Pipped at the post

Nomads beaten in first game thriller
By Matt McLennan (Armidale Express, 14/04/2008)
One behind was all that separated the New England Nomads and the Tamworth Kangaroos in the first round of the Tamworth AFL (TAFL) season at Bellevue Oval on Saturday.

The Kangaroos came from behind to beat the Nomads 11-10-76 to 11-9-75, in a see-sawing affair.

Nomads coach Brendan Meehan said the lead changed a number of times over the match.

“In the first half of the match we kicked a lot of goals and not many behinds, but it was the opposite in the second half when they started to kick some goals,” Meehan said.

The Nomads team’s numbers have been substantially lessened by the university holidays, and Meehan said his troops put in a good performance under trying circumstances.

“It was a good effort considering the numbers we had,” he said.

“A lot of the boys were suffering from cramps in the later stages of the game, but they kept fighting all the way until the end of the match.

“We had a number of guys come down and have a kick with us to help us out until the rest of the players come back from the uni holidays, they all did really well.”

Meehan said he has high hopes for the season ahead, based on his side’s performance in the first match.

“It was very pleasing to see them play so well. If we can play like that when our full team comes back things are looking very good for the rest of the season,” he said.

“Our team work throughout the game was excellent.”

Meehan named a number of players as his side’s best.

“Weston Whitby kicked a lot of goals for us, while Anthony Reid was good on the ball,” he said.

“John Frost also played well in the backs, and our captain Glen Northway had a great game at fullback.

“Josh Keogh, a new bloke to the side, also had a really good run.”

Attention now turns to next weekend’s match against the Inverell Saints in Inverell.

Meehan said the side is injury free heading into that match.

“I haven’t heard of any injuries as yet, but I will have a better idea after training,” he said.

“No doubt some of the blokes will be sore after their first major hitout of the season, it was a very hard-fought match.”

The side is desperately awaiting the return of the university students that make up the core of their numbers.

“We have at least half-a-dozen players out because of the holidays,” Meehan said.

“We’ll just keep working, but when you have an average age in the mid 20s and you need the full 22 players each week, missing six straight up really hurts the side.”

In the other games in the competition the Inverell Saints accounted for the Tamworth Swans 19-18-132 to 10-9-69, while the Gunnedah Bulldogs beat the Muswellbrook Cats 16-19-115 to 8-8-56.

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