Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Rumbalara runs over top of Rams

Deniliquin remains one win outside the Murray Football League's top six following a 21-point loss to Rumbalara on Saturday.

August 5, 2014 4:00am

Deniliquin onballer Ricky Gittens tries to outmanoeuvre Rumbalara’s Nathan Terlich.

Ex-Essendon duo Damian Cupido and Nathan Lovett-Murray kicked five goals between them as Rumbalara ran over the top of Deniliquin at the Hardinge St Oval on Saturday.

The Rams let slip a slender three quarter-time lead to eventually lose by 21 points.

The round 16 Murray Football League loss, the Rams’ second in a row, was a further blow to the home team’s finals chances.

The stakes were incredibly high for the Rams, who remain in seventh spot on the ladder, right behind Nathalia on percentage.

Rumbalara, meanwhile, is cruising along in second spot.

‘‘The boys had a crack, that was the pleasing thing,’’ said Rams coach Troy Bartlett, who missed the game with a calf injury.

‘‘Whenever you watch our footy club play you know you will be watching a young group that always gives everything and leaves nothing on the park.

‘‘All week (prior to the game) we spoke about how how important it is to keep possession of the footy because Rumba sweat on you to make mistakes and are as good as anyone in the business at making you pay.

‘‘It probably took us a little while to get going, but once we did we were right in the game.

‘‘We made a couple of poor skill and decision-making errors which cost us on the scoreboard, and in the end really hurt us.

‘‘It was pleasing, however, to see the boys have a crack until the very end.’’

Final score: Rumbalara 15.7 (97) def. Deniliquin Rams 11.10 (76).

Deniliquin’s Beau Close, in his first senior game since an ankle injury 12 weeks ago, kicked the opening goal of the match, but Rumba soon got on top to lead by 11 points at quarter time.

Injury struck the visitors early on when Nathan Battle broke his ribs and was substituted for thirds player Lindsay Bryant.

The Rams outscored Rumba in the second quarter, but couldn’t wrestle the lead off the visitors, who held a three-point buffer at the main break.

At half-time the Rams were asked by coach Troy Bartlett to maintain possession and play the game at their own pace.

They managed to again outscore their rivals, but an inaccurate 4.5 only gave them a one-point advantage heading into the final quarter.

From there Rumbalara piled on five goals, including three to Bryant, while the Rams could manage just two.

Rumbalara coach Cupido, who threaded three goals himself, said it was an incredibly tough, physical battle on the Rams’ huge home ground.

‘‘I’ve never played on a ground so big before,’’ Cupido said.

‘‘It was a credit to our midfield that stepped up.’’

Rex Taylor and Ash Miller were a force in Rumba’s midfield, while Justin Terlich, Ryan Hudson and Nathan Lovett-Murray kicked two goals each.

For the home side, skipper Anthony Bull braved an increased work load and was the Rams’ best player, as midfielders Ricky Gittens, Lachie MacDonald and Darcy Bell ran hard all day.

First-gamer Josh Perizzolo middled two set shot goals to join Brett Macdonald and Todd Gallagher on the multiple scorers list.

In the reserves, 250-game veteran Rob Barnes headlined the Rams’ return to form, booting 10 goals in a 28.13 (181) to 0.4 (4) landslide.

In the last quarter, the Rams’ forward line was dominated by Harry Danckert (three goals) and Nick Glowrey (two), with Glowrey having a hand in several other goals.

Mark Panton was the Rams’ best, with Benji Hardman, Brenton Hussey and Hugh Landale finding plenty of the ball.

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