Nomads Women dealt a narrow loss at Bellevue

This Saturday had us hosting the Tamworth Roos at the spiritual home of football in the New England, Bellevue oval. Coming off a strong win the previous week and with good numbers this week we were set to notch up another victory. The Roos squad had no intention of giving up a win on the road and so the stage was set for good hit out. Both teams played with 16 with no bench. A shock for the Roos but just another day in the office for our girls. A fast start by the tourists set the tone for the rest of game and our girls just couldn’t claw back the deficit. When all was said and done, the final margin was only 11 points with the final score line being 3.3.21 to 5.2.32.

Heading in the game, we made a point of starting red hot. We couldn’t underestimate the opposition and expect things were going to go our way. The girls had this ethos at the front of their mind at the first bounce. The regular midfield battled to get clearances to give us first use of the footy. Ellah ‘ET’ Thompson was a notable out from the midfield unit, with Casey ‘I can kick goals’ Morris seamlessly slotting in to fill the spot. The Roos challenged us early on with three unlucky free quicks resulting in three quick goals. The scoring would suggest the contest was one sided which would be misleading. A good old fashioned arm wrestle ensued for the remainder of the quarter. We unfortunately just couldn’t convert our forward entries. El Capitán, Madi ‘The Bull’ Moar and Rampaging Molly Martin were doing their best around the ground to give our forwards every opportunity. Alas, the Roos defense did their job, keeping us scoreless for the first quarter.

A little rattled by the scoreline, the girls were determined to not let the opposition run away with a win on our home deck. We stuck to our game plan and kept the ball locked in our forward 50 for close to 99% of the quarter. The repeat entries were a nightmare for Roos defense. For a period of five minutes the footy pin balled back and forth over the same 50m of ground. The rushed kicks out of the Roos defense were being cut off by Caiti D’Gluyas who racked up her weekly quota of possessions within five minutes. The equation is simple: repeat entries = scoring opportunities. After coming agonisingly close to kicking her first major last week, Bri was not going to let another opportunity pass her by. Awarded a free kick about 30m out, she leant back on her kick and slotted a beautiful set shot goal to get us on the board. The backline lead by our glorious defensive leader General Star redeemed themselves and kept the Roos scoreless. Molly Fraser was using her voice well to make sure we were setting up a Great Wall defence behind the footy. Only 10 points down at half time meant we were absolutely still in the game, but we needed a big second half if we wanted the choccies.

Sensing the importance of the next 20 minutes of footy in the aptly named ‘premiership quarter’, both teams battled each other to get a stronghold on the game. The backline only conceded one goal however we couldn’t hit the scoreboard to reduce the difference. Debutante Imogen Turnball was doing well up and down the wing, preventing attacking rebound run from the Roos. Fellow debutantes Georgia Turner and Courtney Hornabrook were working hard to win the ball up forward and keep the Roos defence on its toes, both showing promising signs. Needing a spell, Casey ‘I can kick goals’ Morris swapped out to the wing, giving our fourth debutante, Sally Finch a run through the middle. This was a pleasing revelation as Sally demonstrated her potential to be a great inside player. After a few more games, she will be dangerous and will provide extra depth to our midfield operation. The greater number of players on the field were causing extra congestion. The space we often enjoy simply wasn’t present. This made scoring difficult so despite our efforts, we were still three goals down at three quarter time.

Skipper Ellie demanded that each and every player give their all for the start of the last quarter. Coming back from such a deficit in the context of the game was going to be arduous but a task we were more than capable of taking on. In Ellie and Madi we trust, both standing up when it mattered and kicking majors to get the margin within 11 points. Madi again kicking a miracle goal, this time from an impossible angle on the goal line. Link up plays coming out of our defence were fantastic and allowed us to pick through the Roos defensive structure. An effort to free up space in our forward 50 allowed Lauren Nest to stream out of the goal square in true full forward fashion and clunk marks. We were coming home strong, but the experience and polish of the Roos held us out as they managed to grind out a win. As was the case the last time we played the Roos if there had of been a fifth quarter, we may have seen a different result.

Losing by 11 points is disappointing, especially when it was a very winnable game. In light of this there are still a lot of positives to come from it. Blooding new recruits and giving them a taste of the great game of Australian Rules Football will only do good things for our team going forward. Our game plan is proving to be effective and formidable. We do the one percent things. We play for each other. The weekend shows we still have things to work on and that we are still building. We have formed a really solid base and are headed on a lofty trajectory.

Lindsay Brown
Women’s Coach

Player’s Player: Charlotte Star
Captain’s Award: Sally Finch
Coach’s Award: Madi Moar

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