AN explosive second quarter from small forward David Richards set up the Nomads fifth straight premiership.
As the unbeaten team started to get their act together following a sluggish first quarter against the Tamworth Kangaroos, Richards was the star in the forward line, slotting six of his 10 goals during the second term.
The Nomads would eventually record a comfortable 92-point victory as they dominated across the ground.
The Armidale team went into the match as favourites, but the Tamworth team managed to take it up to their fancied opponents in the low-scoring opening quarter.
When the Nomads scored its only goal of the term from the boot of Harry Wakefield, Tamworth responded straight away with Jamie Williams kicking one for the Kangaroos at the other end.
They were the only majors of the first quarter, which ended with the Nomads in front by a point.
Last year the Kangaroos were competitive in their grand final loss to the Nomads, after being belted in the semi-final, and the Roos’ coach Tony Bishop may have been thinking it could be a similar story this year following his side’s first quarter effort.
But their hopes took a blow from almost as soon as the ball was bounced to begin the second term, which was when best-on-ground Richards put his stamp on the game.
His first game came via a snap on the run from a tight angle in the forward pocket. And in a blink of an eye the ball was in his hands again as he slotted his second from directly in front.
Another soon followed, and when Richards kicked the ball off the ground from the goal square he had kicked four in half a quarter and the match was slipping away from the Kangaroos.
Richards added another to his tally before the Tamworth side was able to kick their second for the match, and their only goal for the quarter.
The only Nomads player to hit the scoreboard in the second quarter was Clarence Barker, who extended the Nomads’ lead to 34 points, before Richards kicked his sixth after taking a contested mark.
The only blemish in his quarter of football came when he missed one from a set shot on an angle in the shadows of half time.
There may have been a glimmer of hope for the Kangaroos when Dan Overeem kicked the first major after half-time, but when Nomads coach Jed Ellis-Cluff kicked his team’s third straight goal, the lead had blown out to almost 10 goals.
Richards kicked another two before the last change, then added two more in the final term to take his tally into double figures. His teammates Luke Raymond and Wulu Hall put the icing on the premiership cake with late goals.
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