New England lose another Battle of Bellevue

Story – Dave MacLellan. Photos – Mel Gatsby

Round 10 2008 home v Gunnedah Bulldogs
Players watch as the Bulldogs draw level in third on the TAFL ladder

Six days ago today, a woefully under strength Nomads hosted and lost to the resurgent Gunnedah and District Bulldogs in a deplorable display by the usually clinical men in green. The missing players were too numerous to name, however the New England side seemed to be complacent with this brilliant excuse to lose and appeared to lack heart, passion and intensity at key moments in the game.

The final margin of thirty-seven points was a credit to what has historically been a tight Nomads defense. The Nomad defenders deserve praise because most had played under five career AFL games and for the majority of the game were left without guidance from experienced players.

For the Nomads, Caleb Dobos and Lahl Jenkins continued their recent hot form on the wings and the usual suspects of Anthony Reid, Glen Northway and Clint Ballagh were a standard above the play. The Clydesdale workhorse of the Nomads midfielders, Matt Maxwell was an early casualty suffering after an impact that was both late and high, damaging his right eye-socket .New England did unearth an amazing new talent, Sam Trotman, although as luck would have it, Sam seriously injured his shoulder playing Rugby League for the Armidale Rams the following day. The Nomads wish Sam a speedy recovery, hope his injury was unrelated to winning both the Captain’s Award and Players’ Player Mug the previous night and hope he chooses AFL in future.

Round 10 2008 Gunnedah at home photo two
Reidy explains some of the finer points to a Gunnedah player

Saturday’s game sees the Nomads host a Tamworth Kangaroos side who are currently on a long winning streak. However, as is often the case for the Nomads during the University of New England and school holidays, the lack of experienced numbers on the Nomads list will have a larger impact on the result than the standard of the opposition.

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