THE New England Nomads created history when they won a fourth consecutive Tamworth AFL final earlier this month, although they did face their toughest test in years after the Tamworth Kangaroos left nothing in the tank, leading most of the way.
It was the third straight win at Bellevue Oval, and the New England side’s first grand final win not against the Inverell Saints.
The Saints have featured in every grand final for the last eight years, until the Kangaroos bounced back from a 48- point major semi-final loss against the premiers to convincingly beat the Saints in the preliminary final at No 1 Oval.
The grand final marked a perfect send-off for former coach Tom Granleese, the defender hanging up the boots and moving to Grafton for work.
Coach and forward Zac Economou said it was a fitting ending to Granleese’s four-premiership career.
“It can’t get better than that,” Economou said.
“We were under a lot of pressure early on.”
“We picked up the intensity in the second half and got back to our game plan and took our chances.”
The Roos went into the long break up by 11 points but ended up going down by the same margin after leading by 20 early in the second.
“We started using the ball better and making better decisions,” Economou said.
“We found a way to win but that was the most pressure we have been under for a long time.”
Skipper Dave Richards kicked five second-half goals in the 10.12.72 to 9.7.61 victory, while 2015 golden boot Economou kicked two.
For the Roos, Dan Overeem was behind the early lead, kicking four goals, supported by Chris Pollock and Ben Mitchell with a brace each.
NEW ENGLAND NOMADS 10.12 72 (Dave Richards 5, Zac Economou 2, John Shirley, Hayden Clarke, Jed Ellis-Cluff gls) d TAMWORTH KANGAROOS 9.7 61 (Dan Overeem 4, Ben Mitchell 2, Chris Pollock 2, Daniel Leon gls).