A blitzing nine goal first quarter from the Deni Rams was enough for them to hold off a brave Finley side in round 13 of the Murray League on Saturday.
The Rams looked to silence the strong home crowd in Finley early, taking a 43 point lead into quarter time.
Still trailing by 42 points at half time, the home side lifted in the third term with 4.4 to 1.1 to peg the margin back to 21 points at three quarter time and gain the momentum.
The Rams steadied the ship in the last though, holding on by 25 points over their arch rival.
Key defenders John Anstee and Anthony Bull continued their form as one of the league’s best defensive duos to help get the Rams over the line, while Todd Gallagher (five goals) and Jayden Pitts (four) were crucial in the forward half.
Onballer Rick Gittens had the Sherrin on a string in the middle and Dylan East continues to impress in defence.
Cam Robertson kicked three goals to be named Finley’s best, while Luke Moore (two goals), Angus Robertson (one), Nick Lyons, David Conrick and vice captain Shaun Kable (two) also stood out for the home side.
Final score, Deni Rams 13.10 (88) to Finley 9.9 (63).
Rams coach Gary Parsons said it was a typical Rams-Finley game.
‘‘We were expecting a tough contest and that’s exactly what we got,’’ he said.
‘‘We ran the ball well in the first quarter and that reflected with the scores.
‘‘After the first term we probably took a bit of heat out of the kitchen and tried a few different things.
‘‘To Finley’s credit they were tenacious and put forward a strong effort to get back in the game.
‘‘It was a willing game and both sides put their bodies on the line.’’
Parsons said he wasn’t concerned with the final margin, saying ‘‘a win is still a win’’.
‘‘To notch up another victory is another little bit of a reward from the effort the side has put in this year,’’ he said.
‘‘Finley got themselves back into the game after dropping numbers behind the ball and running it out of defence.
‘‘Our ability to contain sides has been our best attribute recently and we managed to do so again on Saturday with John Anstee and Anthony Bull again taking plenty of intercept marks. They’ve won us a few games now and if we can continue with this momentum, we can finish off the year with a few more wins.’’
Saturday’s win did come at a cost for the Rams, with veteran defender Rob Resuggan accepting a two week suspension after being reported for striking and yellow carded late in the second term.
It was a feeling of rejoice in the reserves, with the Rams posting their first win of the season.
After a tight game, the Deni side managed to pull away from the hosting Cats with a four goal last term for a 33 point victory.
Final score, Deni Rams 10.10 (70) to Finley 5.7 (37).
Young onballer Aiden Free was Deni’s best, while teammate Brodie Bennett kicked four goals in an impressive performance.
Brett Rose and Hugh Landale gave plenty of run in the middle of the ground for the visitors, and Will Keech (one goal) and defender Sam Callanan were other good players.