Blighty overcame another slow start to outclass Jerilderie by 43 points in round 14 of the Picola League on Saturday.
Playing at home, the Redeyes were stunned by the Demons, finding themselves 15 points down at quarter time.
Blighty recovered in the second stanza to lead by eight points at the main break, before five unanswered goals in the premiership quarter saw them build a comfortable scoreboard gap.
It was a high scoring last term with both side managing six goals apiece with the Redeyes keeping in touch with Picola and Strathmerton in the league’s top three ladder positions.
Blighty forward Brett Macdonald was his side’s best, kicking two goals as a high half forward, and Lachlan MacDonald impressing kicking four goals playing deep in the 50m arc.
Redeyes ruckman Gilbert McKinnon continues to impress against much taller opponents, rucking against Tom Bryce before he left the field with injury, leaving Aaron Purcell (three goals) to do the ruck work for the Demons.
Blighty onballers Sam Singleton, Tom Draffin, Darcy Pogue and Kyel Bain made the most of McKinnon’s ruck work, with Jerilderie’s James Browning declared his side’s best for his negating role on Jed Brain.
Demons onballers Chris Marshall and James Gilligan played another strong game for the visitors, while Marc Shaw starred up forward with four goals to close out the best.
Final score, Blighty 18.11 (119) to Jerilderie 11.10 (76).
Blighty started the game undermanned with the late outs of Tom Dowling and Jack Bunnett, seeing Jake Plattfuss come in for his first senior game, along with coach Daniel Kirchen.
Blighty assistant coach Brayden Hall said he was pleased with his side’s effort to recover from their slow start on the day.
‘‘We looked slow in the warm-up, so that may have contributed to our slow start,’’ he said.
‘‘We didn’t perform to our standard and if we perform that way against the better sides then it will cost us.
‘‘We didn’t play to our structures and Jerilderie ran with waves of players to get on top of us in stages.
‘‘It was fantastic though that we were able to turn things around and secure the win.
‘‘We showed plenty of fight in the middle two quarters but we need that from everyone in all four.’’
Hall said it was the work of Brett Macdonald that got the ball rolling for Blighty.
‘‘Brett’s given us a real target at centre half forward,’’ he said.
‘‘He’s taking strong grabs and is a fantastic link to our forward 50. He set up a fair chunk of our goals on the weekend playing high up the ground, so for him to kick two goals of his own just shows how hard he worked.
‘‘Darcy Pogue is another bloke who impressed me. He only played his first game of the year two weeks ago but has hit the training track hard and gave us plenty of drive out of the middle.
‘‘We still have about six or seven blokes missing from the line-up to come back into the side and now there will be pressure on everyone’s spot.’’
In the reserves it was Blighty dominating Jerilderie in a 102 point win, with Michael Norman booting seven goals.
The win edged the sixth placed Redeyes closer to fifth placed Mathoura, sitting one win behind the Timbercutters.
Final score, Blighty 18.14 (122) to Jerilderie 3.2 (20).
Veteran defender Leigh Culton was declared Blighty’s best with Steven Gough and Bret Leech also playing well.
Beau Close played a strong game up forward with five majors while Brad Haines and Callum McPhee closed out the Redeyes’ best.