Nomads Women Versus the Roos

After two home games on the trot, it was our turn to hit the road in our clash against the Tamworth Roos in the Jacob Vallender Memorial Round. The Number One deck was looking superb, and the weather had turned one on for a great day of football. The Roo girls hadn’t been tracking much better than us however with only 11 girls, it was likely going to be a tough day in the office for us. Our girls revel the arduous task of playing short and never use it as an excuse, they see it as a challenge. I think if you asked them what a bench was they’d give you a blank look. Unfortunately, the big third quarter from the Roos gave them the head way to grind out a win with the final score being 2.8.20 to 3.12.30.

We started hard and fast, again catching the opposition off guard. The inaccuracy of the Roos in front of goal was proving costly as el Capitán, Ellie Ryan – in her new-found goal kicking form – kicked the first major of the game. The backline, led by Charlotte Star were working hard to repel the attacking advances of the Roos. The insurmountable pressure from Connie Blake, Molly Fraser and Molly Martin were a likely contributor to the inability of the Roos to score. Composed, link-up play coming out of our backline and across the ground meant we were playing on our terms. All of this culminating into us leading at the first change.

The second term saw the scoring tighten up for us as the Roo girls began to play more on their terms. It was to no avail however as their continued inaccuracy in front of the big sticks prevented them from kicking away. We managed to keep in touch with two minor scores to make it nine apiece at halftime. Skipper Ellie was absolutely everywhere across the ground and was a major thorn in the Roo’s side with her ability to win the hardball and use it well. Her efforts earning her a very well-deserved Player’s Player accolade as voted by her comrades. After two weeks on the sideline with an ankle injury, Ellah Thompson was jumping at the bit to get back on the paddock. Ellah had an absolute blinder, proving herself to be very dangerous around the contest and giving the Roos camp a few headaches.

The severe lack of reinforcements caught up to us in the third quarter. A slight lapse in concentration likely onset by fatigue, gave the Roos the sniff they needed. The Roo girls began to kick true and quickly put three goals on us. Our girls took this in their stride and worked hard to give ourselves opportunities down forward. A few very unlucky, uncharacteristic misses stopped us from capitalising on our good work around the ground. This isn’t to say our pressure and tenacity dropped off, quite the opposite. Ash Wright was having another cracker on the wing, taking some great marks, and hitting up targets with her much improved and accurate kicking.

The girls were knackered but needed to dig deep and find another gear for the fourth quarter. Indeed, that’s what they did. I am in genuine awe of their blatant refusal to throw the towel in. A very momentous occasion occurred during this quarter as Casey Morris soccered the ball off the ground for her first goal and thus breaking her ‘I can only kick *%&#@!$ points’ voodoo. Suddenly the 16-point deficit was reduced to 10 and we had a game on our hands. The backline was impermeable only letting the Roos score two minors for the whole quarter. The composure of the Roos meant they were able to hold on and seize a win. As the old football adage goes – if there had of been another quarter, the final result may have been different.

The girls gave their absolute all and then some. They did everything I asked of them and lifted when the game was on the line, a feat that shows enormous heart and pride in themselves and the jumper. Our system works and what’s more the girls all subscribe to the ‘One for all, and all for one’ mantra. We are agonizingly close to a win. I believe it and the girls believe it. The missing ingredient is simply numbers on game day. As an aside, congratulations to big Tom Hunt on playing 100 games for this great club. He is a terrific clubman and an absolute gentleman. We look forward to next week against the Inverell Saints on the road for the Women’s Round.

Lindsay Brown

Awards:
Player’s Player: Ellie Ryan
Captain’s Award: Ellah Thompson
Coach’s Award: Ash Wright

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