Blighty won its third straight Warner Tasker Memorial Cup in the pouring rain on Saturday afternoon.SHAUN CONNOR July 1, 2014 4:00am
Blighty ruckman Drew Plattfuss leaps high above Deni’s Marc Braybon (obscured) as the Roos’ Jordan Dunbar waits below.
Blighty trounced the Deni Rovers by 53 points to win its third straight Warner Tasker Memorial Cup in front of a complacent home crowd on Saturday afternoon.
The Rovers may have asserted a deadly grip on the first years of the cup’s inception but the Redeyes are now firmly entrenched in their own period of dominance.
Leading this renaissance of sorts on Saturday was tenacious midfielder Ed McCulloch, who after the game was honoured with the Warner Tasker Medal as the best player afield.
Saturday’s rambunctious win in the wet was Blighty’s sixth for the season and its third in a row, heaping pressure on Tocumwal and Berrigan to keep on winning or get out of the Redeyes’ way.
Final score: Blighty 10.14 (74) def. Deni Rovers 3.3 (21).
Although there were patches of no rain and even sunshine towards the end of the match, it teemed down for the majority of it.
That didn’t stop Blighty from having 10 scoring shots at goal, with a return of four, in the first term, while the Rovers couldn’t penetrate the Redeyes’ strong half-back line.
After leading by 39 points at half-time the Redeyes looked as though they were about to blow the game open with three goals in the third quarter, but they were only able to kick one more for the game.
There’s no taking away from the Rovers’ effort either, with the players continually hitting the ball hard until the final siren.
Their hard work was evident with the Roos actually leading Blighty in clearances from stoppages (30-10) and trailing by one in centre clearances (7-6).
Rovers coach Luke Moodie said he was pleased with his players’ endeavor and took plenty of positives out of the match.
‘‘It was a much improved effort from the week before and I thought our three goals to six after the first quarter was pretty competitive,’’ Moodie said.
‘‘Matty Johnson did well, leading our stoppages around the ground, and in conditions like the ones on Saturday that can be a real advantage.’’
Moodie said Matt Dowling was once again a shining light in defence and praised ruckman Marc Braybon and Brendan Hope in his battle with gun goalkicker Brody Lumber.
Although Lumber finished with four goals it was Hope’s competitiveness that stopped him from kicking a bag, Moodie said.
Jack Bunnett and Simon Maher played important roles in the win for Blighty, as did wingman Judd Barnes, Jake Plattfuss and teenager Jack Bradford.
Keith Baron was the Redeyes’ other multiple goalkicker with two majors.
Blighty’s reserves moved to equal third on the ladder on points after scoring a big win against the Roos, 8.9 (57) to 2.1 (13).
Scores were level at 1.1 each at quarter-time, but the Roos were then held scoreless until the final term.
The Redeyes, meanwhile, kicked three goals in each of the second and third stanzas to be leading by 41 points at the last change.
One goal to either side finished off the match with Chris Pyle, Leigh Culton and Josh Phillips the best for Blighty.
Ash Bain continued his form in front of goals, adding four majors to his season tally, while teenagers Jesse Collins and Zac Doomadgee kicked the Roos’ only goals.
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