St Mary’s scored a massive 96-point win in a top of the table clash against Mernda at Whatmough Park in Round 6 of Northern Football/Netball League Division 3.
Both teams had not been at their best of late – with the Burra recording their first loss the previous week at Panton Hill.
The Demons came into the game having won three on the trot – but all against teams currently outside the top four and by an average winning margin of only 15 points.
The 19.23 (137) to 6.5 (41) win moves the Burra a game and percentage clear on top of the ladder as teams head to the representative bye.
The Demons were competitive in the first term and trailed by only four points as the siren rang. But Nick Dean slotted a difficult set shot from 45 metres out on an angle to extend the lead to 10-points at the first break.
It was the start of an avalanche. From that point on, St Mary’s put the foot down – booting 12 goals to one in the second and third terms.
The Burra had winners all over the field. Contrasting last week’s loss to Panton Hill, they won in the midfield and their defensive pressure forced their opponents into an error-riddled game.
Nick Gedge justified his promotion from the reserves and won numerous clearances in the midfield. The dominance across the centre meant that St Mary’s won the inside 50 count by thirty.
Nick Dean put on a clinic in set shot goal-kicking – registering eight majors from his eight set shot kicks. He was ably assisted by Myles Guldon who was busy across half forward and finished with two goals himself.
Dillan Ronalds also bobbed up – snapping two goals while resting forward and doing well further afield. Daniel Dober spent some time in the ruck and used the ball well.
Down back, the Burra defence held firm and regularly provided a springboard into attack.
“A four quarter effort,” said coach Fabian Carelli. “Our defensive pressure was outstanding today and there were no lapses.”
The ground was in excellent condition despite the recent rain. The most difficult thing for the players to contend with was a strong cross wind. Mernda players regularly kicked the ball out on the full on the outer win early in the contest.
“We didn’t match their effort,” said a disappointed Mernda coach Paul Derrick.
The Demons went into the contest missing some key players. They then lost Matthew Golledge early in the contest plus others along the way – capping off a horror day for the club.
The positives were few for the team, but Tom Deayton was a stand-out across half back. Youngster Brayden Gardiner acquitted himself well, while Danny-lee Rigby showed some dash through the midfield.
Les Adams returned for his first game since the opening round – extracting the ball from heavy traffic and using it well.
Derrick implored his team at the last break to show some pride. This they did – fighting out the final term well despite being undermanned.
Josh Delaney broke the lines with a long kick from defence that ended up in a goal to Daniel Bryant. Delaney then managed to kick one of his own from a set shot out wide.
Mernda will be looking to return to the winners list when hosting Reservoir at Waterview Recreation Reserve in a fortnight’s time.
St Mary’s has a bye after the break and also faces Reservoir next up – at Whatmough Park.
Final score: St Mary’s 19.23 (137) def Mernda 6.5 (41)