WESTERN Border football results certainly made a statement on the weekend, with three big wins recorded.
First up Casterton Sandford let the remainder of the sides know it is serious about finals football in 2017, with a 61-point victory over West Gambier.
While the Roos currently occupy the bottom rung of the ladder, their form in recent rounds has suggested a more competitive side.
However, the Cats were not about to repeat the result from the Round 5 clash, where the Roos claimed their only win of the season.
It was a team effort from the Cats, with runners lining up for possessions from the backline right through to the forward 50, where 11 players claimed major scores.
A one-off cameo was played by Travis Robertson, a decorated ex-VFL player who previously coached 2017 Cats recruit Tom McArlein in the Geelong Amateurs league.
If he can return this season, he will certainly have an impact on the Cats finals aspirations.
But it was also a top performance by former coach Dylan Ayton, who showed the form many have expected of him, gaining meaningful possessions and finishing with a few goals to boot.
For Millicent it was a hard return to earth after such a promising first half of the season.
The Saints were given a football lesson at McLaughlin Park, with North Gambier paying little credence to the home ground advantage of Millicent.
A huge 52 points to zero first quarter suggested game over and that was certainly the case.
Only a final-quarter push added any semblance of respectability to the scoreboard, with the Tigers victorious by 87 points.
According to The Border Watch’s Dave Turner, much of the Tigers’ success came off the work of Fraser Marshall, whose running game set up many opportunities up forward.
Brett Kennedy continued his good work in the ruck, seeing off various opponents, while youngster Declan Carmody added three more majors to his season tally.
At Blue Lake Sports Park the season has been looking better for South Gambier, but not in Round 10, with the biggest victory of the round seen down there.
East Gambier simply made easy work of the home side, decimating the Demons’ defensive zone to run out 92-point winners.
The Border Watch football correspondent Gorden Milosevic suggested Jesse Fry did much of the damage, setting up his forward players through his impressive use of the ball around the ground, while Matt Dempsey finished with a bag of five goals.
More surprisingly, this was all achieved without the services of Matt Scanlon and the high-flying antics of Mark Rumbelow.
The Demons were also without major ball winner Brett O’Neil or big man Jak Ryan.
On the back of those performances, the Sportspower Player-of-the-Year weekly honours go to Bulldog Fry.
His efforts around the ground helped destroy the Demons in a game that will surely be replayed more than once this week.
Cast/Sand v West (Trevor Jackson)
3. Dylan Ayton (Casterton Sandford): Gained numerous meaningful possessions around the ground to ensure the Cats remained on top of the Roos.
2. Damian Wombwell (Casterton Sandford): Linked up with various players around the ground to push the ball forward and provide scoring opportunities.
1. Travis Robertson (Casterton Sandford): A one-off cameo for the Cats saw Robertson control the backline to great effect.
Millicent v North (Dave Turner)
3. Fraser Marshall (North): The best of the North Gambier onballers who set up many of his side’s scoring opportunities and finished with two goals.
2. Brett Kennedy (North): Won the rucking division throughout the match, despite having a number of different opponents.
1. Declan Carmody (North): One of the league’s most talent youngsters. A dangerous forward who finished with three majors.
South v East (Gorden Milosevic)
3. Jesse Fry (East Gambier): Damaging prime mover who brought teammates into the game with his ball usage.
2. Matt Dempsey (East Gambier): Consistent contributor in all sectors while slotting five goals.
1. Jack Dawe (East Gambier): Continually created scoring opportunities for the Bulldogs while running the lines.