Round 1: 185-point victory in Narrabri

The Nomads got off to a flyer in the 2007 TAFL competition, with a resounding victory against the Narrabri Eagles. The final score was 29.19 (193) to 1.2 (8), with Mark Handley kicking 17 goals.

Handley played one game for the Nomads last season, but is now settled in Armidale and should be a regular this season. He made the best of the delivery into the forward line and his goal kicking was excellent.

An even newer arrival to the city, Anthony Alderuccio, kicked 6 goals and added considerably to the physical presence in the centre. Having contacted the club via newenglandnomads.net last month, Anthony drove up to Armidale from Swan Hill on Friday and immediately joined the Uni holiday-depleted squad for Saturday’s game. Great things are expected when he isn’t worn out!

The game marked the debut of a number of new Nomads, all of whom came out in credit; as well as the fiftieth appearance for veteran coach Adrian Walsh.

Narrabri are struggling for numbers this season and had a number of novices playing, so it will take a few weeks to put this performance into its true context. However, for the first game of the year there was some good football played by the Nomads. The players set a high standard for their vacationing club-mates to match on their return and maintained their level of performance well across the four quarters.

Besides Handley (17 goals) and Alderuccio (6) the other goal-scorers for the Nomads were Caleb Dobos (2), Adrian Walsh, Mitch Penberthy, Glen Northway and Dan Drum.

Player’s player went, unsurprisingly, to Mark Handley. Anthony Alderuccio, Matt Maxwell, Anthony Reid and Matt West received the Coach’s, President’s, Captain’s and Encouragement awards, respectively. Sol Hanks moved out of the forward line and put in a strong performance, while Ben Page looked to be inspired by his new role as club President.

While there is a long way to go this season and there will be much harder afternoons than this, New England could not have hoped for a better start to the TAFL season and will prepare for next week’s home match against the Swans with confidence high.

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