2023/24 TIO NTFL Wrap: Women's Premier League Grand Final

Photo by Patch Clapp | AFLNT Media

PINT'S new three-time premiership coach Rick Nolan called his side's nail biting five-point win over St Mary's in Saturday's TIO NTFL Women's Premier League grand final the final seal on a premiership dynasty and no one at TIO Stadium disagreed with that summary.

A last gasp Steph Lawrence goal won the game for the Queenants, the third flag under Nolan's coaching in the last four seasons and another reminder of the side's winning culture.

PINT'S 4.3 (27) to 3.4 (22) win despite being outscored in the last half by their opponents and having the lead taken away from them by an inspired St Mary's, also capped an unbeaten season that began five months ago.

Nolan said the Queenants had come a long way in four years, maturing from a one-team club to three women's sides with more than 100 players on their list from the original 20.

"Three premierships in the four years since is pretty special, we wanted a dynasty and we reckon we've achieved that from pretty humble beginnings,'' he added.

"Saints were pretty tough, they came at us hard late in the third quarter and through the last, but we didn't help ourselves early in the third when we should have kicked a few more goals.

"The players were able to hang in there and through Steph's late goal grab the win, which was pretty satisfying.''

Nolan was full of praise for Kate Atkins' game through centre half-back where she often turned defence into attack through clever reading of the play and a straight through approach to the football.

Ruck Jasmyn Hewett won her third Brenda Williams Medal as the best player on the ground, while Carly Remmos and Lawrence were other good contributors.

An emotional St Mary's coach Ryan Smith watched his side come within a goal of breaking a frustrating 14-year premiership drought stretching back to the 2009-10 season.

His Saints finished second on the ladder after the home and away season, losing only to PINT and playing out a draw with their rivals before losing to them twice in the finals.

"I don't know what the average age of this side is, but I think it's very young, around 21 or 22, and I can't be any prouder of the way this squad came together,'' Smith said.

"We've got so many new players who haven't played together, but they still bonded and did everything I asked and threw at them in terms of playing four quarters of football and the girls gave that right to the end.

"There were moments we had and others we shouldn't have, but the girls just kept playing through it and I couldn't be prouder of them and the people they are playing for.

"We talk about legacies in footy and the marks you want to leave behind and although we didn't win today, I think we've left a legacy that will keep this group together and set a new standard next season and into the years beyond.''

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