Rennie runs riot on its way to the PDFL flag PDFL GRAND FINAL
IT WASN’T a case of grand final jitters that saw Picola United lose — Rennie were just that good.
In fact the Hoppers were good enough to inflict the Blues’ thirdworst loss of the year, on the biggest stage of them all, the Picola and District Football League grand final.
The 24-62 blowout saw Rennie thump home 9.8 while constricting the red-hot favourites to just 3.6.
A blustery breeze made life difficult for both sides at the Jerilderie Recreation Reserve, but the result only strengthens the fairytale that was Rennie’s season.
Finishing the normal season in sixth position, the Hoppers made it all the way to the grand final the hard way.
Defeating Berrigan 106-54 in the elimination final set up a semi-final against Deni Rovers, who they dispatched by 15 points.
A preliminary final against then undefeated Waaia Bombers awaited — and to everyone’s surprise bar Rennie, they got the job done, 66-65.
Picola United coach John Varcoe said the Blues lost to the better side on the day, and credited Rennie for putting in the hard yards to earn their flag.
‘‘No excuses, they were the better side on the day. It was tricky for both teams with the wind,’’ Varcoe said.
‘‘They were able to get the job done. We both tried to get the ball forward as much as possible, and that wind affected the ball could be moved,’’ he said.
Varcoe said Rennie made the most of their attacking opportunities, whereas his troops were unlucky at times hitting the post, amidst a battling forward line.
‘‘We were keen to win, but conditions made it difficult for both sides, and the game was kept to a low-scoring one. There was a lot of ground ball, because of the strong wind blowing from one side.
‘‘They were just a bit better around the ball and made the most of their chances,’’ he said.
‘‘I told them (at half time) we should be trying to improve our ball movement and get it to the more attacking side of the ground and make some attacking opportunities, and crumbing in the final 50, but they were able to prevent us from doing that.
‘‘I think they were a bit more accurate in front of goal, we hit the post a few times,’’ he said.
At the end of what could have been Picola United’s 13th premiership, it was the South East division 2017 champions who took out the new-look PDFL 2018 flag.