THE 2013 Wimmera Football League season will always be remembered as the ‘Year of the Roo’.
Dimboola capped off a sensational first year under coach Stuart Farr by breaking a 28-year senior premiership drought.
The Roos extended their lead at every change in the grand final to prevail by 56 points and, aside from a brief period in the third quarter, were well in control of the match.
A six-goal-to-one final term sealed the Saints’ fate, with the floodgates opening late in the match.
The Exell brothers were on song for the Roos, with Hamish winning centre clearances with ease and his younger sibling Lachie putting on a goal-kicking masterclass against the Saints defenders.
Wet and greasy conditions were no obstacle for Lachie, who grabbed everything in his path on his way to a game-high seven majors to win the Greg Binns Medal for best on ground.
Toohey Medallist Justin Chilver battled hard in the ruck and midfielders Ryan Bell, Elliot Braithwaite and Clancy Bennett had plenty of the ball.
Saints skipper Nathan Clough wore his heart on his sleeve and never stopped trying, while big man Heath Watson was good in patches up forward and Alex McRae played the negating role on dangerous half-forward flanker Ash Clugston to perfection.
Phil Butsch, Steve Cameron and Dennis Adams fought hard in defence, while Steven Thomas continued his solid September campaign.
Horsham Saints had more scoring shots in the opening term, but could only manage a wasteful 2.5 for the term against Dimboola’s straight-shooting 5.1 to trail by 14 points at quarter-time.
It was Dimboola’s turn to get the goal-kicking yips in the second quarter, with Lachie Exell the main offender booting 0.3.
Saints’ usual suspects Pat Knott, Garry Hallam and Nathan Clough began to look dangerous through the middle, with the latter scoring a late first-half goal to bring the margin back to 20 points.
Nathan Byrne goaled on the run early in the second half to get the Saints within two goals.
But the Roos surged to a 30-point advantage thanks to three quick majors – two of which were from Hamish Exell.
Butsch capped off a solid quarter, slotting one through from 40 metres and keeping his side in the match at the final change, with the Saints 24 points in arrears.
However two final-quarter goals from Lachie Exell extinguished any faint hopes of a Saints revival.