It was a brave effort by Jerilderie when they hosted Picola & District League reigning premier Rennie on Saturday, but it just wasn’t quite enough.
The Demons pushed the Hoppers to their limit, before the visitors flexed their muscles in the last quarter to earn a 25 point win.
Rennie’s Chase Strawhorn notched up his 500th club goal with a four-goal haul, with other stars for the Hoppers including Zack Smith, Jarryd Fountain and Khris Willett (three goals).
Demon Nick Parker was inspirational for his side with five goals, with Daly Harrison, Marc Shaw, Grant-Patrick Smith, David Gregory and Hayden Smith also playing well.
Final score, Rennie 13.9 (87) to Jerilderie 10.2 (62)
Jerilderie started well, matching the Hoppers in the first quarter and taking a slim three point lead into quarter time.
Harrison played well in the ruck, giving the on ballers first use, while Shaw provided plenty of drive out of the backline.
The arm wrestle continued in the second term with neither side able to gain the ascendancy.
Parker relished his move to the forward line and after the main break the Demons went goal for goal with the Hoppers, with Rennie taking a six point lead into three quarter time.
The on ballers in Grant-Patrick Smith and David Gregory were picking up plenty of possessions and looking dangerous, while Hayden Smith was outstanding across half back.
Going into the final term it looked like the Demons might cause an upset, but Rennie steadied with four goals to one in the last.
Despite the loss there were a lot of positive signs from the game and if the Dees maintain their intensity, they are sure to be singing the song more regularly.
Jerilderie’s reserves were unable to overcome second placed Rennie, going down by 52 points.
Jack Anthony was best on ground for the Demons, while David Hercus battled hard against a strong opposition.
After half time, Jerilderie lifted and started to play some better, more competitive footy, with Cameron Arnold hard at the football and Zac Rochford having a great first game back.
Toby Burt is improving each week and provided a strong target up forward for the Dees.
Going into the last term, the Demons lifted their endeavour and kept the Hoppers goalless, but the damage was already done.
Final score, Rennie 12.14 (86) to Jerilderie 5.4 (34).
The Demons thirds had an arm wrestle with the Hoppers for most of the game, but a strong last quarter by Rennie proved the difference.
Ben Neessen was best on ground for the Demons, running hard at the ball and getting in and under the packs, while Rory Knight is becoming a fierce competitor and strong marking target.
At the main break, the Dees held a 10 point lead thanks to some great play by Zander Nash and Jason Burke.
Alex A’Vard was solid at full back, repelling numerous attacking moves, while Mitch Cooper controlled the ball at centre half back. The third term saw Rennie regroup and at the last break there was only two points separating the sides before the visitors kicked clear.
Final score, Rennie 7.10 (52) to Jerilderie 5.3 (33).
The Demons fourths came up against unbeaten Rennie and struggled to move the ball forward.
Jonathan Shen continues to impress with some great tackling and attack on the football.
Jason Ray was hard at the football and battled all day, while Angus Moloney continues to improve with each game. The Dees showed some great passages of play at times with Nickola DiLullo running hard at the footy and Travis Lawton and Cruz Nash getting plenty of possessions, but they couldn’t contain the young Hoppers who ran away with a convincing win.
Final score, Rennie 21.16 (142) to Jerilderie 0.1 (1).