DENMAN Devils turned the tables on Muswellbrook Rams to keep alive their hopes of defending their A Plus Contracting Group 21 first grade premiership with an 18-10 win at Olympic Park, Muswellbrook yesterday.
The Devils had lost their most recent encounter with the Rams, 34-20.
Yesterday they led from the start on the back of a determined forward effort and a brilliant kicking game from captain-coach Blake Dureau.
“He had the ball on a string again today,” Denman stalwart Neil Barry said.
“Broque Smith scored one try from a perfect kick to the corner for him.”
The Devils had plenty of willing workers too. Fijian Paula Dinauvalu, young backrower Isaac Richardson and hooker Adam Grech all had strong games and lock Trent Walker was a standout.
“He had a blinder,” Barry said of the number 13.
Nothing went right for the Rams on their home ground.
Little fullback Cade Boney took a knock early on and his brother, star backrower Daley Boney, went off with injury after just 20 minutes.
“We played our worst game of the year,” admitted young captain-coach Josh Pearsol.
“We turned it on in the last 20 minutes but the damage was done. It would have been nice to have come off knowing we’d given it everything we could, but we didn’t.”
Pearsol thought Liam Dunn was Muswellbrook’s best while Josh Boyton, who came off the bench, also gave it everything.
“He was out for six weeks and only came back last week,” Pearsol said.
“He lacked match fitness but he tried everything he could to win it for us today.”
Denman Devils now sit back and wait to see who they play in the preliminary final in a fortnight.
Scone Thoroughbreds and Greta Branxton Colts match up in this Sunday’s major semi at Scone Park. The winner goes to the Sunday, August 31 grand final the loser to a match up with the Devils on August 24.
G21 minor semi final: DENMAN DEVILS 18 (Andrew Nicholls, Broque Smith, Adam Grech, Trent Walker tries, Blake Dureau gl) d MUSWELLBROOK RAMS 10 (Elliot Serhan, Adam Dale tries, Jeff Saarikko gl) .
n Full scores in Sport Details