Tamworth AFL Round 13 Review
Match One: Tamworth Swans and New England Nomads
This match was postponed on Friday after wet weather closed both Number One Oval and Bellevue Oval. The TAFL Executive will decide on Monday night whether this game will be rescheduled or will result in the points being shared.
Match Two: Tamworth Kangaroos 15.8.98 def Inverell Saints 14.10.94 at Varley Oval
The Roos have inflicted the Saints first defeat at home this season following a pulsating 4-point victory on Saturday. In a typical Roos/Saints clash, no inch was asked for or given and neither side was able to fully take control at any stage. It was a rain soaked field that greeted both sides, and with some light rain falling in the first quarter, it looked as though scoring goals was going to be difficult all day. However, both sides showed great skill and poise with the ball, and the first quarter saw some free flowing football from both sides. Kicking with the aid of a slight breeze, the Roos took a slender 2-point lead into the first change. In the second, it was all the Saints, as they started to assert some dominance out of the middle of the ground and saw their forwards get on top. The boys from Inverell opened up a 30 point lead at the long change, but should have know the match was far from over. Demonstrating just how good a footy brain he is, Roos coach Tim Cotter made some changes to his lineup over half time, specifically in the backline. These changes paid massive dividends, as his backmen repelled the Saints forwards and started their own attacking raids. They piled on 6 goals to 1 in the quarter, and saw the scoreline all tied up at the last change. Needing to lift, the Saints come out the better in the early parts of the last quarter, kicking the first goal, but were wasteful going forward and were behind the contest far too many times. The Roos forwards took advantage of their chances and found themselves in front at the final siren for a thrilling victory. Dan Overeem was his team’s best, slotting 5 goals and getting the Roos back in the contest after half time. Dan Gimbert also chipped in with three majors. Ryan Painter was strong in the ruck all day, whilst Dan Johnson was instrumental at full back. Mike Gould was among the Saints best, kicking 6 majors, with Chris Whitton kicking 3. Tom Williams was the Saints best, with Leigh Turner also prominent.
The result sees three clubs now tied for wins at the top of the ladder with 4 rounds to go. The Roos will head back to Tamworth to face the Swans next weekend, while the Saints will head to Narrabri to face the Bulldogs.
Match Three: Gunnedah Bulldogs 15.8.98 def Muswellbrook Cats 13.10.88 at Werriman Field
The battle for fourth on the ladder saw the Cats host the Dogs on a wet Werriman Field, with the winner knowing they can almost wrap up a spot in the finals. It was fierce battle in the early going, with both clubs knowing the importance of the game. Neither club was able to gain much ascendency early, with the Cats taking a one point lead into the first change. It was in the second that the Cats made their charge, kicking 4 goals to 2 for the quarter. They looked to have taken control around the contest and had the Dogs on the back foot, and took a handy lead into the long change. With plenty to play for, the Dogs needed to be the team that took the game on in the third term. They did exactly that, kicking 5 goals for the stanza and erased the half time deficit. They led by just two points at the last change with a huge last quarter coming up. The Cats got an early goal in the term to put themselves in front and had a sniff of a great win in front of the home crowd, but the Dogs responded and piled on 4 last quarter goals to run out 10-point winners and put themselves clear in fourth spot. Matt Pengilly was dangerous up front, kicking 5 goals, with Shane Murphy and Russell Maddinson both kicking three. Tom Lather was their best, with Andrew George and Scott Hardy also good. John Mahy continued his excellent season with 4 goals and a best on ground for the Cats, with Nathan May and Jarrod Braybon also good for the home side.
The Cats will now travel to Armidale to face the Nomads next weekend, while the Dogs will have a homecoming for the old Eagle boys by playing the Saints in Narrabri.