Nomads Senior Men have a Win in the Wind in the First Semi Final

In the most appalling weather imaginable (outside of Rovaniemi, Finland), the New England Nomads finally started to gell to beat a spirited Tamworth Swans team and, in so doing, avenged the loss from three weeks earlier. The talls Conor Nest, Andy Gray and Tom Hunt dominated in the air while Brady Macdonald, Luke Raymond, Clarrie Barker and Wulu Hall were unstoppable around the packs and in general play. Given the blustery wind and the hail and the snow, goals were hard to come by, however Conor Nest, David ‘Modra’ Richards’ (who kicked his first left foot goal ever) and young tyro Dylan “Turbo” Moore managed two apiece. Highlights included Choco’s academy award winning roll backwards after being pushed in the back; Steve Ogilvie, successfully claiming a mark after it had been through two prior hands (it’s not like a catch in the slips Steve!) and, last but not least, Kayla Hall’s pulled pork, hot chocolates and pumpkin soup.

Final scores were New England Nomads 9.11.65 to the Swans 2.7.19.

The weather forecast in the days leading up to the final was for nasty cold conditions and the weather-snikes at the Bureau of Meteorology were not wrong. It was snowing and sleeting and blowing from a westerly direction. Not a day to be anywhere outside. The senior men’s team watched the Under 17’s and the Women’s finals to Tamworth teams (we are hoping for a report from both groups soon to put up here). Everyone was ready early and the team kicked to the Uralla end again. It was pretty obvious in the first five minutes how most of the game would be played – mainly on the eastern side, near Albies College. And it was not a day when the switch would work – at least when kicking in a westerly direction. Conor Nest was marking everything that came his way while Tom Hunt and Brady MacDonald were brilliant in the backline. Brady was in great form with his precision kicking off the half-backline. At the first change the scores were 2.3.15 to 0.5.5.

The second quarter saw the Nomads play probably the best quarter they have played all year (although a quick perusal of the scores would not necessarily give that away). The backline was impermeable and did not concede a single behind for the whole quarter. Modra and Quaily and Dylan provided a lot of movement up forward and looked very dangerous every time the ball was in the Nomads’ 50 – although Quaily also had a remarkable shot at goal that the wind took off on a 90 degree angle from him boot. At half time the scores were 4.6.30 to 0.5.5.

In the third quarter the Nomads were kicking Uralla-wards again and really put their collective feet down on the pedal. The forwards were making the most of their opportunities. James Grant—inspired no doubt by his new fangled haircut—kicked a great goal and Brady/Rambo/Choco/Tommy Hunt et al continued their miserly attitude towards the Swans’ attempts to improve the scoreline. At the final change the scores were 7.10.52 to 0.6.6.

The sense that the game was over and it was too cold to be bothered pervaded much of the last quarter. The Swans scored two as did the Nomads but for the great majority of time the ball was on the eastern boundary line, blown over there by a lazy wind that couldn’t be bothered going around you so instead just went right through you. One potential highlight, that unfortunately did not come to pass was Coach Treweeke’s mark and kick from 40 out which didn’t sail truly when the wind inexplicably died just at the moment when the Sherrin hit the boot. The crowd in the newly instituted Treweeke Stand would have gone wild but for the perverse behaviour of the Westerly.

Overall it was a very pleasing win. Now to the challenge ahead. Next week the team play Inverell at their fortress up north. As sports people say time and time again, one week at a time. But if this week’s enthusiasm and team play continues, then the Noeys are in with a pretty damn good chance.

This week’s awards are as follows:

Players Player: Brady Macdonald
Coach’s Award: Clarence Barker
President’s Award: Conor Nest
Meehan’s Plumbing Award Luke Raymond
Captains’s award: Andy Gray

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