Tamworth AFL Round 9 Review
Match One: New England Nomads 16.13.103 def Tamworth Kangaroos 16.12.108 at Number One Oval
The match of the round may well have been proven to be the match of the season so far as the Nomads overcame a four-goal final quarter deficit to over run the Roos in Tamworth and record a thrilling one-point win. The Nomads set up their win with a furious fourth quarter rally to break the hearts of the Roos and retain top spot on the TAFL ladder.
The match started with the two normally frugal defensive teams showing their running games off, and with the aid of the breeze the Roos took a 7-point lead into the first change. The Nomads rallied in the second quarter, kicking 6 goals to 3 for the term and opened up a 13-point half time lead. Both coaches would have been reasonably happy at the long break, but knew that the third quarter was going to be pivotal to the result of the match. It was the Roos who were the stronger, but were wasteful with the wind, kicking 4.7 for the term and went to the last break on equal terms with the Nomads. With it all to play for in the final 25 minutes, the Roos applied the pressure and kicked the first 4 goals of the quarter into the wind. However the late comeback saw the Nomads with their noses in front at the final siren and saw them maintain their spot on top the TAFL ladder. The victors shared the goal kicking around, with Simon Stubbs, Dave Richards and Kaine Rowlings all kicking 3 goals, with Matt Woodward, Benjamin Julien and Jon Frost their best. The Roos were best served by 200 gamer Dan Overeem, who kicked 6 majors and 4 from Matthew Hodge. Overeem was amongst their best, with Alex Hudson and Mitchell Douglas also prominent.
The Roos now sit third on the ladder but their chances of consecutive Minor Premierships looks difficult now as they are two wins and a healthy percentage behind the Nomads. They will host the Cats next weekend at Number One Oval. The Nomads will continue their road trip when they head to Gunnedah to face the Bulldogs.
Match Two: Inverell Saints 25.17.167 def Muswellbrook Cats 3.8.26 at Varley Oval
The Saints continued their dominance in the Sapphire City, recording their third consecutive 100-point win at home following a second half onslaught over the Cats on Saturday. The boys from Muswellbrook took it right up to the Saints early, having the better of the early going and opening up a first quarter lead. The Saints fought back and took a 5-point quarter time lead, but were once again wasteful in front of goal. Kicking with the wind in the second, the Saints started to assert some dominance around the field but continued to miss opportunities in front of goal. Their half time lead stood at 24 points, but the Cats could consider themselves unlucky not be closer and well in the contest. It was a fired up Saints outfit that came out after half time and they finally showed the footy that they are capable of playing, kicking 8 goals to none in the third into the wind to take control of the contest. It was more of the same in the last, as they added another 11 goals, whilst the Cats were unable to add a major after the quarter time break. The final margin of 141 points sees the Saints get a healthy boost to the percentage and remain in second spot of the TAFL ladder. Alex Walker had his best game since returning to the team this year, kicking 7 goals whilst being in their best. Mike Gould was also strong, slotting 5 majors. Tom Williams was strong in the midfield and Sam Kimmince was a rock down back. For the Cats, they had three single goal kickers in Stu McAdam, John Mahy and Cameron Davis. Jai Pusell was everywhere for the Cats, with Nathan May strong down back and Jarrod Brayburn strong in the ruck.
The Saints will now head to Tamworth to play the Swans next outing, while the Cats will play in the first leg of the double header against the Roos.
Match Three: Gunnedah Bulldogs 17.17.119 def Tamworth Swans 12.10.82 at Wolseley Oval
The Bulldogs recorded their second win of the season and put themselves right back into finals calculations with a rousing 37-point victory over the Swans in Gunnedah on Saturday. The Dogs set up their win with a commanding second half after allowing a first quarter lead to slip and allow the Swans back into the game. The Dogs had all of the early running, getting 10 shots on goal in the first quarter for a 5.5 return. The Swans made the most of the opportunities given to them, kicking 3.1 but were still 17 points down at the first change. They came storming back into the during the second stanza, kicking 6 goals to the Dogs 1, who were once again a little wasteful in the quarter. This saw the Swans take a handy 13 point buffer into the long break and seemingly having all the momentum. However, the Swans saw yet another second half fade out take it’s toll, as they could manage only one shot on goal in the third, for a major, whilst the Dogs piled on 6 of their own. They continued on their merry way in the last as they added another five goals to run out winners by 37 points. The Swans could manage only 3 goals of the second half to the 11 for the Dogs. Chris Gee continued his strong season, slotting 10 majors, with Shane Murphy pressing forward and kicking 4. Gee and Murphy were in the best, with Matt Pengilly also impressive. For the Swans, Simon Freer kicked 4 goals, with Damien Wendt again strong, with Will Priest and John Robinson also earning praise from the coach.
The Bulldogs now play host to the Nomads, while the Swans will welcome the Saints to Number One.
The TAFL ladder appears to be two battles in one, with the Nomads, Saints and Roos fighting it out for the Major Semi berth and the Dogs, Swans and Cats battling for the last spot in the finals. We round the halfway mark of the season and now see the clubs start making their run for the finals.