Nomads back in the know

By Michael Morrissey (Armidale Express, 31/07/2006)
The New England Nomads reminded everyone in the Tamworth Australian Football League that the season isn’t over until the final whistle with a 17.19.121 to 1.5.11 slaughtering of the Narrabri Eagles at Bellevue Oval.

The Nomads, despite playing a sloppy first half, managed to go into the break having kept the Eagles scoreless.

A quick serve from coach Adrian Walsh gave the home team inspiration and they shot to prominence with another quick-fire six goals in the third quarter.

By the end of the match the Nomads were left cheering and the Eagles were left despairing, asking themselves what had gone wrong.

An integral part of the Nomads performance was Weston Whitby at the front – the inspirational young forward finished the match with eight goals to his name.

Walsh was pleased to finally get another win under the belt after New England had lost four consecutive matches to land in a vicarious position heading into the final stage of the season.

“In the third quarter we started to play better football,” he said.

“The first half was pretty scrappy and we weren’t really playing that well.

“The season’s been so stop-start this year and because a lot of them have been away it took a while for them to gel.”

Walsh thought the improved performance had a lot to do with the move away from aerial to running football.

“We’re not that strong overhead, but when we run the ball they have trouble stopping us,” he said.

“With John Mahy and Gus (McKenzie) back on the wings we certainly had options and the ability to move the ball.

“Part of the problem had been that the back-line would clear the ball and there’d be no one to kick it to.”

Walsh highlighted Tommy Hunt, Dan Drum, Glen Northway, Anthony Reid, Ben Horne and Angus McKenzie as standout players for the match, along with Whitby.

“When Weston’s on fire like that there’s no way anyone’s going to stop him,” Walsh said.

Walsh also gave kudos to Ed Nixon.

“He hasn’t had much of a go this year and he really hasn’t had too much game time,” he said.

“But he had a go this week and really took the bull by the horns and did well.”

The TAFL will have a week off with the final round resuming on August 12 where the Nomads will take on the Gunnedah Bulldogs.

“I think it’ll fine,” said Walsh.

“We’ve got to play that sort of football. The main thing at the moment is getting the side back together.”

If the Nomads win the match against Gunnedah comprehensively they could finish the regular season in second position on the ladder.

Not for reproduction except by permission of the Armidale Express.

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