Round 14: Nomads through to major semi

Weston Whitby added 13 goals to his tally for the season as the Nomads secured second spot on the TAFL ladder. Playing at full forward during the first half of the match Whitby kicked superbly, particularly in open play, as New England built a 14.9 (93) to 1.0 (6) half time lead.

With Gunnedah not having a full replacement bench and having traveled with a couple of Aussie Rules novices it was expected that the Nomads would dominate the second half even more as the Bulldogs tired in the warm sunshine. However, to their credit the Dogs kept plugging away and the Nomads failed to maintain their intensity and the match finished 22.23 (155) to 3.2 (20).

The first half of the match was dominated by the Nomads. Tom Hunt won lots of ball in the ruck and with the two ruck rovers, Matt Maxwell and Ben Horne playing well, the Nomads were given a solid platform to build on.

New England kept the forward line clearer than in some matches, although this slipped in the second half and when kicks were delayed. This space gave them the scope to provide quality ball into their forward 50 and enough bodies around the half forward area to create options and support for the advancing midfield.

Joining Whitby on the goal kickers list were Glen Northway (3), Adrian Walsh (2), Tom Hunt, Rich Malone, Ed Nixon and Warwick Richardson.

Best on ground for the Nomads were Weston Whitby, Glen Nothway, Ben Horne, Matt Maxwell, Richard Malone and Warwick Richardson. Unsuprisingly, Weston also picked up Players’ Player while the Red Rooster Endeavour award went to Warwick Richardson.

In the other important game of the weekend, the Tamworth Kangaroos beat the Muswellbrook Cats by 11.23 (89) to 12.9 (81). So the 2005 Premiers, the Cats, miss out on the Finals. The Roos will play Inverell Saints at Varley Oval next weekend, while the New England Nomads and the Tamworth Swans, as minor premiers, meet in Tamworth in the major semi-final the following week.

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