ON a day when Milawa had so many winners across the board, defender Ray Ussher was sensational across half-back and delighted to be able to soak up his second premiership with the Demons.
Throughout the match, Ussher cut off numerous Glenrowan attacks and he and teammate Scott Pell took plenty of goal-saving marks.
Following the grand final win over Glenrowan, the popular Demon was lost for words as teammates, coaches and supporters “mobbed” him to offer their heartfelt congratulations.
“I’m feeling humble at the moment, very humble,” he said.
“It feels almost too good to be true.”
Heading into the match, Ussher was seen as the likely match-up for Tigers star Dean Gladman, and coach Mick Newton duly handed the dangerous assignment to one of his best defenders.
Gladman was a non-factor in the match, kicking just one goal, while Ussher provided two hours of his trademark relentless rebound from defence.
Ussher wasn’t keen to take all of the praise for his job on Gladman, however, merely saying it was pleasing to keep such a dangerous player quiet.
“Gladman, I think, was carrying a bit of injury because he was pretty knackered by the end of the game,” he said.
“But he is a quality player so it was good to get the job done.”
Milawa had 31 scoring shots to Glenrowan’s 10 and much of that dominance was due to Ussher and rest of the back six’s ability to shut down their Tiger opponents.
Ussher said Milawa’s defence had enjoyed a consistent season and he was delighted it had put in a strong effort on the biggest day of the season.
“Our back six is really good. It has been all year,” he said.
“To keep them to seven goals is unreal.”