Nomads get sung the Swan-song

By Patrick May (Armidale Express, 26/06/2006)
The New England Nomads were unable to catch the Tamworth Swans on Saturday, and went down 13.11.89 to 10.10.70.

The Swans move into top spot on the ladder, two points above the Nomads.

The Armidale-based team are now six points in front of the third placed Saints.

The visitors came out firing at Bellevue Oval, and before the Nomads knew it, they had too much to do after conceding a large early lead.

While Dylan Munyard, Richard Malone, Rhys O’Brien and Mark Handley stood out as the pick of the Nomads players, and the rest of the team never gave up, it was to be the Tamworth team’s day at the end of play.

Nomads coach Adrian Walsh was disappointed to see his side lose top spot, but has already pinpointed the problem areas for the now-clipped high fliers.

“They came out really hard and I think they shocked the boys a little bit,” he said.

“They kicked four quick goals and ended up 28 points up on us early on.

“We didn’t give up which was the pleasing thing, they didn’t run away with it and the boys showed a fair bit of heart, though we’ve got some work to do.

“Our runners were a little bit lethargic, the guys in the middle, the on-ballers didn’t keep up with their runners, and while the back line did a great job they were left exposed in the first quarter.

“After that the guys picked it up, but if it wasn’t for Dylan Munyard, who got best player for us, we would have been in more trouble as he really held it together.”

The Nomads clawed their way back into contention but when they were within striking distance, Tamworth kicked on to create a comfortable buffer and sealed the win.

“To the Swan’s credit, they played good football and they’re a good side: it was a bit the other way round when we played them the first time, as we got the early score on the board,” Walsh said.

“After the first quarter it was fairly even, we caught up but they just did enough all the time.

“Our goal kicking left a bit to be desired, with some of the shots at goal there was a little bit of panic which showed a bit of inexperience.

“A few of our better players were down a bit, probably because they tagged them and manned them up.”

The Nomads were a little bit erratic at crucial times, according to Walsh.

“Tactically we weren’t setting ourselves up properly in terms of having someone to kick behind or out of the play, but the Swans wouldn’t have walked away feeling super confident as they got a start but they couldn’t run away with it which they’ve done to everyone else,” said the coach.

“The tackliing was good and the boys were hard at it, we got to within eight points and then a few things went the other way – I’d rather it happen now than later in the year.

“I wasn’t really happy about us losing and I thought we were a bit over confident at the beginning but the basics are still there, there’s no reason to do an overhaul.

“We have to work at following the ball and the forwards have to practice their kicking, but we’ll be fine.”

The Nomads are in relatively comfortable territory as the competition moves into the university holiday period.

“We’ve got a bye and then a game at Muswellbrook in a fortnight, which is probably going to be the hardest for us as a lot of guys are away, it’s not as bad as in previous years but we’re still under strength,” Walsh said.

Not for reproduction except by permission of the Armidale Express.

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