New England continues winning streak

Story – Dave MacLellan, Pictures – Dylan McGrath
Image Not AvailableThe Nomads have beaten the Gunnedah Bulldogs in very similar circumstances to their previous visit to Gunnedah’s home earlier this season. The first quarter must have been terrible to watch as the Nomads scored the only goal of the hard fought opening term. Wayward kicking from both sides saw the Nomads lead at quarter time score of 1-4-10 vs 0-5-5.

The second quarter was a contrast as the Nomads displayed the attacking football that saw them score 204 points the week before against the Cats. The men in green ran the ball from the backline, engaging and defeating Gunnedah tacklers to dominate the quarter and end the half with a 30 point lead. Skills had improved, the team ran in numbers, shepherded Bulldogs from the ball and simply had too much pace for the locals.

In the third quarter a similar event occurred to the last time the Nomads visited Gunnedah. For the whole quarter they stopped trying and lost interest in the AFL game they were involved in. The Nomads were embarrassed and humiliated as Gunnedah were stronger over the quarter and scored all six goals of the term. The Nomad defenders were either caught out chasing possessions upfield or humiliated as unmarked Bulldog midfielders streamed forward. The Nomads only managed 6 behinds for the quarter and at the final change were down by 2 points.

The final quarter was a New England show of power. If the Bulldogs got the ball inside their attacking 50 metre arc, desperate defense prevented numerous shots on goal. The green wingers used their speed and rugby heritage to break through weak tackles and win the contested ball. While in the centre square, the midfielders were as tough as ever and penetrated the Sherrin deep into the forward line.

The final winning margin was 24 points and the final ten minutes were comfortable for the visitors after some anxious moments. Best for the Nomads were converts Lahl Jenkins and Sam Trotman on the wings, Rich ‘Candy man’ Malone and Glen Northway, who relished his time away from full-back. The stand out player once again for the Nomads was Matt Maxwell who collected the Players’ Player award for the fifth time this season. Unless the Nomads can make the Grand Final it will be Matt’s final appearance for New England.

The two teams will meet again, this time at Bellevue Oval in Armidale in what will be a knockout Minor Semi Final on August 23rd. The winner will play either the Saints or Kangaroos for a spot in the 2008 Grand Final. Form is well and truly with the Nomads as they have won their last three matches (average winning margin of 65 points), while the Bulldogs have lost their last four matches (average losing margin of 40 points).

One Response to “New England continues winning streak”

  1. Brendo Says:

    Matt Maxwell, we will make thefinal and we need you to win.

    Brendo

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