Nomads pass first test

By Ben Lonergan (Armidale Express, 18/06/2014)
It took six rounds, but someone has finally tested the New England Nomads.

Sikhumbuzo Maseko looks to handball while being tackled by an Eagles' defender.

Sikhumbuzo Maseko looks to handball while being tackled by an Eagles’ defender.

The Nomads trailed the Narrabri Eagles by two at three-quarter time on Saturday at Bellevue Oval, the first time the side faced a deficit after any quarter all season.

The Nomads flogged Narrabri by almost 90 points the last time the two sides met this season, but they faced a much tougher task this time around.

But Narrabri were unable to capitalise on their lead heading into the final quarter as the Nomads outscored the Eagles 28-7 in the period to run away for a 73-54 win and remain undefeated.

The Nomads were missing a number of their usual stars including player-coach Zac Economou.

Wayward kicking in the first quarter cost the Nomads dearly.

They kicked five behinds before finally booting a goal and could only manage one more in the quarter to lead 18-13.

“We could have sealed the match in the first quarter if we had of kicked straighter,” stand-in coach Adrian Walsh said.

The Nomads could only manage one goal in the second quarter as the Eagles smothered any scoring chance the home side created.

Although the Eagles failed to take advantage and only kicked one goal themselves as the Nomads took a slender on point 24-23 lead into the main break.

The Nomads booted three goals in the third quarter, but Narrabri responded with four of their own, and for the first time this year the Nomads were behind.

It was time to step up and the Nomads certainly did in the last quarter to scratch out a win, but it wasn’t without getting a scare first.

Nomads skipper Weston Whitby led from the front and booted four goals, while Tom Granleese was the only other multiple scorer with two.

“It was a good hard game,” Walsh said.

“They played well and have some very good players.

“We were short, but I’m not going to make excuses.

“You still have to win these games.

“Hopefully the boys will have learnt from that one.”

Walsh said Tom Hunt, Whitby, Granleese and Dave Richards were the Nomads’ best.

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