Bulldogs a speed bump for Nomads

By Michael Morrissey (Armidale Express, 30/04/2007)
The New England Nomads received their first scare of the season when they faced the Gunnedah Bulldogs in Gunnedah on Saturday.

Despite eventually winning 11.12.78 to 8.10.58, the Nomads were pushed to their limit against the Gunnedah club.

Not helping matters was a groin injury to star forward Mark Handley, forcing him to the sideline for the second half after he kicked five early goals.

However, according to Nomads coach Adrian Walsh, the match was the first chance to see how the club handled close contests.

“To Gunnedah’s credit they put it right up us and gave us a bit of a shock,” he said.

“I always knew they’d be much harder than they were the week before. They were missing six of their best against Inverell.

“They’re hard in the middle and have some good footballers and they always have pride at home.

“We had a couple of easy wins and hadn’t had to fight and they fought us for every kick and to their credit they’ll be a reasonable side.

“The best thing to come out of it was in the last quarter the team, especially the young blokes, fought and put their foot down and did all the necessary things to win.”

After breaking out to an early lead, the Nomads were reeled back in by the Dogs in the second and third quarters.

However, a final quarter goal blitz by the Nomads ensured they finished 20-point victors on the day.

The win was especially important as it forced the Nomads to look for players other than Handley to get their goals.

“We’ve got a hard game against Inverell this weekend so it was good for them to see what it is to play close footy, rather than just kicking the ball to Handles (Mark Handley) and having him kick a goal,” Walsh said.

“It’s been pretty easy just to lob the ball up to Handles and have him kick a goal, but suddenly we had to make other options.

“We had one new player, who played with us back in 2005, come back – a guy called Dan Gardiner.

“He played at centre-half forward and he needs to get a bit fitter, but he’s got a great pair of hands.

“Glen Northway played a good game again. He’s enjoying being captain and he’s leading by example at the moment.

“Anthony Reid did well in the ruck again. He rucked well and marked well around the ground all day. He had big shoes to fill after Tommy Hunt left.

“Anthony Alderuccio had an enormous impact on the game even though they tagged him all day.”

Not for reproduction except by permission of the Armidale Express

Comments are closed.

  • League standings

  • Swans
  • Saints
  • Roos
  • Nomads
  • Bulldogs
  • Suns & Eagles
  • Full table
  • The Nomads thank: