The previously winless Deni Rams caused a boilover in the Murray League on Saturday, knocking off home side Echuca United by 16 points.
The young Rams side — with a reported average age of 20.4 years — led at every change to stun the Eagles, which had a 4-4 win-loss record heading into the contest.
Full forward Adrian Pappin overcame a hamstring strain last week to prove the match winner with five goals for the visitors, while his brother-in-law and Rams playing coach Todd Gallagher slotted four crucial goals playing centre half forward.
The club’s rising stars in John Bowie, Ben Irwin, Sid Pearn, Sam Willoughby and Liam Pitts also stood tall, helping to snap an 11 game losing streak stretching back to August 5 last year.
For the Eagles, Peter Quanchi led the way in attack with six goals, while Nic Denahy, Rhys Morgan and veteran ruckman Paul Kirby were among the best.
Final score, Deni Rams 13.6 (84) to Echuca Utd 10.8 (68).
The injection of under 17 players Bowie, Will Shaw and Darcy Morris proved to be one of many masterstrokes by Gallagher in his first win as coach.
The onballer moved himself to centre half forward, while using Jayden Pitts at centre half back, moving key defender John Anstee into the midfield, and using onballers Ash Morris and Ben Irwin across half back.
Rams assistant coach Dean Irwin said it was a feeling of pure joy after the final siren.
‘‘We could’ve picked anybody to be named among the best on the weekend,’’ he said.
‘‘Our back six were absolutely superb all day and the changes to the line-up proved to work beautifully.
‘‘During the second quarter Echuca missed a shot at goal and we managed to work the ball from one end of the ground to the other in about 15 to 20 seconds. That moment was just huge for our confidence.
‘‘It was also pleasing during the last quarter that every time Echuca scored, we’d have an answer for it.
‘‘It’s amazing what can happen when there’s a bit of belief in the boys. It just feels good to get that first win out of the way.’’
Echuca coach Guy Campbell made no bones about his team’s performance, and said it should have been a ‘‘percentage and confidence booster’’.
‘‘We had 22 players at the start of the game, and five or six didn’t turn up and play their role at all. Some played half a role, and some did everything but play their role,’’ a disappointed Campbell told the Riverine Herald.
He admitted coming off the back of four wins against Tungamah, Shepparton East, Tongala and Congupna, a loss to the Rams was unacceptable.
‘‘You have just completed four straight wins, you are playing the bottom side and knowing what the outcome should be, but not putting the processes in play to get the result,’’ he said.
‘‘The processes went out the window and that’s that. When the blokes choose not to play their role that’s what happens,’’ he said.
The Rams reserves are still winless, suffering a heavy 119 point loss to the Eagles.
Final score, Echuca Utd 16.23 (119) to Deni Rams no score.
Better players for the Rams were Jack Tonta, Shane Werner, Ben Nisbet, Jake Cavallaro, Chris Hovenden and Brett Rose.