By Trevor Jackson
THE Western Border football Round 8 catch-up game between Casterton Sandford and East Gambier saw an expected results, with the Bulldogs recording a comfortable win at Island Park.
That was despite the absence of Matt Willson and Jayden Eldridge who were away with Country Championship duties.
Other regular A-graders away included the likes of Mark Rumbelow, John Fortser and Nick Lock, to name just a few, but it was not apparent as the Bulldogs’ depth was on display.
East did welcome back the services of Matt Scanlon, which was immediately evident in front of goals as he booted home three majors, but was certainly a focus for the Casterton Sandford defence.
However, a strong start from the home side saw a five-point lead to the Cats at the first break to put the visitors on notice.
But from there the Bulldogs hit their straps and began to build an unassailable advantage.
By half time the margin had blown out to 23 points and increased from there at each subsequent break.
Both sides lifted in the third term, with the Cats banging on five major scores, only to be outdone by the Bulldogs who put on six to stretch the margin out to 30 points.
That was the last look in for the home side, as the visitors lifted the intensity in the final stanza to run out comfortable 44-point victors.
Scanlon was joined in front of goal with a big effort from Todd Lockwood, who kicked six majors, while Shem Balshaw and Giancarlo Cooper added two each.
Diarmid Cleary and Ricky Killey kicked three and two goals respectively for the Cats.
The result now completes the ladder, with all teams having played 11 games.
The match was originally set down for late May, but a coronavirus outbreak in Victoria put paid to that.
With both states currently in the clear, it leaves just one round now to catch up to, with Round 9 to be played at the end of the home-and-away season.
South Gambier sits clear at the top with just one loss, with Millicent second, just a small percentage ahead of East in third, both with seven wins, while North is a further two points behind in fourth with just six victories.
West Gambier holds down fifth spot with three victories, ahead of the win-less Cats.