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Muluwurri triumph in thrilling inaugural Tiwi women's grand final

The Muluwurri Magpies secured victory in the inaugural Mary Dunn Cup by edging out the Tapalinga Superstars in the first-ever Tiwi Islands Football League women's grand final. The closely contested match, witnessed by a crowd exceeding a thousand, culminated in the Magpies' win by a solitary point with a final score of Muluwurri 8.2 (50) to Tapalinga 7.7 (49), with Jodie Palipuaminni securing best-on-ground honors.

Muluwurri celebrate their inaugural premiership win. (Image: Patch Clapp/AFLNT)

Shakayla Gardiner-Dunn, a standout 16-year-old athlete for Tapalinga, contributed significantly with four goals among her team's seven during the intense game. The success of the women's competition marked the conclusion of a productive inaugural season that involved seven teams and over 300 women participating across a 14-round season commencing in August.

AFLNT Remote Development Manager, Danyon Smillie​​​​, commended the outstanding engagement in the inaugural TIFL Women's season, recognizing the substantial growth witnessed in each club throughout the season. The league's strength and success were attributed to the support from Tiwi Partners, community leaders like Mary Dunn, and the collaborative effort both on and off the field.

Jodie Palipuaminni was judged best-on-ground in a thrilling Tiwi Islands Football League women's grand final. (Image: Patch Clapp/AFLNT)

Victoria Canning, a player from Ranku Eagles, expressed enthusiasm about the burgeoning success of the women's competition, highlighting the significant community support and the remarkable turnout of over a hundred girls in their first training session. The close-knit community embraced the sport, emphasizing the profound impact and unity it brought to the small community during match days.

The Islands witnessed significant progress in women's football, evident through the establishment of their dedicated league and the inclusion of Tiwi Bombers' women's team in the Northern Territory Football League. Despite challenges faced by the Bombers in the NTFL season, a recent standout performance included a resounding 138-point victory against Wanderers at Wurrumiyanga, led by Maria Rioli, daughter of AFL legend Maurice Rioli, who showcased a stellar performance with four goals and an exceptional on-field display.

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