THE Nomads will host a third straight grand final and be looking to win a fourth straight competition after bouncing the Tamworth Roos into a preliminary final against Inverell following a weekend of Tamworth AFL semi-final action last Saturday.
The Nomads exploded out of the gates at Bellevue Oval, posting 75 points in the first two quarters to jump to an early 48-point lead.
The Roos eventually started to pin the minor premiers back in the third quarter but the damage had already been done and, despite getting back to within 15 points at one stage, the Nomads finished with a bag, kicking the final four goals to record a 17.16.118 to 10.10.70 win.
Dave Richards and Matt Foley kicked three each but it was Jedd Ellis-Cluff who had his eye in, nailing four maximums in the win.
Foley kicked his three in a row as the Nomads pulled away again in the closing stages after the midfielder was moved forward.
He impressed coach Zac Economou, although ruckman Tim Keys was described as far and away the best on field.
“That first half was as good as we have played all season,” Economou said.
“We were putting so much pressure on them.”
The Roos could only manage two goals in each quarter of the first half before turning the game around in the third to kick four and hold the Nomads to only one.
“The Roos were always going to respond and we took our foot off the pedal a bit,” Economou said.
“They showed how good they can be but our boys stood up when it counted.
“It was a really good clean and hard game.”
Patty Tobias and Wulu Clark stood out in the midfield, Clark breaking the game apart at times with some great running and some big searching kicks to the forward line.
One downside was the injury to Nomads star Tom Hunt, who spent three quarters on the sideline.
“We are all a bit sore so the week off will be really good for us,” Economou said.
“We have been playing good footy for a few years now and want to make the most of it with another home grand final win.”
While Roos coach Tony Bishop was disappointed that the side lost, he still took plenty of positives from a game where the Roos showed they could match the minor premiers in patches.
“The positive is that we pegged them back a few times and fought our way back into the game,” Bishop said.
“We weren’t good enough today but know we can be.
“A lot of players have a bit more to give.”
The Roos will be out to stop the Saints making an eighth straight grand final, after they beat Narrabri by 43 points in the minor semi-final.
The two sides have a rich finals history and, with no love lost, this game is sure to light up No 1 Oval on Saturday.