Roos take Flight

By Deniliquin Pastoral Times

The Deni Rovers added another win to their Picola & District League season tally with a 53-point triumph against Jerilderie on Saturday.

Key forward Josh Flight had a successful return from an ankle injury, and proved to be a huge difference in the clash with six goals to his name, five of those coming in the second half.

He was well supported by Dylan Kerr, who slotted four majors for the Roos, as they booted nine goals to two in the second half to run away with their sixth win of the year.

It was an even contest in the first quarter with the Rovers holding a two point lead at quarter time.

The second quarter saw some competitive play, with the Roos extending the margin to nine points, before kicking away in the second half to score a dominant win.

Onballers Nathan Kerr, Rhys McCulloch and Allan Bond, key forward Brendan Hope and defender Matt Horne were among the best for the Rovers.

Hayden Smith, Lachie Watson and Sam Sleigh battled best for the Demons, who remain eighth on the ladder.

Final score, Deni Rovers 13.12 (90) to Jerilderie 5.7 (37).

Rovers coach Josh Bode said it was one of his side’s best performances of the year.

‘‘It was just a really pleasing result,’’ he said.

‘‘The last five weeks, excluding the game against Strathy, we’ve played good footy but had lapses which were pretty costly.

‘‘We were right in the game against Waaia, had the close losses against Picola and Katamatite and then just scraped over the line against Mathoura last week.

‘‘This week we were on all game and didn’t have any lapses.

‘‘Jerilderie had a real crack at us but we stuck with them. I said to the boys that if we withstood the pressure when the heat was on, we could wear them down.

‘‘We were kicking against the breeze in the last term but it ended up being our best because of everyone’s commitment to keep the pressure on, so to run over the top of them was great.’’

While Flight and Dylan Kerr stood out with 10 of the Roos’ 13 goals, it was a team effort that got them over the line.

Bode said it was the strongest line-up his side has had so far in 2019.

‘‘Flighty is important to our structure, so it was good to have him back in,’’ he said.

‘‘He got mauled in the first half but still managed to kick one and set up at least two or three with his efforts in crashing the pack.

‘‘James Kirby is having his best year at the club in the ruck, which allowed us to play Flighty up forward for the majority of the game.

‘‘There were so many winners on the field on Saturday though with Andrew May, Bondy, Matty Horne, Nath Kerr, Ricky Waters and Des Morgan to name a few.

‘‘Brendan Hope was huge at centre half forward as well. With Aaron Purcell set to come back after the bye, we’re hopeful that we’re starting to build towards finals with a full strength side.

‘‘The last four weeks will be big for us, so we need to be prepared for a tough clash against Blighty next week.’’

It was an absolute thriller in the reserves, with the Rovers and Demons level when the final siren sounded.

Jerilderie kicked with the wind in the first quarter and left Deni goalless at quarter time.

The Rovers answered back in the second quarter kicking a few goals to make it an even game at half time.

Eight points behind at the final break, the Roos kept in touch by keeping Jerilderie scoreless in the final stanza, but the visitors only managed 1.2 for the quarter themselves, leaving both teams to split the points.

Final score, Deni Rovers 6.5 (41) to Jerilderie 6.5 (41).

Better players on the day for the Rovers were Rhys Thommers, Lachlan Holschier, Craig Mexted, Boddie Arthur, Daniel Carmichael and Brayden Thomas.