The Deni Rovers answered another early season challenge in emphatic fashion, knocking off rival Blighty by 23 points in round three of Picola District Football League to reclaim the Warner Tasker Cup on Saturday.
After trailing by 38 points at half time in what was a physical encounter, the Redeyes clawed their way back into the game taking momentum into the final quarter with four unanswered goals in the third term.
But the Roos held strong in the final term, having an answer both times Blighty hit the scoreboard and then kicking another late goal to seal the win and make it a 3-0 to start the year.
Rovers onballer Dylan Kerr was awarded the Warner Tasker Medal for best on ground, with his ability to attract the ball and blistering pace a standout.
Final score, Deni Rovers 11.12 (78) to Blighty 7.13 (55).
Rovers coach Josh Bode said a good start to the game — where his side booted five goals to none in the first term — set up the win.
‘‘The first five minutes of every quarter is where we got on top,’’ he said.
‘‘They (Blighty) let us off a little bit with their kicking but I couldn’t be happier with how we performed.
‘‘We were challenged late, which happened against Strathy (round one), but we fought back again.
‘‘Dylan (Kerr) was brilliant, Ricky Waters was unbelievable and Andrew May was great as well.
‘‘We gave a job to Dyl East and Caleb Pannell down back to play on Lachie MacDonald and Jed Brain and we thought that worked well. Jed got most of his kicks when he was in the midfield.
‘‘Adam Bodey had a big job to do on Tom Billings and stood up well.’’
The Roos dominated early with Brody Lumber responding to some close attention with the first two goals of the game.
Soon after Dylan May chimed in with his first of the day with an impressive banana kick, before Waters kicked truly to push the Roos out to an early lead.
Blighty then came into their own around the ground but were unable to convert on the scoreboard.
The home side punished them for their poor efficiency, going ‘coast to coast’ for a goal after four behinds in a row to the Redeyes, with Waters nailing his second for the term before quarter time.
Two goals early in the second stanza saw the Roos lead by 39 points, before the Redeyes finally had a breakthrough with Matt Jackson goaling at the 20 minute mark.
A quick reply from Waters however nullified the Redeyes’ only goal to end the term.
The Redeyes came out fired up in the third, with Lenny Clarke hitting the scoreboard within the first minute of the quarter.
With their pressure up and tackles sticking the Redeyes worked their way back into the contest with three more goals to trail by just 14 points at the final break.
The two sides went goal for goal in the first 15 minutes of the last term, before Blighty coach Jack Tyndall was sent off for talking back to the umpire at the 18 minute mark. An ensuing 50m penalty saw the Roos make the most of the extra man, working the ball forward to kick a goal to seal the game.
Tyndall said the loss was a wake up call for his side.
‘‘We were quite confident heading in and probably didn’t give the Rovers the respect that we needed to,’’ he said.
‘‘Their recruits were a huge difference in the match compared to last year and our discipline wasn’t great.
‘‘We went after the man and not the ball too often and to the Rovers’ credit they kept at it and didn’t get intimidated by it.’’
The Rovers were also victorious in the reserves, leading by a slight margin for the majority of the match to claim a 12 point win.
Final score, Deni Rovers 7.10 (52) to Blighty 6.4 (40).
For the Redeyes Ryan Chadderton showed his class by being named best on ground, with Aaron Litchfield in the ruck, Marcus Jackson across half back and James Kennedy in the middle also impressive.