Quickly up the Road

April 16, 2018

In the firing line: Congupna's Jay Winnell is hunted by Deniliquin's Lachie Trotman.

In space: Deniliquin's Aiden Free looks to find a teammate.

Set fire to the rain: Congupna's Josh Chapman was in top form on Saturday.

Tall order: Deniliquin's Sid Pearn battled hard against Congupna's Jack Threlfall.

A fast start put Congupna in prime position to claim its first win of the season on Saturday against Deniliquin.

The Road booted five goals to none in the first term before the heavens opened and allowed Josh Chapman to throw the anchor down across half-back — denying the visitors any semblance of smooth sailing.

‘‘We kicked five goals pretty early and got the jump on them,’’ Congupna coach David Gee said.

‘‘The rain then came down hard and set in for the day, and it gave us the opportunity to really control the game.

‘‘Josh Chapman was outstanding, he controlled the backline all day and with his leadership and experience he really makes everyone lift around him.’’

The Rams actually won the second and third quarters by small margins, but Congupna’s early gap proved too much to reel in, and when the final siren sounded, the scoreboard read 11.9 (75) to 6.6 (42) in the home side’s favour.

Joe Dwyer (three goals), BJ Squire, Jack Threlfall and Sam Ferguson were impressive for The Road, but Gee was equally as happy with the performances of all of his charges.

‘‘Lachie Baldwin was in and under and just got the ball all day, it was probably his best game for the club in a number of years,’’ Gee said.

‘‘But we didn’t have any passengers which was good, it was a really, really even performance.

‘‘We could have named 12 players in our bests.’’

After fighting hard for ultimately no gain in the first two rounds, Gee hoped a maiden win under his tutelage would jump start The Road’s campaign after next weekend’s bye.

‘‘Just to get that first win takes a little bit of pressure off,’’ Gee said.

‘‘I think the boys will settle now and have a bit of belief in themselves going forward.

‘‘I’m loving it (coaching) and it’s a really exciting and positive feeling at the club.

‘‘Even though it was wet, we had a really good supporter base there.’’

Sid Pearn, Ricky Gittens, Sam Willoughby, Jack Tonta, Jayden Pitts and playing coach Todd Gallagher were Deniliquin’s best players in the side’s third loss of the year, which has it languishing in last position.

Gee feels the Murray Football League will be too close to write any sides off this year though.

‘‘It’s such an even competition this year,’’ he said.

‘‘You have to cherish every win because you’ve got to work so hard to get them.

‘‘There’s no games at all you can pencil in.’’

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