Grand Final Review
New England Nomads def Inverell Saints 15.11.101 to 11.9.75 at Varley Oval
The New England Nomads are the 2012 TAFL Premiers after a 26 point win over the Inverell Saints at Varley Oval on Saturday. The boys from Armidale led at every change and despite there bing just 1 point in the contest at three quarter time, they ran out convincing winners with a 5 goal last quarter. For the Nomads, it was there first flag since 2004 and becomes title number 4 for the club, whilst the Saints are left to ponder another Grand Final loss.
The match started in near perfect conditions, with a light cross breeze that slightly favoured one end. The Saints had the advantage of that breeze in the first quarter, and took control in the first 5 minutes of the contest. However, the stout Nomad defence held firm and restricted the Saints to just a solidary behind in that time. They then rebounded and didn’t waste their early forays, kicking the first two goals of the match. The Saints responded with a couple of their own, but when the Nomads slotted one late in the quarter, they held a 5 point lead at the first change.
The second quarter saw the game open up a little with the running game of the Nomads and fierce contested footy of the Saints providing a brilliant showcase. The Saints got some early ascendency in the quarter again, and put their noses in front for the first time all day at the 10 minute mark of the quarter. However, the Nomads responded and kicked the last 3 goals of the half and looked to have all the running at the long break holding onto a 12 point lead.
Needing to lift and with the wind starting to strengthen, the Saints had to put everything on the line in the third. They did just that, kicking the first two of the quarter to get the scores back level before a settler from the Nomads separated another pair to the Saints. Looking as though the Saints may start to assert their authority, the Nomads refused to yield and kicked the last of the quarter to hold onto a one point buffer with 25 minutes to go.
The first goal of the last quarter was always going to be important, and after the Saints went forward for no reward, the Nomads went the length of Varley Oval to kick the decisive game changer. They kicked the next two and looked to be running away with the contest before the Saints got one back of their own to reduce the margin to 10 points with 10 minutes to go. However, the Nomads held their nerve, kicking the last two goals of the match and ran out 26 point winners in a game that they controlled for much of the 100 minutes.
For the victors, Dave Richards was a livewire up front with 4 goals with Weston Whitby kicking 3 and Shaun Cusack 2. Dave Graan was the best a field and received the Graham Nuttal Medal, but got lots of support from Whitby and coach Tom Granleese who was outstanding at full back.
For the Saints, Mike Gould and Alex Walker both slotted 3 majors in a forward line that was beaten by the Nomads defence. Nick Baird was their best, with Joe and Sam Kimmince trying hard all day.
The match brings to a close season 2012, with the Nomads winning their first flag in 8 years in a well deserved season.
Congratulations to all involved at the New England Nomads – 2012 TAFL Premiers!