moving across the league, The Darwin Buffaloes recorded a 19-point victory over St. Mary’s on Saturday, further boosting their premiership credentials. Despite kicking an inaccurate 3.10 for the day, the Buffaloes were too strong for their opponents, recording their second win of the season.

The Southern Districts’ woes have continued, with a 23-point loss to Waratah taking them to 0-3 for the season, as they struggle to produce a winning formula. The game was separated by just three points at half-time, before Waratah delivered a blistering second half to run away with the victory.

In the final game of the round, PINT have managed to get their season back on track with a 58-point victory over the Palmerston Magpies on Saturday afternoon. The reigning premiers were able to bounce back from a disappointing round two loss with a commanding victory this past weekend, taking them to 2-1 for the season so far.


Picture credit: Tymunna Clements/AFLNT Media

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