Fremantle Dockers AFLW best and fairest winner Ebony Antonio is primed and raring to go as the 2019 AFLW season is almost upon us.
Antonio debuted for the Dockers in Round 1, 2017 against the Western Bulldogs and it was a surreal feeling for her. “It’s hard to describe that feeling but yes I guess it was quite overwhelming,” Antonio said.
Image Source: Adam Trafford/AFL Media/Getty Images AsiaPac
After bringing down the reigning premiers, the Tiwi Bombers will be reassessing their goals for the 2019 season. Their victory against the Southern Districts Crocs proved that they have the “A” game capable of reaching finals and causing havoc when they get there. But ahead is a period of developing consistency and belief – mixed with hard work – to finish the season well. Nevertheless, they now sit in fourth place and finals are theirs to lose.
Travelling to the Crocs home ground, and trailing at half time, the Bombers were up against it. But four unanswered third quarter goals saw the Bombers grab the lead and were good enough to increase that in the last quarter to win by 22 points. The loss was costly, though not terminal, for the Crocs as they lost their third game from their past four starts and need to regroup, answer the wake-up call and re-establish their premiership credentials.
Nicola Barr, the inaugural number one draft pick for the AFLW has made a name for herself not only on the footy field but also off field too.
“I have recently graduated from the degree and am now working at Starlight Children’s foundation as well as taking a couple of spin classes each week,” Barr said.
“Balancing these things in addition to AFLW training can be quite a challenge at times! For me the best way to juggle these commitments is to ensure that while I am doing something to be completely focused on it," Barr said.
In this extraordinary story from Lucy Murray at ABC North West Queensland, the team from Lake Nash in the Northern Territory, their trials to simply get to a footy match are explored. If you like, it ould be called extreme car-pooling to get to a match each week. It is an amazing snapshot into what it takes to play footy in one of the most remote parts of Australia.
The Lake Nash Young Guns footy team struggles for money to travel the 600km to their games, and if they do not get a kangaroo on the way to the game, they most likely play on empty stomachs.
Alpurrurulam, or Lake Nash, as it is commonly known, is an Indigenous community on the Queensland–Northern Territory border.
In the centre of town is a red dirt Australian Rules Football Oval, where the Lake Nash Young Guns can be seen training every evening.
As they run, often barefoot, or in socks, they leave a trail of red dust behind them.
A thunderstorm and cloudburst, and a rampant Crocs outfit, were not enough to stop the Darwin Buffaloes from taking the four points in their match at TIO Stadium on Saturday. It was part of another exciting round that saw The Buffaloes grab a one point win, Palmerston held off Waratah by four points, The Tigers shook of a desperate Saints by 20 points and the Tiwi Bombers romped home by over 100 points against Wanderers.
Perhaps the match of the round, however, was the Buffaloes/Crocs clash. After a solid first half, where Darwin held a three-goal lead over Crocs at the main break, Southern Districts started to fight back in the second half to get to within seven points by the final change. But with a storm close, the final quarter was delayed until the all clear was given to resume. After the enforced break, Crocs kept coming, but Buffaloes held them off by just a solitary point.
Round 12 was played in the NTFL last weekend, the first round back after the Christmas/New Year break. Whilst fans were delighted to see the footy back again, the round has seen a tightening of ladder positions with top spot, top five and wooden spoon well and truly undecided and set for big finishes from all clubs over the remaining six rounds.
The Southern Districts Crocs are locked in a battle with the Nightcliff Tigers for top spot, both teams on ten wins. In third place, four games behind the leaders, the Darwin Buffaloes sit level with Waratah. Just outside the five on five wins are Palmerston, followed by the Tiwi Bombers on four wins and Wanderers on three.
On Saturday, the Tigers downed the Buffaloes by 14 points. The teams kept up a tight match to three-quarter time, with the final quarter set for one of the other side to break the game open. However, neither team goaled in the last quarter leaving the Tigers victors.
Just a few weeks ago, the Tiwi Bombers were on the crest of a wave. With three consecutive wins, the Bombers were cautiously looking at a surprise finals charge. But since then they have lost three games in a row, last weekend against the bottom placed Wanderers. The Bombers now face the prospect again of a wooden spoon unless they find form again. Wanderers, however, have won two of their past four matches and can justifiably claim their own march to finals.
In other matches on the weekend, the Darwin Buffaloes brought down the Southern Districts Crocs, Nightcliff comfortably dispatched St Mary’s and the Palmerston Magpies won a thriller after the siren against Waratah.
Wanderers seemingly threw away their golden chance to defeat the Bombers when they kicked just one goal from seven scoring shots in the opening quarter. They we made to pay, as the Bombers kicked five second quarter goals to lead at the main break. But the Muk Muks really did run amok in the second half. Wanderers hammered home ten goals in the second half to just four from the Bombers to win comfortably by 32 points.
Former Lion Kaitlyn Ashmore will now play for one of the new AFLW teams in the 2019 season, the North Melbourne Tasmanian Kangaroos.
“Family is a big thing for me, and being closer to them was one of the main reasons why I came home. When North were granted a license, I thought it would be the perfect fit for me," Ashmore said
"North has had an alliance with Melbourne Uni for years, where I have played for 6 years and over 130 games. I was also moving back and forth from QLD every 6 months over the 2 seasons I had there and it’s actually quite exhausting."
Image Source: North Media
For the Kangaroos, Ashmore will continue to wear the jumper number 10 in 2019 same as the number she wore at the Lions.
Round 10 of the NTFL Premier League saw the Palmerston Magpies make their biggest statement yet regarding their desire for the rest of this season. Their win over the Darwin Buffaloes has them and the league rethinking the rest of the season. St Mary’s also spoke loudly to the rest after downing Wanderers, the Crocs gave the Tiwi Bombers more to think about and Nightcliff’s shellacking of Waratah has asked some big questions.
The Magpies got away to a blinder against the Buffaloes, producing an exciting seven goal opening quarter. The Buffaloes came back hard and just three points was the half time margin in favour of the Pies. Palmerston had the better of the third quarter and held off a determined Buffaloes in the final term to hold on by 20 points. For Palmerston, the win see them equal on points with fifth-placed St Mary’s but more importantly, the win sees them having beaten the third and fourth placed teams this season.