Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Echuca showdown for in-form Rams

Deniliquin is aiming for its ninth win in a row when it travels to Echuca South Recreation Reserve tomorrow.

July 25, 2014 3:45am

Local sporting grounds will be quiet this weekend but there will be plenty of noise at Echuca South Recreation Reserve.

The Deniliquin Rams, who are taking on Echuca United, are one of four sporting clubs missing from the local scene tomorrow, with the Deni Rovers and Blighty playing away and the Drovers having a bye.

After knocking off flag fancy Finley last week, the in-form Rams are gunning for their ninth win in a row.

United, on the other hand, is coming off a shock 22-point loss to Moama with injured coach Scott Beattie describing the effort as ‘‘mentally weak’’.

The Eagles are third on the ladder, in front of the Rams by percentage only.

‘‘It’s still game on for us because if we lose this we could be out of the top six,’’ Rams coach Troy Bartlett said.

‘‘Echuca has a number of players we need to keep on top of. Like us, they’re strong over the footy so it should be a great contest and we are looking forward to it.’’

The Rams will be forced to make several changes with dashing midfielder Tom Druitt (elbow) sidelined for the season and Jake Marshall lining up for the Murray Bushrangers.

‘‘It’s disappointing to lose Tom for the season. He had a breakout year and was giving us plenty of run out of the back line,’’ Bartlett said.

‘‘He’s a very fit kid and always found another gear when needed. He’ll continue to be around the club and the boys and we’ll find him a role within the group.

‘‘Marshy (Jake) is unavailable with Bushies duties which is fantastic for the kid.

‘‘We also have a couple of blokes under an injury cloud but are confident they’ll get up in time.’’

Industrious Echuca United midfielder Farran Priest will miss tomorrow’s match with a knee injury, making Deni’s job a little easier.

The MFL interleague medallist was carried off the ground after sustaining the injury last week but has been cleared of any serious damage.

The Rams know they are capable of turning around their 37-point loss to the Eagles from round three, and on a roll they should get the job done.

Selection: Rams by 8 points.

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