Saints March Over Nomads

By Matt Nicholls (Armidale Express, 12/07/2010)
Barrring major injuries or suspension, the Inverell Saints appear to have a mortgage on this year’s Tamworth AFL Premiership. On Saturday the Saints gave the New England Nomads a football lesson to remember, winning by a massive 107 points at Varley Oval. Just four points separated the two sides at quarter time, but a five goal second term had Inverell leading comfortably at the main break.  In similar fashion to their earlier meeting this season, the Saints then kicked away with dominance in the second half, booting 14.10 to 2.3 to stamp their authority on the competition. With just one loss to their name this season, Inverell are the clear premiership favourites.  

There are five rounds to go before the finals, and with the Saints all but certain to finish on top spot, it is hard to fathom how they will get beaten in September. Almost unbeatable at Varley Oval, the Saints will play their major semi final at home, with a win giving them a week’s break and then a home grand final. The Tamworth Kangaroos, the only side to beat Inverell — by 23 points in round five — look to be the only capable challengers in 2010.  But they’ll have to lift significantly. Just nine days ago they were outclassed by 44 points against the Saints at Varley Oval.

The Nomads certainly had no answers on Saturday. It was Inverell’s experienced men who got the job done, with Mich Viney kicking 10 goals in a best-on-ground performance. Mitchell Hall and Stewart Walker were dominant in the centre of the ground, while skipper Chris Whitton bobbed up for five goals in another captain’s display. Tom Williams and Gary Hadland were also in fine touch for the home side. New England defenders Clint Ballagh and Nick Schultz battleds gamely for much of the afternoon, but they were unable to prevent the Saints’ forwards having impact. Omphile Temoso was a standout in the ruck, but there were few other winners for the Nomads.

Inverell coach Nick Baird was a happy man on Sunday. “It was a really good win, we ran the game out rpetty well,” he said. “The first quarter was a really good contest and then we seemed to get on a bit of a run in the second quarter.” Baird said a knee injury  to Nomads star Weston Whitby prior to half time changed the game. “I thought Weston was probably the best player on the ground up until he went down, and after that we got on top,” Baird said. The Inverell coach praised veteran forward Viney, who was back to his mercurial best deep inside 50. “I think he likes playing against the Nomads, he seems to play well against them every time we play them,” he said. “I think Mick still has the 100m record at McIntyre High and even now he is very quick over 15. He was able to gap his rivals on the lead and we just had to put it out in front of him.”

Barid’s counterpart Brendan Meehan had few words after the game. “They (Inverell) just ran so well and had numbers all over the field,” he said. “You don’t like losing by that much, but you have to give credit to the Saints – they were excellent.”

WHITBY OUT FOR SEASON
The diagnosis for Whitby, undoubtedly the Nomad’s most talented palyer, was not good yesterday morning. “He’s gone for the season,” Meehan said. “It’s not good news. His knee just popped when he went to step past a fella. He yelled out straight away and dropped to the deck. It’s bad news for the side.”

The only thing to draw a smile from the Nomads was the fact club legend Adrian “Starry” Walsh kicked two goals in his 100th club game.  Meanwhile the Nomads are still on track to make the finals and perhaps host the minor semi-final, but their hopes of winning their first premiership since 2004 appear to be over.  This Saturday they host the Tamworth Kangaroos in what is a ‘must-win’ game. A victory would almost certainly book third place on the ladder and a home final.  The Kangaroos will go into the game on the back of a 131-point win over Narribri.

In the other Tamworth AFL game on Saturday, the Tamworth Swans made light work of Muswellbrook winning by 61 points.

Not for reproduction except by permission of the Armidale Express

Round 13 2010

Saints def. Nomads
 GBP GBP
Q15232 4428
HT10363 5535
Q3178110 6541
FT2413157 7850

Team:

  • C. Ballagh,
  • M. Bourke,
  • M. Clayton,
  • M. Dowdle,
  • D. Dunlop,
  • J. Frost,
  • D. MacLellan,
  • M. Maxwell,
  • C. Murray,
  • G. Nelson,
  • G. Northway,
  • H. Pearce,
  • N. Schultz,
  • C. Teseling,
  • O. Temoso,
  • S. Trotman,
  • G. Wagstaff,
  • A. Walsh,
  • T. Walsh,
  • R. Whitby,
  • W. Whitby,
  • J. Wright.

Goalscorers:

  • A. Walsh (2),
  • D. Dunlop,
  • G. Nelson,
  • G. Wagstaff,
  • S. Trotman,
  • W. Whitby.

Award winners:

  • O. Temoso (Players' Player),
  • G. Northway (Coach's),
  • S. Trotman (Captain's),
  • T. Walsh (VC's),
  • G. Wagstaff (Red Rooster),
  • C. Ballagh (Vice President's).

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