Sawtell Saints win Tablelands Cup

The New England Nomads were unable to retain the Tablelands Cup title that they won for the first time in 2008, the Sawtell Saints lifting the trophy at the end of a good day of football.

The six entrants were divided into two pools and a round-robin was held within each of these. In pool A the Nomads faced the Tamworth Swans and the Sawtell Saints, defeating the former in the day’s opening game before losing to the eventual competition winners.

Against the Tamworth Swans the Nomads started slowly but improved as the game went on, running the ball better to come out fairly comfortable winners.

Their massive, almost 100-point, victory in the 2008 North Coast AFL Grand Final indicates the strength of the Sawtell Saints. They did not have to reach any great heights against New England on Saturday however, finding plenty of space through disciplined positional play and dominating the physical contests.

Pool B saw the Gunnedah Bulldogs, Inverell Saints and Nambucca Valley Lions competing. Gunnedah came out on top in this group beating both of their opponents to qualify for the Grand Final.

Following the early departure of the Tamworth Swans, the afternoon’s play-offs had to be rejigged with the three teams that did not qualify for the Grand Final playing a mini round-robin of single 20-minute period games. In these, the Nomads lost to the Inverell Saints and finished with a win against the Nambucca Valley Lions, while the Lions beat Inverell.

The final game of the afternoon saw the Sawtell Saints and Gunnedah Bulldogs compete for the trophy, with Sawtell coming out on top to go through the competition undefeated.

A number of players made their debut for the Nomads, all contributing well throughout. Omphile Tomoso and Matt Pett in their first games of Aussie Rules did excellently, while Hamish Pearce, Matt Bourke and Matt Green look like more than useful additions to the club. A special mention has to go to Tom Walsh, who made his debut alongside his Dad and kicked his first goal. New club captain Matt Maxwell performed consistently well all day and finished runner-up in the best and fairest.

While there is plenty of room for improvement, and a number of specific areas were identified throughout the day, the overall performance level of the Nomads was very encouraging to the club coaches.

The day was very successful, both as a competition and socially. Thanks are due to Ben Page who was responsible for organising the event and to everyone that helped out with officiating, scoring, catering during the day (names too numerous to mention, you know who you are!).

Full results

Grand final Sawtell 9.2 (56) def. Bulldogs 2.5 (17)
Pool A Nomads 7.5 (47) def. Swans 3.4 (22)
  Swans 3.4 (22) def. by Sawtell 8.7 (55)
  Nomads 7.3 (45) def. by Sawtell 10.6 (66)
Pool B Lions 4.4 (28) def. by Inverell 5.8 (38)
  Inverell 1.1 (7) def. by Bulldogs 7.4 (46)
  Lions def. by Bulldogs
Other1 Nomads 2.3 (15) def. by Inverell 3.3 (21)
  Lions 6.2 (38) def. Inverell 2.6 (18)
  Lions 2.1 (13) def. by Nomads 3.6 (24)

1Single period games.

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