NEW England Nomads came back from the dead to beat Tamworth Kangaroos by a point in their Essential Energy Tamworth AFL thriller at No 1 Oval, Tamworth on Saturday and retain their competition lead.
The Nomads trailed by three goals midway through the final term but scraped in, kicking 16.13 109 to the Roos’ 16.12 108 to sit alone at the top of the TAFL on 28 points, four ahead of Inverell Saints who demolished the Muswellbrook Cats by 141 points in Inverell on Saturday.
The Nomads play improving Gunnedah Bulldogs next Saturday in Gunnedah after the Bulldogs leapfrogged Tamworth Swans on the TAFL table with a 17.17 119 to 12.10 82 win over the Swans at Wolseley Park in Gunnedah on Saturday.
Chris Gee starred again, kicking 10 goals for the Bulldogs, with Shane Murphy (4) and Farran Lamb (2) also kicking multiples for a side also well served by Matt Pengilley, Andrew George, John Woolaston and Jake Vigor.
For the Swans, Simon Freer kicked four goals and Gavin Knee two in a side for whom club stalwart Damien Wendt, John Robinson, Will Priest, Ross Fraser, Andrew James and Andrew Donohue all toiled strongly.
Inverell Saints returned to their rollicking free-wheeling goalkicking best at Varley Oval on Saturday, demolishing the Muswellbrook Cats with a 25-goal feast.
The Saints kicked 25.17 167 to the Cats’ 3.8 26, with Alex Walker bagging seven of the Saints’ majors.
Michael Gould (5), Russell Brien (3), Gary Hadland (3) and Hamish Bird (2) all kicked multiples for the home side which was best served by Tom Williams, Sam Kimmince, Mitchell Hall, Leigh Turner and the goalkicking Walker and Gould.
Cameron Davis, John Mahy and Stu McAdam kicked the lone goals for the Cats, with Mahy, Davis, Jai Pursell, Nathan May, Jarrod Braybon and Brady Grant best for the visitors.
In Tamworth, the Nomads looked done and dusted halfway through the third quarter with the Roos ahead by three goals but captain-coach Tom Granleese and his troops kicked on for a memorable win, with Simon Stubbs (6), Dave Richards (3), Kaine Rowlings (3) Dave Graan (2) and Weston Whitby (2) all kicking multiples.
“It was a great win,” Granleese said.
“We were down the three goals and had no one on the bench.
“We had picked up four injuries, one early in the first quarter so it was a big effort.
“There’s plenty of self belief in this group.”
He thought Whitby, Jonathon Frost, Cameron Greigg, Graan and Benjy Julian were outstanding for the Nomads.
Tamworth Kangaroos captain-coach Tim Cotter was still trying to work out how his side lost it after a thriller.
“We were up by three goals, had them done,” Cotter said.
“It was Dan Overeem’s 200th game and we thought we had it for him.
“It looked like we had done it for him but we went a bit tentative when we got three goals in front.”
Overeem tried to spark his side and kicked six goals on his big day.
“They looked like they were knackered at three quarter time,” Cotter said of the Nomads.
“I thought we were going to run over them but didn’t.”
TAFL LADDER; New England Nomads 28 (201.79%), Inverell Saints 24 (204.74%), Tamworth Kangaroos 20 (118.73%), Gunnedah Bulldogs 8 (74.34%), Tamworth Swans 8 (60.32%), Muswellbrook Cats 8 (41.70%).