Saints swoop on wounded Nomads

By Michael Morrissey (Armidale Express, 17/07/2006)
The New England Nomads slumped to their third straight loss on Saturday against the Inverell Saints.

The bigger Saints side made the most of the wet and slippery conditions at Bellevue Oval and blew away from the Nomads in the third quarter to win 12.13.85 to 7.7.49.

New England struggled, fielding a team severely weakened by the university break, and couldn’t maintain their early momentum moving into the final quarter.

Nomads coach, Adrian Walsh, said the wet weather hindered the home team’s performance.

“Most of the time it was like trying to pick up a bar of soap or a greasy pig,” he said.

“We’re still a little bit under manned and the wet weather could have been better.

“At one point we were level with them but they flew away.

“It was 49 all but then we didn’t score another point.

“I think personally it was probably a bit of lack of fitness on behalf of some of the guys.

“But we had a lot of guys who hadn’t played with us – for five guys it was their first game.”

Despite going down Walsh gave kudos to Inverell for making the most of the foul conditions.

“They played better in the wet than us,” he said.

“They’ve got a bigger stronger side so all credit to them.

“They’ve got some big blokes and wet helps them because it slows everyone down.”

Standout players included Weston Whitby, Tom Hunt, Matt Maxwell and Mark Curran.

Ben Horne gave the game hs best shot and was ‘at the bottom of every pack’ according to Walsh, while Reece Whitby played well in his first game with the club.

From here through until the final series, the Tamworth Australian Football League will be tough sailing for the Nomads.

They were undefeated during the first seven rounds of competition but have now gone down three times in a row – partially due to the player deficit during the university holidays.

The Nomads will have to win this Saturday against the Tamworth Kangaroos if they plan to stay in the top four.

“We’ve got blokes coming back this weekend,” Walsh said.

“It’s do or die against the Roos. We either do it or fall out of the four.

“They need to get a bit harder about it.

“The early part of the season we had a full side and were winning but people might be becoming a little bit complacent about it.

“We’ve just got to look forward to the next couple of weeks and hopefully get ourselves back together.

“The boys have just got to come together.

“So long as we get in the finals we’ll do well, it’s just making it through this next period.

“Hopefully it will be better news next week.”

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