Deniliquin Pastoral Times

Disappoint­ing

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‘‘Disappoint­ment’’ was the word on the lips of Deniliquin Rams co-coach Sam Hall at the outcome of the seniors match at the Hardinge St Oval on Saturday, with the Rams losing by three points after having an 18 point half-time lead.

A crowd of more than 500 spectators showed up to support the players in the blue and the gold, which included those attending the club’s annual Sponsors Day and the 2001 and 2011 premiershi­p reunion.

It was a fierce fight from the outset as the Rams and the Magpies ended the first term neck and neck 2.0 (12) and 2.4 (16) respective­ly.

After being held up at a work call-out, local vet John Anstee ran on 10 minutes into the first quarter to help out the back line.

Quality tackling won Deni plenty of possession and allowed their forwards to drive them ahead by four goals at half time, 7.1 (43) to 3.7 (25), with Rams skipper Todd Gallagher the focal point.

The long break was not quite so long as news about the state-wide lockdown broke and forced the end of matches well before 5pm.

The Rams’ lead didn’t last for long in what was a ‘‘horrible’’ third term, according to coach Hall.

‘‘We let them back in when we shouldn’t have, and there is little doubt that cost us the game,’’ Hall said.

“It’s been a consistent theme this year. While we have made a lot of improvemen­ts, unfortunat­ely in most of our games we’ve led at half time but haven’t been able to win.”

The Rams’ combinatio­n of poor accuracy and a breakdown of defence saw the quickfoote­d Magpies score six majors with the wind.

The visitors gained the advantage, stealing the lead by three quarter time 9.8 (62) to 8.2 (50).

Deniliquin kicked two majors in the final stanza but missed some easy chances at the sticks, while the Magpies added 1.1 (7) points to their score to snatch the win.

Final score: Deniliquin 10.6 (66) to Moama 10.9 (69).

Despite the marginal loss, the Rams are still seventh on the ladder and the Magpies are eighth.

The position most likely ensures both teams’ spot in finals after the Murray League opened the premiershi­p to the top eight following the cancellati­on of some rounds due to disruption­s from COVID.

Missing from Deni’s line-up on Saturday due to the border closure were the Whelan brothers (Blair and Josh), Bryce Scoullar and Ricky Gittens, who were all in lockdown in Melbourne.

Best players: Todd Gallagher, Matt MacDonald (centre), Brayden Hall (onball), Tim Holobowski (forward), Mick Barnett (full back), and Jake McManus (centre half forward).

 ??  ?? ■ Matt O’Connor fights for the ball against Moama.
■ Matt O’Connor fights for the ball against Moama.

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