Nomads pluck Swans

Handley boots 13 goals in grand final replay
By Michael Morrissey (Armidale Express, 23/04/2007)
The New England Nomads have continued their winning ways with 107-point victory over the Tamworth Swans at Bellevue Oval.

In a replay of the 2006 Tamworth Australian Football League (TAFL) grand final, the Nomads got out to an early lead and never let go.

They eventually finished 21.10.136 to 3.4.29 in front.

Once again Mark Handley was a deciding factor for the Nomads, booting 13 goals.

“He’s got 30 (goals) for the season already,” Nomads coach Adrian Walsh said.

“He marked well and kicked well. He got good deliveries from the forward line again.”

According to Walsh, the Nomads almost had the game in the bag after an emphatic first quarter showing.

“The first quarter was five goals to one point and basically it was all over then,” he said.

“In some ways we cruised a bit too much.

“There’s a lot of room for improvement there, but its hard to push sometimes when the side is already beaten.

“It’s hard to keep te momentum once you’ve got a good lead.

“But there’s a lot of pleasing signs, especially with the young blokes who have come on.”

The big difference for the Nomads was their fluidity and cohesion on the park.

“The good thing is we’re starting to play some running football, people are linking up,” Walsh said.

“A lot of the time last year our forwards weren’t looked after. Now we’re feeding it into the forwards.”

Walsh also acknowledged that the Swans weren’t fully staffed for the game.

“They were undermanned so I don’t want to get too carried away with it at this stage because we’ve still got the Kangaroos and Inverell,” he said.

“They’ve lost a lot of players. A lot of guys retired.

“Nonetheless, we haven’t beaten them in Armidale since 2004.

“It’s good to get the win over them at home.”

As well as Handley, new Nomad recruit Anthony Alderuccio gave a top performance on the paddock.

“He played really well. He was hard in the middle and got a lot of ball early on, particularly when the game was up for grabs,” Walsh said.

“Alderuccio got a lot of good ball out of the centre and just put in the right spot,” Walsh said.

“Solomon Hanks played a really good game. He’s coming into his own now.

“One of the things with Handley there is that they’re going to concentrate on him.

“Sol provided an alternative option which is important and he kicked beautifully.

“Caleb Dobos got a lot of ball and showed a lot of promise. He showed presence of mind in delivering the ball.”

Walsh gave kudos to Anthony Reid, Matty Maxwell, Glen Norethway, Brendan Meehan and Matt West.

The Nomads will face the Gunnedah Bulldogs in Gunnedah next weekend.

“Again, they’re not particularly strong, but you can never take anyone in the competition lightly,” Walsh said.

Not reproduction except by permission of the Armidale Express

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