Hurstbridge kept its Meadows Greyhounds Division 1 finals hopes alive with a dominant 75-point victory over Lower Plenty at Ben Frilay Oval in Round 11.
Leading by 43 points at the main break, the Bridges went on with the job with a nine-goal to three second half to win 20.12 (132) to 7.15 (57) at Ben Frilay Oval and take a two-match buffer over the last-placed Bears.
Hurstbridge coach Jarrod Tilley was pleased with the result, especially with his side’s unrelenting pressure even after the result was beyond doubt.
“Obviously since we’ve been in Division 1 we haven’t had many opportunities to get on top of a side like that so we set our personal goals today and we achieved them,” Tilley said.
Tough conditions made goal kicking tough last week, however, the Bridges were kicking them much easier this week and were led by five-goal hauls to both Cooper Perrin and Cameron Cloke.
Late inclusion Cooper Barbera was also instrumental with four majors, while Troy Barbero and Jack Donnelly kicked two apiece.
Tilley was impressed with his side’s ball movement which allowed their key forwards to score in bunches.
“We want to try and move the ball quickly because as you see we’ve got some big forwards down there and the quicker we move the ball into them they can get off the chain,” Tilley said.
Perrin was named best afield for his performance, which included four goals in the first half to set his side on the way to victory.
Tom Simpson put in a trademark performance in midfield while Tyron Loader was also named among the best after playing a lockdown role for the entirety of the match.
Leigh Gray was named best for Lower Plenty, while Josh Turner and Matthew Duckworth were also impressive in a losing effort. Jack Wilkinson was the only multiple goal scorer for the Bears, with two majors.
Hurstbridge got off to a flying start as Barbera booted two early goals before Perrin kicked two more. However, some inaccurate kicking and a late Jordan Sacco goal saw the Bridges lead cut to 21 points at the first break.
Cloke then stamped his authority on the match with two early second term goals as the home side kicked five of the first six majors for the quarter.
Wilkinson was able to kick two late goals for the Bears but both times the Bridges responded within minutes to take a commanding lead into the second half.
Perrin and Barbera continued their first half form early in the third term, booting early goals as the floodgates began to open for the home side.
Goals to Alex Alderton and Cameron Elmore breathed some life into the contest, but the Bridges were quick to wrestle back momentum with four of the last five goals as the margin stretched out to 58 points at the final change.
Cloke got on the end of some fine midfield work late in the match, booting the only three goals of the final term as his side ran out with the 75-point win, which keeps them within four points of the top-five.
Hurstbridge travels to North Heidelberg in Round 12 where it will face a tough test against the third-placed Bulldogs, while Lower Plenty will host West Preston-Lakeside at Montmorency Park.
Final score: Hurstbridge 20.12 (132) def Lower Plenty 7.15 (57)
Best Players: C. Perrin, T. Barbero, T. Simpson, C. Barbera, C. Cloke, T. Loader
Goal Kickers: C. Cloke 5, C. Perrin 5, C. Barbera 4, T. Barbero 2, J. Donnelly 2, B. Jordan, J. Furlong
Best Players: L. Gray, M. Duckworth, J. Turner, A. Alderton, B. Turner, J. Wilkinson
Goal Kickers: J. Wilkinson 2, J. Sacco, C. Elmore, A. Alderton, B. Paterson, J. Fitzpatrick