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Deniliquin Rams break Mulwala drought

The Rams defeated Mulwala for the first time since 2011 in the Murray Football League's opening match on Saturday

April 15, 2014 3:50am

A youthful Deniliquin Rams team got its Murray Football League season off to an exciting start on Saturday when it defeated Mulwala by four goals at the Hardinge St Oval.

It was the first time Deniliquin had beaten the Lions since its premiership winning season of 2011.

Rams coach Troy Bartlett, who booted three goals, was pleased with the fact that both teams had 24 scoring shots but it was the Rams who nailed the most opportunities.

‘‘It was good to get a win on the board early, it will be great for our confidence,’’ Bartlett, who has taken over as coach from Gary Parsons, said.

‘‘To be honest I think everyone played their role and done their bit.

‘‘You could have given the awards to anyone.’’

Brett Macdonald was the shining light up forward, kicking four goals and taking several brilliant marks.

Final score: Deniliquin Rams 15.9 (93) to Mulwala 9.15 (69).

The Rams were scrappy early but still managed to kick three goals compared to the Lions’ two in the first quarter.

Mulwala then reversed the lead with four goals in the second term to take a five-point buffer into the long break.

‘‘We were scrappy early and tried to follow game plan but just didn’t execute it well enough,’’ Bartlett said.

‘‘I asked the boys for an effort in the third quarter and everyone stood up. The skills were alot better.’’

The effort from the Rams’ backline, which included Cody Jordan shutting down big Troy Taylor and some important run from Tom Dowling, resulted in the Lions going goalless and the Rams adding six majors.

Young players Clay Howe, Lachie MacDonald, Tyler Amor-Beale and Tom Druitt were giving the Rams plenty of run and tall ruckman Kyle Galloway gave the midfielders first use of the ball.

Galloway had good support from Hayden Barker and Brayden Hall, with Jack Tyndall, Ollie Draffin and Ricky Gittens seemingly everywhere.

Bartlett said Todd Gallagher and Darcy Bell were also impressive, and also praised the effort of substitute Reggie Leetham.

The Rams’ reserves were able to put in a better showing than in previous encounters with reigning premier Mulwala, going down 11.10 (76) to 9.2 (56).

Youngster James Henderson kicked three goals in a solid display, while Ollie Graham (two goals), Darcy Biggs and ruckman Mark Panton were the other better players.

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