New England Nomads one win away

By Ben Lonergan (Armidale Express, 03/09/2014)
The New England Nomads are now only one win away from a third consecutive Tamworth AFL premiership after they demolished the Inverell Saints 107-39 in Saturday’s major semi-final at Bellevue Oval.

It was a defensive master-class from the reigning premiers as they held the Saints to just 11 points in the entire second half and 18 points in the final three quarters.

The Saints stuck with the Nomads in the opening exchanges as the Armidale side crept out to a 39-21 lead after the first quarter.

It was in the second that everything began to click for the Nomads.

Six second quarter goals opened up a huge 80-28 buffer at the main break and they never looked back.

The Saints tightened their defence slightly in the second half, but were still unable to keep pace with a Nomads side in superb form.

“The way we played was great,” Nomads player-coach Zac Economou said.

“We really started to pull away in the second quarter.

“We made the most of our opportunities.”

Economou was full of praise for the performance of defenders Soloman Hanks, Tom Hunt, Tom Granleese and Clinton Ballagh.

Dave Richards was back to his best on Saturday with six goals, while Economou and skipper Weston Whitby kicked three apiece.

“It’s probably the best the forward line has worked all year,” Economou said.

“When they are in that sort of form they are very hard to mark.

“But it was a great all-round team performance, probably the best of the year.

“It’s the most focussed I’ve seen the team this year.”

Economou said the side was ecstatic to get the grand final back at Bellevue once again.

“The boys were pretty stoked about that,” he said.

The Nomads now have this weekend off and await the winner of Saturday’s Saints and Tamworth Kangaroos preliminary final to see who their grand final opposition will be.

Not for reproduction except by permission of the Armidale Express

Round SF2 2014

Nomads def. Saints
 GBP GBP
Q16339 3321
HT12880 4428
Q31511101 5636
FT1611107 5939

Team:

  • C. Ballagh,
  • V. Chakalisa,
  • T. Dickson,
  • Z. Economou,
  • M. Foley,
  • J. Freund,
  • J. Frost,
  • A. Garraud,
  • C. Graham,
  • I. Graham,
  • T. Granleese,
  • W. Hall,
  • S. Hanks,
  • T. Hunt,
  • Z. Old,
  • L. Raymond,
  • D. Richards,
  • M. Spencer,
  • O. Temoso,
  • Z. Wells,
  • W. Whitby,
  • M. Woodward.

Goalscorers:

  • D. Richards (6),
  • W. Whitby (3),
  • Z. Economou (3),
  • I. Graham (2),
  • A. Garraud,
  • M. Spencer.

Award winners:

  • D. Richards (Players' Player),
  • A. Garraud (Coach's),
  • T. Hunt (President's),
  • J. Freund (Captain's),
  • M. Foley (Gleeson's),
  • M. Spencer (Spectators').

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