Saints march against Nomads

By Michael Morrisey (Armidale Express, 07/05/2007)
The Nomads’ dream start to the season had a rude awakening in Inverell on Saturday night as New England went down 16.13.109 to 8.6.54 against the Saints under lights.

In the small confines of Varley Oval the Saints got out to an early lead which the Nomads were never able to catch.

And, after staying within a few goals difference for the most of the match, dropped their heads and watched the score blow out in the closing minutes.

“They’re very hard to beat up there in Inverell at night,” Nomads coach Adrian Walsh said.

“We had trouble finding space. It’s a very small oval and they play the oval well.

“There was about three goals difference for most of the day and we just couldn’t make it up. They ran away with it in the last five or 10 minutes.”

The Nomads were without two of their top forwards, Dan Gardiner and goal scoring sensation Mark Handley, and the difference showed, despite some solid work in the middle of the park.

“That was a couple of strong forward line options missing,” Walsh said.

“We just lacked any real targets up in the forward line, and even then if we’d kicked a bit straighter we could have been ahead.

“In the centre Anthony Alderuccio and Matty Maxwell got a lot of ball.

“Anthony Reid won the ruck all day against an opponent that was much bigger than him.”

Walsh also gave credit to several other New England players: Glen Northway, Mark Curran, Mitch Penberthy and Hamish Robertson.

The Nomads will be looking forward to the bye this weekend as Rich Malone and Brendan Meehan take time to recover from injury.

“It was a pretty rough and tumble game,” Walsh said.

“They play a very hard game of football – a lot of them are ex-rugby players.

“They handled the ball better than we did, it was actually quite slippery once the dew came in.

“It was hard fought and credit to them but I don’t think the score was a fair indication of the strength of the teams.

“We’re still coming together and they’ve all played together. By the look of it it’s pretty much the same 20 blokes as last year.

“They’re building some solid football and we’re just starting to work together.

“They were a taller side than us and we were just kicking to standing contests.

“We need to work on our marking and we need to run the ball a bit more.”

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