Nomads Women back on the park taking on the undefeated Poochettes

After a three-week hiatus from football, the Nomads were on the road to Gunnedah for our round 11 clash. Three weeks in football feels like an eternity so the girls were keen to get back into it. We had good numbers this week, aided by three players donated by the hosting club. The Poochettes have strong credentials and are currently undefeated. That made us the underdog by default. A power struggle we relish. The Gunnedah girls are a well drilled squad and play classy football, so we knew we had to throw the kitchen sink at them. Despite a tremendous and gallant effort, we went down 2.5.17 to 10.17.77.

Gunnedah showed us early why they are the team to beat. Some slick ball movement gave them some quick early goals in the first term. Admittedly we were a little flat and lack lustre as we struggled to get into the game. Understandable considering our three-week absence from the North West circuit. While for the most part we were getting slightly outplayed, it wasn’t all on their terms. A goal on the run by our rucking extraordinaire Lauren ‘Big Boy McEvoy’ Nest gave us the spark we needed. Furthermore, Lauren put on an impressive display in the middle, winning majority of rucks. This allowed our midfield guns, Ellah ‘ET’ Thompson, Madi ‘The Bull’ Moar and El Capitán Ellie ‘Rhino’ Ryan to combine in fluent centre clearances. Despite the best efforts of the girls in the engine room, our forward entries were being cut off by a triumphant Poochettes defence. By the end of the first, we had some work to do and would have to go up a gear if we wanted to keep in touch.

The girls could feel we weren’t at our best. Every single one made it their prerogative to give it a crack in the next quarter. The endeavour and effort lifted ten-fold. The tackling pressure around the contest from our girls was phenomenal. This really hampered the silky ball movement from the Poochettes, and they struggled to transition to into their forwards. This combined with a tremendous defensive effort from our backline tightened the scoring up. Connie Blake and first gamer Alex McDonnell were providing us with the grunt work and exits from our back fifty. Charlotte ‘The General’ Star was playing out of her skin. It seemed as though she brought her own footy as she seemed to always have it. This stellar performance gave us drive from the half back and set up many linking plays. Casey ‘I can kick goals’ Morris and debutante Penny Walsh were working like a well-oiled machine in the forward fifty. The two were playing very instinctive football that gave us a dynamic forward structure. This was hard to read and defend as they both looked dangerous when they attacked the ball. Sophie Reynolds, another debutante was finding her feet in her first game of football and managed a few possessions. Through Casey, we hit the board with a second major.

Backing up a remarkable second quarter, the girls continued the intensity into the third. The Gunnedah girls still had a good lead, but we were determined to not let them run away with it. Another brilliant defensive effort from the backline meant we only conceded one major for the quarter. Molly Fraser played her role proficiently as our last line of defence. Ash Wright was switched into the backline from the wing to allow debutante Paige Brown to tag an elusive Gunnedah winger. Ash came into her own and played with great confidence, attacking the ball with gusto, and offloading to teammates. Paige did a fantastic job on her player, ensuring she hardly got a touch for the rest of the game. Our midfield was doing a fantastic job transitioning the ball from our backline to the forwards. The backline was setting up well behind the footy ensuring any advances made by Gunnedah were met with peril. Another gutsy quarter from the girls had ensured we kept some respectability in the score line.

We began the last quarter much the way we ended the third. Lauren was giving our mids first use and we continued to bring the contest to the Poochettes. We were clinical coming out of the backline through Molly, Charlotte and the midfield gang. We transitioned superbly from the back half with precise and accurate kicking. We were running in waves as we went forward. There were options galore forward of the footy. This dynamic and swift ball movement was great to watch but also had the Gunnedah defence scrambling to set up and defend the attack. We were right up there with Gunnedah in terms of effort and fight. We managed to keep them from scoring up until the last five minutes. A few lapses from us and lucky breaks let the Poochettes bang quick goals on to take it beyond doubt.

While we didn’t come home winners, the girls should feel no shame. We were brave and fought and honourable battle to stick it to the top of the table team. We strung together a four-quarter team effort. While many individuals were phenomenal it was truly a team effort. Every single player on the field was contributing and playing for each other. We continue to show our credentials as a formidable opponent that can’t be underestimated. We continue to go from strength to strength as we improve on an individual level and a team level week in week out.

Coach Lindsay Brown

Awards:
Player’s Player: Charlotte Star
Captain’s Award: Penny Walsh
Coach’s Award: Lauren Nest

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