A bright start from Lockington-Bamawm United soon evaporated as North Bendigo quickly took control and charged to a 149-point victory in the Heathcote District Football League on Saturday.
The Bulldogs kicked five goals in the first quarter but the Cats slotted three of their own in a competitive opening to the match.
But a 10-goal second quarter explosion saw North Bendigo stamp its authority on the contest and run away with a 29.20 (194) to 7.3 (45) victory.
LBU coach Peter Gibbs said it was always going to be a tough ask for his side.
‘‘We knew we’d be up against it from the start so our focus was just to compete and we did that in the first quarter — and then in patches,’’ he said.
‘‘The times when we weren’t competitive they exploited that. Their spread from stoppages was super and their midfield run was terrific.’’
James Woodland and Ben Edwards were able to play after being unavailable in previous weeks due to work commitments.
‘‘It’s hard to get continuity with Ben being a week-to-week prospect and James away with work so it was nice to have them out there,’’ Gibbs said.
‘‘James battled hard on Brady Herdman who is, in my opinion, one of the best footballers in country Victoria.’’
Herdman finished the day with eight goals but Gibbs said Woodland made it a contest each time the ball went into the Bulldogs’ forward line.
Marcus Angove was yet again a solid contributor and Rhys Woodland also had a good game, being asked to fill various roles throughout the day with the Cats forced into using undersized players to fill key positions.
Even the coach’s 18-year-old son Jackson did his best against North Bendigo’s giant ruckman.
LBU’s job was made even harder when injuries hit hard late in the game.
‘‘We were down to maybe one on the bench. Nathan Dyson came off sore and stiff and it doesn’t help when Callum Randell and David Ismail are already showered up,’’ he said.
‘‘It makes it really hard when you’re trying to run down fresh players (from the opposition’s bench).’’
Gibbs said the final scoreline was even a surprise to the North Bendigo camp considering how much of a contest the game was.
‘‘We made it a contest but they were better in the contest,’’ he said.
‘‘I think it will be a quality finals campaign because the three top sides do attack well.’’