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Muluwurri triumph in thrilling inaugural Tiwi women's grand final

Jackson Clark -

The Muluwurri Magpies have claimed the inaugural Mary Dunn Cup after defeating Tapalinga Superstars in the first-ever Tiwi Islands Football League women's grand final on Sunday.

In what was a thrilling contest all afternoon, the Magpies triumphed by just a solitary point in front of more than a thousand people at Wurrumiyanga on Bathurst Island

Muluwurri 8.2 (50) defeated Tapalinga 7.7 (49) with Jodie Palipuaminni claiming best-on-ground honours.

16-year-old Shakayla Gardiner-Dunn starred for Tapalinga booting four of her team's seven goals.

It was a successful first season for the women's competition with seven teams and more than 300 women playing across the 14-round season that began in August.

AFLNT Remote Development Manager, Danyon Smillie​​​​ celebrated the achievements of the first season.

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

"This inaugural TIFL Women's season has had remarkable engagement with over 300 women taking the field," Smillie said.

"Each club has shown enormous growth over the season with all teams training together and working towards making the league strong.

"It's with the support of league sponsor Tiwi Partners and community leaders like Mary Dunn and the effort she has put in on and off the field, regularly umpiring and officiating games that have made the inaugural season so successful."

Ranku Eagles player, Victoria Canning said that the women's competition had become a huge success.

"Our first training session we had over 100 girls turn up, the competition is becoming huge, and this season has been amazing for the Islands," she said.

"It's a close-knit small community, it's like a religion here, everyone gets around it on a footy day the whole community comes down to watch the women play."

It has been a big couple of years for women's football on the Islands with the establishment of their own competition and the formation of the Tiwi Bombers' women's team in the Northern Territory Football League.

The Bombers have suffered a handful of heavy defeats so far this NTFL season but are coming off a massive 138-point win over Wanderers at Wurrumiyanga last weekend.

Maria Rioli – the daughter of AFL champion Maurice Rioli – starred with four goals in a best-on-ground performance.

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