Nomads close but not close enough in the Grand Final

A valiant New England Nomads lost by 11 points to the Gunnedah Bulldogs on the 24th of August, the final scores being 13.12.90 to 11.13.79. It was an unfortunate repeat of the result in 2017 where the Nomads were narrowly defeated. In this case it was the Nomads poor first quarter that did them in. Luke ‘Rambo’ Raymond, with his hard ball-gets was best for the Nomads and unusually for a grand final he was nominated as the player of the Grand Final, despite being on the losing side. One can’t help but feel that if this unit had had a few more weeks playing together, they could have triumphed, but all congratulations to the Bulldogs who were the best team all year.

The team, driven by the all-round good bloke Harry Munday, arrived in good time. It was a lovely sunny day as seems always to be the way in times of drought.

It was a strong team with the inclusion of the likes of Tommy Hunt, Clarrie Barker and Morgan Dunn returning and the omens were good before the game.

However, the omens didn’t count on the first quarter. The Nomads kicked easterly against the breeze but really weren’t switched on enough. The Dogs were fired up and hit every contest hard. The Nomads weren’t in the right head space, or so it seemed. Although the Nomads have been in 7 grand finals in the past 8 years, for many of the players this was their first grand final and grand-final nerves were on display in this first quarter.And bad kicking let them down. At the end of the first quarter the scores were 5.4.34 to 1.3.9. If it wasn’t for Frosty in the last line of defence and Brady Macdonald on the back line, things would have been much worse. Conor Nest was also playing well.

It was clear the Nomads really had to turn this around if they were to have even the semblance of a chance. In the second quarter it was two of the juniors who led the way. Morgan Dunn and Dylan Moore, through the centre and the half-forward line, demonstrated the tenacity and willingness to take opportunities that had been missing in the first quarter. Rambo was amazingly hard at every contest in this quarter as he was in the other three. Again and again in the middle Rambo threw himself into contests and seemingly willed the ball forwards. David ‘Modra’ Richards was being heavily tagged and moved into the middle where he was causing a lot of damage. Ion the backline Clarrie Barker was a rock.

At half-time the scores were 8.9.57 to 5.5.35. And the Nomads were showing glimpses of the kind of form required to win the match.

At the start of the third quarter Big Tom Hunt went into the ruck and dominated in the aerial contest around the ground. The Nomads kicked 4 goals to the Dogs 3 so at the final break the scores were 11.10.76 to 9.9.63.

And so to the final quarter. At one point the Nomads got within 2 points but that was as close as it got. Both sides kicked two goals which meant the Dogs were able to finish out the game winning by 11 points. The Dogs probably had more legs and were deserved winners.

However, it was a learning experience for many of the boys and most of the team will be about next year so let’s hope we can get a good pre-season happening and go one further in 2020.

The awards were as follows:

Players player (and grand final medalist): Luke Raymond
President’s award: Dylan Moore
Coach’s award: MorganDunn
Meehans Plumbing award: David Richards
Captain’s award: Clarrie Barker

I want to finish with some thanks for the year. To Brendan Meehan who has been there year-in year-out since 2006 and is a tireless worker. To Andrew Corbett who has been with us for two years and was up for just about anything work-wise and who sadly has left us now with his move to Canberra. To Gus Barker, goal-umpire extraordinaire (a job he has been doing since 2005). To Liam Cudmore, who has worked tirelessly over the past few years coaching the women’s team (and who will be heading back to Sydney next year). To Kristin Willis for all the work she did organising the women’s team. To Kayla Hall for the lavish Thursday evening meals she provided towards the end of the season. To Harry Munday who was willing to drive buses and organise social events and help out generally about the place. And to all those who assisted during the year (who I might have forgotten). Thanks to all of you.

Also a special mention to the Moore family, Jamie, Melissa and Dylan who are heading back to Tasmania and who will be sorely missed about the place. People so willing to put their hands up for so many tasks are extremely rare. Thanks for all your work.

Finally, thanks to the UNE coach of the year James Treweeke. He showed belief in the players and enormous patience through what was a very uneven year. We nearly got there for you. Well done Big Dawg!

Leave a Reply

  • Coming up:

  • No events to show
  • Latest results:

  • Nomads def. by Swans
  • 12.13 (85) to 14.13 (97)
  • Roos def. by Saints
  • 9.5 (59) to 10.18 (78)
  • More
  • League standings

  • Saints
  • Bulldogs
  • Nomads
  • Swans
  • Roos
  • Suns
  • Full table
Celebrating 50 years of football at UNE
  • The Nomads thank: