Round 1: Good omens in narrow defeat

In their first match of the season the Nomads were disappointed to lose 11.9 (75) to 11.10 (76) to the last year’s defeated Grand-finalists the Tamworth Kangaroos.

New England got away to an early lead kicking the first three goals of the match, but the Roos came back as the quarter progressed and the Nomads were slow to get organised around contested balls. For the rest of the match the game was neck and neck, with the Nomads maintaining a slender lead for most of the time.

Both sides went in to the game under-strength and both will feel positive about the new season based on this match.

Nomad’s Josh Keogh had a great TAFL debut in the ruck, maintaining his form from the Tablelands Cup and picking up the Red Rooster Coaches award.

Having spent last season in WA, Weston Whitby made the expected positive impact on his return. Playing in the centre for most of the match, Weston was a threat whenever he had the ball and picked up the Player’s Player award.

With the uni holidays under way, the Nomads called upon the services of a number of non-regular players, all of whom did a great job. Dave Dunlop and Anthony Sinclair also debuted for the club.

Best on ground for New England were Anthony Reid, Glen Northway, Josh Keogh, Weston Whitby, Johnathon Frost and Adrian Walsh. Ten-year Nomad Neil Cupples made his annual appearance and picked up the Captain’s award for his efforts in marking the ever-dangerous Roo, Dan Overeem.

The President’s award went to Dave MacLellan who put in a big effort all afternoon especially when put into an unfamiliar position (on the ball) in the final quarter.

The Nomads eleven goals were split between Dylan McGrath (4), Weston Whitby (3), Matt Maxwell (2), Anthony Sinclair and Ben Page.

In the weekend’s other games the Bulldogs and Saints got great starts to the new season with convincing wins. In Gunnedah the Bulldogs won by 16.19 (115) to the Cats 8.8 (56), while at Tamworth No. 1 Oval the Swans scored 10.9 (69) to the Saints 19.18 (132).

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