TONGALA coach Jordan Souter declared a dedicated team effort had delivered his team’s fifth win for the season on Saturday, keeping it on course for a finals appearance.
The Blues made the road trip to Deniliquin to take on the Murray League Rams on their home ground which has proved a graveyard for many expectant visiting teams over the years.
But Tongala proved up to the challenge, with a 32-point win which has kept the side in a fiercely contested top eight on the ladder.
“Every player did his bit and it was a really good team effort,” Souter said summing up the win.
Souter said star Northern Territory recruit Cam Ilett played his best game for the club so far and with another onballer, the reliable Coby McCarthy, had played key roles in the win.
Adam Lovison was Tongala’s standout defender and also played his best game since returning from Kyabram.
Up forward Mark Watson made his presence felt with four vital goals while Caleb Smith and Jack Hammond also produced top games.
The Rams produced former Richmond ruckman Ivan Maric for a one-off appearance and he booted two goals. But according to Souter Tongala’s big men Jesse Robilliard, Kyle Fitzgerald and Nic Woods operating in tandem against the ex AFL player did quite well.
“He is certainly a big unit,” said Souter referring to the 200cm Maric.
■Second-placed Tongala reserves thumped the Rams by 74 points in another impressive display of dominance.
Jesse Moran provided a reliable target up forward and booted seven goals while Bryce Denham, Tyler Vick and Zane Johnstone all made sizeable contributions to the win along with Sam Tyler and Daniel Maher.
■Tongala’s Under 17s notched a hard earned win to keep on finals pace.
The Blues had their nose in front from start to finish in a 26-point win.
Mackenzie Cowley, Talbot Varcoe and Tom Morphett were the standouts and they received plenty of support from Ryan Hatch, Riley Souter and Joel Stephens.
■Tongala’s Under 14s found the second placed Rams a little too strong, going down by 35 points.
Jesse Jackman, Tristan Watson and Harley Reid held their own for the young Blues with support from Josh Murray, Dylan Scoble and Dylan Moore. but the Rams had all the answers.