Round 13: back on track

In a must-win match the Nomads came good running out 17.19 (121) to 1.5 (11) winners over the Narrabri Eagles.

The Eagles came to town short-handed, with only 16 players available. The two sides agreed to play the match 16-a-side, this still leaving the Nomads with the advantage of having a full bench to utilise throughout the match.

The first half was a scrappy affair, the Nomads appearing rushed and indecisive in their play needlessly giving away possession on many occasions and missing a lot of shots. Despite this, they lead at half time by 5.9 (39) to nil.

The third quarter saw a marked improvement in the quality of the Nomads play as they began to run the ball and find their targets. Eight goals and only one behind in the quarter reflecting the increased efficiency. Must have been a good half time talk. The Eagles having plugged away gamely, finally got on the board in the third quarter with two behinds.

The Nomads slipped a bit in the final quarter although they, and Ed Nixon in particular, were unfortunate a number of times. The Eagles scored a goal that was warmly received by the crowd. The travelling Eagles support greeted the goal by tooting their horns whilst huddled in their cars sheltering from the chilly Armidale breeze.

The margin of victory masks both the efforts of the Narrabri Eagles and the inconsistency in the Nomads play. In the finals New England will need to maintain a higher standard for longer periods of games. Narrabri, who were without some of their stronger players, created a number of opportunities and maintained pressure around the ground. The Nomads defence needed to keep a watchful eye on their opponents all day.

Players Player for the Nomads was Weston Whitby – unsurprisingly after his superb eight goal haul. He was dangerous for the whole match using his speed and turning ability to good effect, and will only be disappointed that he didn’t get into double figures. The other goal scorers for the Nomads were Ben Page (3), Dylan McGrath (2), Matt Maxwell, Ed Nixon, Anthony Reid and Adrian Walsh. Dan Drum picked up the Red Rooster Endeavour award for the day.

A big win for the Nomads, putting them in a strong position on the TAFL ladder. They are now above both the Roos and Cats in third place, with these two teams still to meet, and only just behind the Inverell Saints who have a bye in the final round.

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