Whitby secures semi on the buzzer

Nomads through to the big one after beating the Swans
By Michael Morrissey (Armidale Express, 28/08/2006)
An after the buzzer goal to Weston Whitby has skyrocketed the New England Nomads through to the Tamworth Australian Football League grand final.

The Nomads beat the Tamworth Swans 16.6.102 to 15.9.99 after the referee caleld a penalty for a high tackle on Whitby, the win all the more important because it brought with it a home ground grand final.

Whitby never looked like missing the shot on goal, placing the pill perfectly between the uprights.

The nine-goal hero was carried of the field by his overjoyed teammates as the Nomads relished the fact they’d be finsihing their season with a premiership shot at Bellevue Oval.

The Nomads tooks the lead heading into the first quarter and remained in front at halftime and at the end of the third quarter.

But according to coach Adrian Walsh the lead bounced back and forth between the two squads in the final quarter of the game.

“The lead changed five or six times in the last quarter but at no point did it look like people had given up,” he said.

“It was a really good win.

“The team played really well. I think the thing with them at the moment is there’s a real team spirit.

“It’s the first time we’ve played the full four quarters.

“Everyone rose to the challenge.”

Walsh, who was coaching alongside Brendan Nolan, gave particular credit to the backline outfit of Rich Malone, Brendan Meehan, Nick McBride and Mark Curran.

“They really do work together as a unit and it was a very disciplined effort on their part,” he said.

Walsh also credited Whitby, Glen Northway and Tom Hunt.

“We probably didn’t take as much advantage of Tom’s ruckwork as we could have,” he said.

“He’s winning every ruck and we’re not getting the first use of it in the way we should be.”

Walsh was impressed with the performance the Nomads gave against the Swans – the form squad in the final rounds of the regular TAFL season.

“They play a similar type of game so we had to shut them down while trying to play ourselves,” he said.

“When we moved the ball quickly in the forward line we were really dangerous.

“One of the things we were avoiding was two on one contests and kicking to where we could lose.

“We held the ball off and were careful where we kicked to and who we kicked to.”

The Nomads will continue training this week, eagerly awaiting the result from Saturday’s preliminary final between the Swans and Inverell Saints.

Not for reproduction except by permission of the Armidale Express.

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