Deniliquin Pastoral Times

Rams reflect on 2001 and 2011 wins

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The recent reunion held for the Deni Rams 2001 and 2011 football premiershi­ps was a chance for players to catch up with old friends, and reflect on their winning seasons.

Organiser and 2001 player Leigh Strongman said despite having their night cut short due to the state lockdown, it was great meet up for the players.

‘‘We really enjoyed the reunion, and catching up with a few guys from out of town,’’ Strongman said.

‘‘We had some travel from Kyalite and Canberra for the occasion, with others being from around town.

‘‘It was pity in had to wrap up by five o’clock (on the Saturday) but we also had a bit of a meet up on the Friday night which was good.’’

And while Strongman says it can be hard to recall back to the early 2000’s and the finer details, winning the premiershi­ps were memories that stuck with the players. ‘‘They were great seasons,’’ he said. ‘‘We had good young groups that were strong teams.’’

And coach Gary Parsons who led both the 2001 and 2011 sides shared in this sentiment of having a good bunch at the heart of the success.

Parsons led the famous four consecutiv­e wins for the Rams from 2001 to 2004. ‘‘Both were a good core group,’’ he said. ‘‘They were local players who had stability.

‘‘Mateship was also a part of it. A lot of the players got together socially and played other sports together.

‘‘It was also having a combinatio­n of the young players coming up as well as the experience­d players.’’

In 2001, the Rams secured the win over Moama with a score of 13-13 (91) to 9-4 (58).

It was strong year for the team only having three losses during the season.

They did have a surprising defeat to Moama in the second semi final, but showcased in the decider that were the top team.

After a hard fought three quarters in the final, the Rams went into the last term with a 10 point lead and then three goals in the first eight minutes put the game out of reach of the Mowers.

Some of scoring line-up included the likes of Michael Williams, Gavin Spinks, Leigh Strongman, Ben Seignior and Aaron Thorpe, with best players being Leigh Marshall and John Fisicaro.

Leigh Marshall was given man of the match, Colin Thompson was brilliant on a wing, John Fisicaro a ball magnet all day, and Garth Russell dominated the ruck after half time following a yellow card in the second quarter.

In 2011, the game was also a strong one, with the Rams coming back from behind to claim the win.

The side was notable for key players including Sam Lloyd, who went on to play for Richmond and the Western Bulldogs, as well as the likes of Troy Bartlett and Jack Tyndall who went onto coaching roles with the Rams.

The final score: Deniliquin 11.12 (78) defeated Cobram 8.20 (68).

The Tigers led by two points with just minutes remaining, but the Rams fought back to claim a memorable grand final victory.

An unmarked Jack Tyndall ran into an open goal and put his side back in front.

Brett Napier scored from a set shot just a minute later to put the Rams 10 points clear and seal the 2011 title.

It was also the fifth premiershi­p medallion for senior players Troy Bartlett, Leigh Marshall and Sean Moodie.

Bartlett received the VCFL Medal as the best player afield, while Todd Gallagher, Rob Resuggan, Nick Howe, Marshall and Brett Napier were among Deniliquin’s better players.

An emotional Parsons described the victory at the time as a ‘‘good, gutsy effort’’.

‘‘I’ve said all along that we’re probably not the best side in the comp, but we’re definitely the best team. Well now I’m going to have to eat my words because we’re definitely the best side as well,’’ Parsons said post game.

‘‘It was a typical Deni performanc­e. Hard working, mateship and camaraderi­e.

‘‘When we were behind, not one bloke thought we were out of it.’’

 ??  ?? ■ The 2011 squad after securing the premiershi­p win in an epic comeback against Cobram.
■ The 2011 squad after securing the premiershi­p win in an epic comeback against Cobram.
 ??  ?? ■ Gary Parsons with Anthony Bull and Troy Bartlett with the 2011 premiershi­p cup.
■ Gary Parsons with Anthony Bull and Troy Bartlett with the 2011 premiershi­p cup.

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