The Deni Rams put up a good fight against Shepparton East but couldn’t capitalise on their opportunities, going down to the Eagles by 33 points on Saturday.
With a massive home crowd for Sponsors’ Day, the Rams put up an impressive effort for most of the match.
They were up and about early with their pressure, including forward Adrian Pappin’s physicality shown at full force with a massive shirt front bump on the boundary line.
After conceding the first goal, key forward George Trewhitt (two goals) gave the Rams supporters something to cheer about when the ball hit the deck and bounced off his head twice before he took possession to snap his first major of the day to have the Rams trail by a point at the first break.
The margin was close throughout the first half, with both sides taking full advantage of having a loose defender and goals subsequently hard to come by.
While the general play was still quite even, it was the Eagles that made the most of their opportunities at goal booting 6.2 to 1.7 after the main break to secure the win.
Ricky Frappell, David Gillespie, Daniel Wood and Simon Russell (two goals) stood out for the visitors.
Ash Morris impressed in a best on ground performance with young guns Sam Willoughby, Will Shaw and Matt MacDonald fighting hard for the Rams.
Final score, Shepp East 10.7 (67) to Deni Rams 4.10 (34).
Rams playing coach Todd Gallagher said it was his side’s inability to hit the scoreboard that proved costly.
‘‘We had the entries inside our forward 50 but we just couldn’t capitalise,’’ he said.
‘‘There were a few of us more experienced players that had a bit of an off day as well.
‘‘They (Shepp East) played a loose outfit down back. They took off out of defence quickly and sometimes it worked and other times it didn’t.
‘‘After half time we played a five man backline and seven man forward line to cancel out the loose defender.
‘‘We had the same number of scoring shots in the second half but you can’t expect to win with a return of 1.7.
‘‘As a whole the effort was there from most of the side with the younger blokes stepping up when they needed to.’’
The Rams reserves were unable to ride the wave of momentum from their first win, going down to the Eagles by 35 points.
Deni battled bravely in the first three quarters, before the visitors kicked clear in the last stanza.
Final score, Shepp East 11.11 (77) to Deni Rams 6.6 (42).
The Rams were best served by Gavin Cathie (one goal), who covered most of the ground throughout the contest.
John Allitt was strong in defence, while Shane Werner, Chris Hovenden, Trent Bachelor (one goal) and Luke Freer also were solid performers.
Jayden Caniglia slotted three majors for the Rams, while Nick Glowrey’s clever snap for goal closed out the home side’s scoring.