Nomads’ Dashed Dreams

The New England Nomads lost their second semi final match against the Gunnedah Bulldogs and with it the opportunity to host the grand final in Armidale. It was a hard fought match and the Dogs ran away with it in the fourth quarter. Clarrie Barker once again put on a fine display of power marking and was best for the Nomads but Phill Mitchell, Steve Wilson, Wulu Hall, Modra and Tom Hunt all played their hearts out in the backline right until the siren rang. Tim Keys in the ruck, was also a standout.The final score was Gunnedah 15.18.108 to the Nomads 6.9.45.

Once again the weather was warm and the balmy temperatures brought with them the welcome return to the team of the Tallest Man in Botswana, Omphile Temoso. Harry Wakefield (the Guru) and James Big Dawg Treweeke returned from their sojourns down south and out West respectively and Mitch Darton and Luke Raymond were also very welcome inclusions.

The game started badly for the Nomads with the Dogs scoring two goals in the first two minutes. The Nomads have been notoriously slow starters over he pas few seasons and particularly in 2017, but against the Dogs slow starts are fatal. The Noamds regrouped but the Dogs were in deadly form. Phill Mitchell found himself defending against a tall and a short with no one else in the 50 metre arc a number of times and somehow managed to neutralise the danger again and again. Modra was doing well in the midfield working with Keysie. The Dogs however were too strong across the ground and had numerous scoring shots. Thankfully they left their goal-kicking boots in the grain shed and missed many relatively easy opportunities. If they had not the game might have been, for all intents and purposes, over at the first quarter.

The second quarter saw the Nomads kicking with the breeze and optimistic they could turn things around. But it was not to be. The Dogs ran the ball too easily around the flanks and the Nomads lacked a means of getting the ball forward. But again thanks to wayward kicking by the Dogs, the Nomads were only four goals down.

The third quarter saw the Nomads improve their work rate and, in particular, stronger defensive work by the forwards meant the ball stayed in the forward 50 for longer periods of time. Unfortunately, the Nomads kicking boots seemed to have gone missing at half time and kicked a lamentable 5 points in a row at one point (though it must be said that one of those points looked to these jilbi-eyes to sail right through the centre – indeed the mathematically exact centre – but the goal umpire was not of the same mind).

At the final break The Coach noted that the Nomads would have to take risks if they were to win. And risks they did take but perhaps they were the wrong risks. Anyway, the Bulldogs ran away with the win and scored heavily in this last quarter.

Despite the loss there were many fine performances and with some dedication at training and more attack on the ball, then the Nomads can win in a fortnight. But first we must beat Inverell in the Preliminary Final at the Bellevue. If you are in the vicinity get along. It should be a fascinating encounter.

Round SF2 2017

Bulldogs def. Nomads
FT1518108 6945


  • C. Barker,
  • S. Bioletti,
  • E. Bray,
  • V. Chakalisa,
  • L. Cudmore,
  • M. Darton,
  • W. Hall,
  • M. Harriot,
  • T. Hunt,
  • T. Keys,
  • P. Mitchell,
  • J. Petrascu,
  • L. Raymond,
  • W. Reynolds,
  • D. Richards,
  • O. Temoso,
  • P. Tobias,
  • J. Treweeke,
  • H. Wakefield,
  • M. Walker,
  • A. Walsh,
  • S. Wilson.


  • C. Barker (2),
  • L. Raymond (2),
  • D. Richards,
  • H. Wakefield.

Award winners:

  • C. Barker (Players' Player),
  • W. Hall (Coach's),
  • S. Wilson (President's),
  • T.Keys (Captain's),
  • T. Hunt (Meehan's Plumbing Services').

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