Nomads endanger their spot in the finals with a heavy loss

The New England Nomads goal of winning a 9th premiership had been hindered by a loss against the Dogs in Gunnedah on Saturday. Despite the valiant efforts of Tom Hunt, Clarrie.Barker and Chsarlie Paine in the midfield, as well as the strong defensive work of Noah Connick and the man rapidly coming back tohis Handsome Best, Mr Ira Sulzberger the Nomads were unable to stop the running football of the Dogs. Pat Sharpe kicked 4 and was a lone figure in the forward line. The game also saw the arrival of another member of the Hunt clan, Oscar, who somewhat ironically hails from Gunnedah and in his first game of australian rules kicked the first two goals of the game. Final scores were Gunnedah 18.11.119 to Nomads 9.16.70.

Warm weather greeted the Nomads in Gunnedah. The men had a number of big outs, including Phill Mitchell, Conor Nest, Eric the Eel (who once TOLD the world’s greatest whale joke), Jetski and J-Rod Veall and went to Gunnedah with a squad of 19.

The first quarter saw the Nomads kicking to the Western and this quarter started well with two quick goals from Oscar Hunt (two kicks of a Sherrin and two goals – it doesn’t get more efficient than that). The midfield was on top and the forwards were firing. However, the kicking at goal left a lot to be desired. The Nomads could have killed the game off in the first quarter if they had kicked more accurately. Clarrie, Modra, Yeppie and Big Tom were unstoppable in the middle. And Ira was up to his usual Feinian tactics in the backline intercepting loose balls while Noah marked everything in the air that came his way. At the end of the first quarter the scores were Nomads 4.7.31 to 2.0.12 (and it must be said many of those 7 were ‘gettable’).

It should have stopped there. It would have been better if there had been some kind if apocalyptic event at this point, such as an earthquake or a bomber plane having to crash-land at Wolseley Oval and the game had been called early. If it had been a game of T20 Aussie Rules then the Nomads could have walked away with a one quarter victory.

But that of course is not how it works. The Dogs found their Mojo in the second quarter and the Nomads lost theirs. The ball was rebounding out of the forward line too quickly. It was probably one of the worst quarters of the year from the Nomads. Thank god for Ira and Noah or could have been much worse.

The Dogs were only 3 points behind at half time after being 30 points down at one point in the first quarter. The scores were 7.7.49 to 7.4.46.

The third quarter was more of the same. By this stage the Dogs were getting their tails up and confidently running the ball with little opposition. The scores at three quarter time were Nomads 8.11.59 to Gunnedah 12.8.80.

Then there was the final quarter. What can we say? In general, the less said about this the better, so perhaps we should leave it there. But, then again, we shouldn’t do so without mentioning the work of the mid-fielders (Tom, Mod, Clarrie and Yeppie) who toiled all day and our Iconic backman Noah who still kept clunking mark after mark. Ira also had an excellent game as did Wulu Hall who never gave up.

What is the moral of the tale? Probably the biggest take-home is a lack of real fitness – that will need to rectified rather quickly. And 4 weeks since the last game did not help. Finally, not have a bench to speak of meant that the mid-field—as brilliant as they are—did not have a breather at all. All of these are things which can be rectified but they need to fixed really soon. The end of the home and away season is not far off and next week the team has a resurgent Kangaroos at home as opponents.

As they used to say back in the Wimmera – see you on the track.

Players Player: N. Connick
President’s award – D. Richards
Coach’s award: C. Paine
Captain’s award: W. Hall
Meehan’s plumbing award: O. Hunt

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