Nomads no match for premiers in opener

By Matt Nicholls (Armidale Express, 12/04/2010)
New England Nomads were no match for Tamworth Swans in their opening match of the Tamworth AFL season on Saturday.

Down by 74 points at half time, it appeared a flogging was on the cards for the Armidale-based side, but after a group discussion at the main break, the Nomads fought back to win the second half, going down by 68 points – 20.17 (137) to 11.3 (69).

Despite the 11-goal loss, New England coach Brendan Meehan remained positive after the match.

“We had seven or eight players who were new to the team and four of those guys had never played the game before,” he said.

“At half time we had a chat and they had two options – lay down and let them (Swans) kill us – or stand up and have a go.

“It was pleasing to see our guys come out firing in the third quarter.”

Matt Maxwell was one of New England’s main contributors, rotating between the midfield and defence, while Weston Whitby provided his usual spark up front and in the centre.

Omphile Temoso again rucked well for the duration of the game, while Clinton Ballagh, interchanging with Maxwell, was another solid performer.

First gamer Gavin Nelson was given the daunting task of tagging a Swans onballer as his first assignment, however Meehan said the debutant handled the pressure superbly.

“He did a great job and he loved every minute of it,” the coach said.

“No doubt he’ll continue to get better as the season goes on.”

In front of goals, Matthew Bourke finished with three majors, while Ron Clark, Caleb Dobos and Whitby each snagged two for the Nomads.

However, in a major blow for New England, Dobos left the field with an ankle injury which is expected to see him sidelines for a large portion of the season.

“He has a fracture in his ankle which will see him in a cast for at least six weeks,” Meehan revealed yesterday.

“By the time he gets up and running I’ll say he’ll be out for 10-12 weeks.”

The Nomads battled injuries and cramp for much of the second half, with Meehan unable to interchange players in the final 10 minutes of the game.

“We had a few guys go down with minor injuries but a lot of guys were cramping up towards the end,” he said.

“This weekend we have a bye before heading to Narrabri so hopefully we’ll have a few more guys available.”

Narrabri returned to the Tamworth AFL competition in winning fashion on Saturday, beating Muswellbrook by 54 points.

In Narrabri, the Eagles, who had not played in the TAFL since 2007, returned in the best fashion.

“It was a real good start,” Eagles coach Phil Dennis said on Saturday evening.

“We came out of the blocks well, had a pretty good first quarter and got a score on the board early.

“It was a great effort first up.

“We’ve been getting good numbers to training but only had our intra club match as a trial.

“The boys all put in a good effort but there is still room for improvement.”

Dennis said the Eagles had a number of club and code debutantes Saturday, one of whom kicked five goals.

“Don Millburn’s played soccer and come over to us. He kicked five goals in his first game,” Dennis said.

“We had a rugby union convert, Andrew Irvine, who also played well all around the ground.

“Paul Bushby hadn’t played before but was great for us and captain Duane Shawcross was tireless.”

In the other TAFL match on Saturday, the Tamworth Roos had a 50-point victory over Gunnedah. Inverell had a bye.

Not for reproduction except by permission of the Armidale Express

Round 1 2010

Swans def. Nomads
Q18351 128
HT141094 3220
Q31711113 9256
FT2017137 11369


  • C. Ballagh,
  • D. Bioletti,
  • M. Bourke,
  • D. Brown,
  • M. Clayton,
  • R. Crump,
  • C. Dobos,
  • M. Dowdle,
  • D. Dunlop,
  • M. Hamilton,
  • M. Maxwell,
  • C. Merrick,
  • C. Murray,
  • G. Nelson,
  • B. Page,
  • O. Temoso,
  • P. Tobias,
  • J. Vesey,
  • G. Wagstaff,
  • T. Walsh,
  • W. Whitby,
  • J. Wright.


  • M. Bourke (3),
  • R. Crump (2),
  • W. Whitby (2),
  • C. Ballagh,
  • C. Dobos,
  • J. Wright,
  • P. Tobias.

Award winners:

  • M. Maxwell (Players' Player),
  • O. Temoso (Coach's),
  • M. Clayton (President's),
  • M. Bourke (Captain's),
  • G. Nelson (VC's),
  • R. Crump (Red Rooster).

3 Responses to “Nomads no match for premiers in opener”

  1. Ron Says:

    Bollocks! Clark? Clark? I hardly ever merit a mention in the report, score two goals and the buggers get my name wrong. Typical.

  2. max Says:

    bad luck ronny…

    you’ll just have to kick 6 next game and send the media release yourself.

  3. Matt Nicholls Says:

    Sorry Ron, but if someone gave us the team sheet, goal scorers and best players etc. each Saturday night or Sunday morning that wouldn’t be a problem 🙂

    Maybe you can petition it at training tomorrow night!

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