Nomads Win their way to a 6th Consecutive Grand Final

In defeating the Inverell Saints on Saturday at the Bellevue Cathedral in what was a tightly fought contest (and Wulu Hall’s 50th game), the New England Nomads have won the right to play in the Grand Final next Saturday in Gunnedah. It was a pleasing return to form for the Nomads. The team was lead in the forward line by Harry Wakefield who kicked a lazy seven goals sauntering around casually in the forward pocket, while Ethan Karpany kicked 4 and Clarrie Barker 3. In the backline Paddy Tobias was a standout and Tim Keys, Jesse Petrascu and Luke Raymond were too strong in the middle for the Saints. The final score was 18.4.112 to 10.12.72.

The Nomads and Inverell have played a large number of finals against one another over the past few years and this promised to be another hard fought match. Once again Armidale turned on some fine weather, which has been the case for much of the year. Balmy one day, perfect the next.

The Nomads, with freshly washed jumpers, kicked to the Uralla end at the first bounce, as has been their want all year, and soon found touch. The Nomads had elected to play their fast smalls in the forward-line with Modra, Karps and Haz patrolling the forward 50. Modra kicked a fine goal from the boundary line while Harry Wakefield was causing all sorts of headaches for the Saints backmen. Karps was also taking strong overhead marks. However it was not all plain sailing and at times their co-Nomads forgot about the height factor and bombed the ball in. Rambo was particularly amazing in this quarter with his hussle and bustle and willingness to attack the contested ball – and Paddy Tobias was drinking from the same cup. The backline, in general, were performing admirably against the talented Saints forwards with Tom Hunt and Phill Mitchell leading by example. Alex Shem—who was a welcome return to the team—was unfortunately injured in this first quarter and was to play not further part in the game. At the first break the scores were 5.1.31 to 2.2.14.

The second quarter saw some hard contested football. The Nomads were kicking to the Grandstand end and Harry was on fire: indeed by the end of this quarter he had 6 goals to his name. The Nomads were also kicking straight. Wulu Hall was killing it in the backline and Keysie continued to dominate in the midfield working well with Holbrook’s finest export to this region, Nick Locke. But there were some worrying signs. After having a full bench for the first time in months, the Nomads found themselves with three injuries and, obviously, less options for interchanges. Young Mitch Harriot was a standout in defence and in one remarkable passage of play beat three Inverell players single-handedly. If it were not for three egregious mistakes on the wing where a lack of talk amongst the players allowed the Saints back in with three goals, then the Nomads would have gone to the half-time break with a very comfortable lead. Instead the score was 9.2.56 to 6.7.43.

In the third quarter, the Nomads backs were under a great deal of pressure with the Saints pushing forward continually but led by the Wildman from Grafton Road, Phill Mitchell, the Nomads were able to restrict their northern neighbours to a single goal. At times the Nomads kicking to the small forwards was not as precise nor thoughtful as it could have been and allowed the Saints talls to take advantage of their height. And a switch really does need to have a low arc if it is to be effective.

Be that as it may, the score at the final change was 12.2.74 to 9.9.63, a little too close for comfort. It was not clear which way the match was heading though the Saints and their bigger bodies seemed to be tiring.

The answer to that puzzle was soon answered with the Nomads scoring their first goal in the opening 30 seconds of the game. During this quarter Clarrie and Nick Lowe went forward and changed the dynamic with both of them taking some very good overhead grabs against what are quality backs and demonstrating what they are capable of. Clarrie kicked a clever snap from a boundary throw-in which given how much time he practices in that quarter of the oval he probably should never miss, but when he kicked that goal it sealed the match. Wulu, who was clearly enjoying his 50th game was dominant across the half-backline. The Nomads ran out comfortable winners.

Now to the grand final. The Dogs are clearly the favourites, especially on their home turf, but if the Nomads can play their own brand of football then they are clearly capable of beating the Dogs. See you all on the track!

PS A final note – rather than using the eco-friendly upcountry organic soap powder of recent times, this week the jumpers were washed using the rougher chemicals to be found in the West End of Uralla region and this clearly had the desired effect of generating the requisite intestinal fortitude.

Round PF 2017

Nomads def. Saints
Q15131 2214
HT9256 6743
Q312274 9963
FT184112 101272


  • C. Barker,
  • S. Bioletti,
  • E. Bray,
  • V. Chakalisa,
  • L. Cudmore,
  • W. Hall,
  • M. Harriot,
  • T. Hunt,
  • E. Karpany,
  • T. Keys,
  • N. Locke,
  • S. Macdonald,
  • P. Mitchell,
  • J. Petrascu,
  • L. Raymond,
  • D. Richards,
  • A. Shem,
  • S. Snowden,
  • P. Tobias,
  • J. Treweeke,
  • H. Wakefield,
  • S. Wilson.


  • H. Wakefield (7),
  • E. Karpany (4),
  • C. Barker (3),
  • N. Locke (2),
  • D. Richards,
  • T. Keys.

Award winners:

  • H. Wakefield (Players' Player),
  • W. Hall (Coach's),
  • L. Raymond (President's),
  • T. Keys (Captain's),
  • P. Tobias (Meehan's Plumbing Services').

One Response to “Nomads Win their way to a 6th Consecutive Grand Final”

  1. Darin Gorry Says:

    Well done fellas! Only one more win to go. Go the Nomads! Not sure I can make it in body but I’ll be with you in spirit.

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