Sad end to promising season

Story – Dave MacLellan, Photos- Mel Gatsby

Rich Malone, another overhead mark under pressure

Rich Malone, another overhead mark under pressure

As reported in last week’s newspapers, the New England Nomads went down to the Saints in Inverell. Apologies for the lateness, but here is my match report. The loss ended the finals campaign of the New England Nomads and catapulted the Inverell Saints into the Grand Final, which they ultimately lost on Saturday.

As has happened numerous times throughout the 2008 season, a lethargic opening quarter cost the Nomads the match with the Saints laying siege to the their defenses. However, unlike the opening quarter against Gunnedah the week before, where only one goal was managed, the Saints piled on 49 points for the term. The Nomads awoke in the second term, but with an injury riddled Weston Whitby too often the target of Nomad forward raids, the Nomads only managed five goals before half time. The Saints meanwhile had continued their momentum and had eleven goals to the main break.

Weston Whitby (#10) was often the focus of Inverell defenders...midfielders and anybody else nearby

Weston Whitby (#10) was often the focus of Inverell defenders.....midfielders and anybody else nearby

During the third quarter, following a realistic appraisal of the effort and skills displayed in the first half by the coaching staff, the New England team began to fight back. A dangerously high tackle on Sam Trotman (photo below) sent ‘Saint’ Chris Whitton from the field with a yellow card. The resulting shot at goal was missed by the confused Trotman, who was subsequently helped to the bench. Increased intensity and the numerical advantage helped the Nomads bear the brunt of Inverell’s physicality and win the quarter. The three quarter time deficit was a near impossible margin of almost six goals.

Sam Trotman was left dazed and confused following a high tackle

Sam Trotman was left dazed and confused following a high tackle

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A goal within seconds of opening bounce of the fourth quarter gave the traveling Nomad supporters some hope but the Saints came home strongly, winning the quarter six goals to three and taking the game 19-14-128 to 11-9-75. Weston ended the game with five goals, to increase his season tally to 73 (from 15 games), with Dylan McGrath and Rich Malone the other multiple goal kickers. Immense respect should be given to Anthony Reid, who was driven from Newcastle for the game and Sam Trotman, who played a game of Rugby League in the morning before motoring to Inverell to represent the Nomads. Players’ player was awarded to Rich Malone, President’s award went to Dylan McGrath, coaches award ??? and Captain’s ???.

Caleb Dobos runs unmarked down the Inverell wing

Caleb Dobos runs unmarked down the Inverell wing

One Response to “Sad end to promising season”

  1. Shifty Says:

    Great shepherd Dave! And congrats on the job!

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