Missed opportunities cost Nomads share of TAFL competition lead

By Matt McLennan (Armidale Express, 25/05/2009)
Armidale’s New England Nomads have slipped to third place on the Tamworth Australian Football League (TAFL) competition ladder, after their second consecutive loss on Saturday.

The Nomads went down 16-11-107 to 10-18-78 in Tamworth, in a match where windy conditions played havoc with both sides.

Missed goals hurt the Nomads on Saturday. They kicked one goal and seven behinds in the final quarter, only to lose by four goals.

“Some of the lads came up to me at the end of the game and asked if we’d be kicking goals at training this week, and that’s definitely what we’ll be doing,” Nomads coach Brendan Meehan said.

“Some of the shots we missed were under pressure, but a lot of them were set-up shots.

“The wind didn’t help. It wasn’t just one-way wind, it was gusty and swirly and that played havoc with us.”

Things looked good for the Nomads early on. Despite kicking into a stiff breeze, they booted the first two goals of the match.

Then they let things slip. The Roos gained composure and confidence and recovered to kick six straight.

“We let them get away a little bit. We have to have more heart when attacking the ball, rather than letting them attack the ball and playing chase football,” Meehan said.

Meehan also lamented his side’s penchant for reverting to long goal attempts, rather than being patient and waiting for the goals to come.

“We need to look around and consider kicking to someone a little closer to the goal, rather than putting the long kicks in and just hoping someone or a goal will be on the end of it,” he said.

The Nomads’ Botswanan ruckman, Omphile Temeso, was one of the best on park in the loss.

“He had a great match, everyone has been really surprised at how quickly he’s picked the game up,” Meehan said.

“He’s still got a fair way to go, but he’s been having some great matches.”

Meehan also named forward Adam Wright, centre Matt Maxwell, and Clinton Ballagh as standouts in his side.

Ballagh was playing in the relatively unfamiliar back position.

“We have put him there a couple of times this year, it’s a matter of working with the players you have got,” Meehan said.

The Nomads will travel again this week, this time to Gunnedah for a match against the Bulldogs.

“I haven’t seen them play this season. I have been told they are good at
home,” Meehan said.

Hamish Pierce is expected to return for that match. Pierce has missed the last three matches, after picking up a knee injury in the first round.

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