Nomads return to the winners circle

The New England Nomads retained second spot on the ladder after defeating the Tamworth Kangaroos at Tamworth on Saturday. Well ahead in the first half, the Nomads had to fight a resurgent Roos in the final quarter – matters were not helped by only having one player on the bench. It was a relief to sing the song again after successive defeats. Clarrie Barker playing through the midfield and resting at full-forward was outstanding, kicking 4 goals – his overhead marking was too much for the Roos defenders. The backline was also particularly impressive, with Wulu Hall Paddy Tobias, Steve Wilson, Phill Mitchell and young Mitchie Harriot standing tall against the Roos forward entries. In the middle Tim Keys and David “Rampaging“ Richards also starred. The final scores were 11.17.83 to 9.6.64.

The game began a little later at 3pm, after a junior’s match and a women’s match between the Roos and the Nomads. Although the winds for the past week in Armidale had been strong enough to blow a blue-dog off its chain, there was little or no breeze in sunny downtown Tamworth. The Nomads had only 17 players with Luke Raymond a late withdrawal and so the teams played 16 a side: a return to the good old days of the VFA. Who needs wingmen anyway?

The Roos won the early battles out of the midfield and soon had a goal on the board. It looked in the first ten minutes that the Nomads would be in for a long afternoon, but inspired by strong aggressive football by the backs, in particular Paddy Tobias, Steve Wilson and Wulu Hall, the Nomads started to find their way. Before long Liam Cudmore goaled and the Nomads were off and running. Clarrie Barker, who had been playing in the midfield, moved to full-forward for a rest and was too strong time and time again for the Roos defenders despite double-teaming him. Keysie was having a ding-dong battle in the ruck and regularly providing Mr Reliable Jesse Petrascu, Jeremy Mad-dog Ratcliffe and Ethan ‘Karps’ Karpany with quality service. With Mr. Barker on fire up forward, the Nomads midfield and backs began running straight through the corridor to deliver the ball deep into the forward line. A particular highlight for the quarter was big Phill Mitchell’s snap on the run that travelled truly. The score at the first break was 3.4.22 to 1.17.

The signs were clearly looking good for the Nomads and they continued their good form in the second quarter with the Nomads kicking towards the ball-swallowing swimming pool end. Modra was unstoppable during this quarter and continually collected the ball by himself against 3 or 4 opponents. Young Ethan Bray was providing plenty of leads for the back-men as they came hurtling out of the danger zone into the Nomads forward line. The scores at the halftime break were 7.11.53 to 1.3.9. The Roos low scoring this far despite their midfield doing reasonably well was a testament to the dogged and relentless work up back.

However, there were some darker clouds—metaphorically speaking—on the horizon as the Nomads ran onto the ground. The Noeys were short on numbers while the Roos had a bench of 6 and so their players—and most significantly their midfielders were able to rest. The Nomads only scored two this quarter and probably the forwards should have taken more advantage of the opportunities afforded them. The Roos broke the shackles somewhat and were able to kick 4 goals. The scores at the final break were 9.14.68 to 5.7.37 and so the scene was set for a cracking fourth term.

In the final term the Roos surged and half way through the last quarter it looked like the might run over the Nomads but the team steadied, chipping the ball around and slowing things down when appropriate. Strong running in the backline by Paddy and Wulu and some strong pack work by Phill Mitchell ensured the Roos did not make the most of their opportunities. The Nomads ended up winning by 19 points.

There were many highlights during the game including the goals-on-the-run by Phill Mitchell and Wulu and, of course, Clarrie Barker’s strong marking in his best on ground performance. Worth noticing as well was young Mitch Harriot’s performance – playing on a talented and wily older Roos forward he stuck to the game plan and punched the ball in the air and was hard at the groundball. He did exactly what was asked of him.

And so the home and away season is over and now to the finals. The first three quarters of this game showed what the team is capable and with a full list they will be a really good show of surprising the competition which has already written them off.

Round 18 2017

Roos def. by Nomads
 GBP GBP
Q1117 3422
HT139 71153
Q35737 91468
FT91064 111783

Team:

  • C. Barker,
  • E. Bray,
  • L. Cudmore,
  • A. Dawson,
  • W. Hall,
  • M. Harriot,
  • T. Hunt,
  • E. Karpany,
  • T. Keys,
  • S. Macdonald,
  • P. Mitchell,
  • J. Petrascu,
  • J. Ratcliffe,
  • D. Richards,
  • P. Tobias,
  • A. Walsh,
  • S. Wilson.

Goalscorers:

  • C. Barker (4),
  • E. Bray,
  • E. Karpany,
  • J. Petrascu,
  • J. Ratcliffe,
  • L. Cudmore,
  • P. Mitchell,
  • W. Hall.

Award winners:

  • C. Barker (Players' Player),
  • P. Tobias (Coach's),
  • M. Harriot (President's),
  • P. Mitchell (Captain's),
  • W. Hall (Meehan's Plumbing Services').

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