Nomads victorious out on the Moree plains

The New England Nomads ventured west on Saturday to play the newest team in the TAFL competition, the Moree Suns. Twelve of the team scored majors with Hayden Clarke scoring 5 goals and Zac Economou and Matt Foley scoring four apiece. The final siren saw the Nomads scoring 26.22.178 to the Suns’ 5.4.34. Standouts for the Nomads were Clarrie Barker, Wulu Hall, Shannon Macdonald, Matt Foley and Jed Ellis-Cluff but there were good performances right across the park.

The day started early for the Nomads with the team meeting at the Bellevue at 8.30 and then heading off on the long trek to Moree. The Nomads were down to 18 men and it was clear it was going to be a long day with no bench but there was general excitement about the adventure that lay ahead. It was also good to have Matt ‘Ball-Magnet’ Foley back in the green and black.

The weather in Moree was overcast but warm and there was no breeze: in fact perfect weather for playing good football. Modra won the toss and kicked to the road end. The Nomads controlled the ball early and scored the first points but it was clear from the outset that the Suns were not going to be pushovers and that they had some talented footballers in their midst. (The overhead marking of a number of the Suns players was very impressive) The back line was under a lot of pressure in the first ten minutes, but Tom ‘Gleeso’ Granleese, Phill Mitchell and John Shirley were up to the task and repelled many forward movements on the part of the Swans. Wulu Hall was running hard through the middle and Zac Economou was marking strongly up forward. Modra was his usual mercurial self – one goal he kicked in this quarter from half a chance was as good as any he has kicked over the past few years. As the quarter wore on the Nomads asserted more control over proceedings and at the first change were leading 7.1.43 o 1.0.6.

The second quarter saw the Nomads kicking to the Woolworths end and saw some good clean football from the Nomads. The back line, especially Gleeso, Al Mitchelson and Wulu, were regularly switching and allowing the ball to be brought into the forward line very quickly in what was a fairly small ground. In this quarter Jed Ellis-Cluff, Zac Wells and Matt Foley dominated in the midfield. Wellsy in particular was getting in and under packs and moving the ball forward time and time again. The score at half time saw the Nomads leading 12.11.83 to 2.3.15. The lead might well have been more if it had not been for some wayward kicking during this quarter with 10 points kicked – many from set shots. But then you get days like that – like West Coast on Sunday against Geelong – and it did not influence the overall result.

The third quarter was a tight affair. Although the scoreboard might not indicate it, the Suns were highly competitive and contested the ball hotly. The Nomads kicked 8 for the quarter with a number of players chipping in. Zac Old-Spice kicked a pearler from 40 metres out on the boundary while Ball-Magnet Foley kicked a couple from right in the middle of the ground. Clarrie Barker continued his good form and the youngest Nomad was leading the way with his hard ball-gets and head over the football. (Clarrie – who for many years was one of our boundary umpires – clearly has a bright future ahead of him). Shannon Macdonald was also causing havoc for the Suns out on the wing. Time and time again he ran the ball into the forward line after winning two-on-ones and then leaving those opponents behind with his speed. At the final change the Nomads were leading 20.16.136 to 4.4.28.

By the final quarter many of the Nomads were quite spent having had only one on the bench (the teams decided before hand to play 17 a side). Zac Old then strained his hamstring and played no further part in the match. But none of this dampened the enthusiasm for playing fast running football. Wulu and Shannon continued their excellent outside running while the Ball-Magnet was up to his usual tricks. Zac Wells improved as the match went on and the Suns could not match his strength in the packs. Al Mitchelson showed how dangerous he can be with his run out of the back line and the lazar-light accuracy of his delivery, while Gleeso did what he does best in the back line in a quiet and ultra-efficient manner. As the final siren rang, many tired Nomads trudged inside to sing a vigorous rendition of the song (perhaps a little too vigorous for Young Gleeso who came for his initiation into the battle cry of the Nomads).

While it might seem a bit clichéd to say that the scoreboard did not reflect the closeness of the contest, in this case the cliché is true. The Suns can hold their heads high. They played a good brand of contested football. They clearly are developing a strong club culture, have 3 or 4 very talented footballers and a lot of youngsters new to the game who will be champions before too long. Errol Lather, coach Nick O’Sullivan and our own David ‘Steelhands’ McLellan should be very proud of the club they have grown in a mere 5 months. Its’s a very great credit to all of them.

Special thanks to Mark Soencer, Brendan and Chery Nolan and Karlie Economou who made the trip out to Moree to help out. Brendan and Cheryl now head to Europe for three months and they will be very much missed about the place.

We look forward to the return match with the Roos in a fortnight where we hope to avenge the first round defeat. Go the Green!

Round 7 2015

Suns def. by Nomads
 GBP GBP
Q1106 7143
HT2315 121183
Q34428 2016136
FT5434 2622178

Team:

  • C. Barker,
  • D. Bioletti,
  • H. Clarke,
  • T. Dickson,
  • Z. Economou,
  • J. Ellis-Cluff,
  • M. Foley,
  • T. Granleese,
  • W. Hall,
  • S. Macdonald,
  • P. Mitchell,
  • A. Mitchelson,
  • Z. Old,
  • D. Richards,
  • J. Shirley,
  • O. Temoso,
  • A. Walsh,
  • Z. Wells.

Goalscorers:

  • H. Clarke (5),
  • D. Richards (4),
  • M. Foley (4),
  • A. Walsh (3),
  • Z. Economou (3),
  • C. Barker,
  • J. Ellis-Cluff,
  • O. Temoso,
  • T. Dickson,
  • W. Hall,
  • Z. Old,
  • Z. Wells.

Award winners:

  • J. Ellis-Cluff (Players' Player),
  • C. Barker (Coach's),
  • S. Macdonald (President's),
  • W. Hall (Captain's),
  • A. Walsh (Meehan's Plumbing Services').

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