Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Rams win thriller at Nathalia

With three wins on the trot the Deniliquin Rams are now just one game outside the Murray Football League's top six.

June 10, 2014 4:00am

Ram Daniel Jordan catches Craig Whyte over the shoulder. Photo: Shepp News

The Deniliquin Rams have moved within a game of the Murray Football League’s top six after edging out Nathalia in an electrifying contest at Nathalia Recreation Reserve on Saturday.

The Rams trailed at every change, but won the final quarter three goals to one to come away with an eight-point victory.

Deniliquin coach Troy Bartlett was elated with the win, which squared the Rams’ season up with four wins and four losses.

‘‘I asked a lot of the boys and they all stood up and played well which was the most pleasing part,’’ Bartlett said.

‘‘It was a good win, but unfortantely we don’t have long to celebrate because we still have some tough games ahead and then it all starts again when we play Mulwala.’’

Despite the win, the Rams dropped down to eighth on the ladder but are just two wins from top spot.

Three of the side’s four wins have been against sides higher on the ladder and its next three clashes are against the bottom three sides.

Final score: Deniliquin Rams 10.8 (68) def. Nathalia 9.6 (60).

On a day perfect for footy the Rams put the home side under pressure right from the start.

The Rams were getting plenty of the ball and had a heap of opportunies to goal, but registered a wayward 2.5.

Nathalia, meanwhile, kicked straighter with three goals to be up by a point at quarter-time.

The Purples extended their lead in the second term by kicking two goals to Deni’s one and carried an eight-point buffer into half-time.

Bartlett called for more handpasses from his charges in the second half and they responded with some great passages of play to polish off four goals in the third. That cut the deficit down to three points, setting up a big final quarter.

Jayden Pitts and Brayden Hall, who were great all day for the Rams, led a miserley defence in the final term, holding Nathalia to 1.3, and setting up plenty of play from half-back.

The Rams kicked four goals, including a long-range set shot from Bartlett, deep in the pocket, to all but bury Nathalia’s chances of winning.

Hayden Barker, Brett Macdonald and Bartlett each finished with two goals, while ruckman Chris O’Connor and midfielders Ricky Gittens, Oliver Draffin and Jake Marshall also starred.

Purples coach Jason Limbrick (three goals) and Nathan Walsh were the only multiple goal-kickers for the home side, which was best served by Nathan Ryan, Al Corry and Jarrod Maskell.

In what was a must-win game for Deniliquin’s reserves, the Rams scored a rare eight-goal win against Nathalia.

Ruckman Eddie Draffin and midfielder Ben Nisbet (five goals) played a big role in the win, while Mitch O’Brien slotted three goals.

Ed Walmsley, Hugh Landale and Charlie Simpson were among the Rams best, setting up heaps of play around the ground, and Benji Hardman took several strong marks at half-forward to finish with 1.3.

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