Eltham continued its undefeated start to the A Plus Labour Solutions Division 2 season with an impressive 14.11 (95) to 7.10 (52) victory over Thomastown.
The Panthers were challenged in the opening quarter and took 18 minutes to kick their first goal.
But six goals to Michael Still ensured Eltham won its eighth game of the season, running away 43-point victors at Main Street Reserve.
Lewis Glasgow, Matthew Keys and Tom Rogers had impressive games, while Paul Currie started the match on fire by kicking the Panthers first two goals.
For Thomastown, Matthew Vasilevski was ever reliable in midfield and worked well in tandem with fellow midfielder Daniel Chadwick.
Entering the game in fourth place on the ladder, Thomastown was aiming for a solid performance against one of the elite sides in the division to prove it belongs in the top-four.
The game began in a frenetic fashion, with both sides eager to distribute the ball as quickly as possible.
Jacob Osei-Duro gave the Bears the early lead and it would take more than half the quarter for Eltham to reply via a running goal from Currie to give the Panthers a one-point lead.
However, it took only a minute for the Bears to retake the lead, courtesy of a goal from Daniel Chadwick.
Chadwick’s goal awoke the Panthers, who began to settle into the game and lower their eyes to spot loose teammates.
Currie backed up his first goal with another running goal from outside 50, before Bradyn Taglieri and Brandon Freeman kicked truly to give the Panthers a 13-point lead at quarter time.
Eltham’s three goals in the final five minutes gave them a flattering 13-point lead that dampened Thomastown’s confidence.
The Bears solid defence began to feel the heat in the second quarter and gave away simple goals from turnovers.
Glasgow increased the lead within the opening two minutes of the quarter, before a turnover in the Bears defence led to a goal for Brandon Freeman.
Adrian Lesar held Michael Still goalless in the opening quarter but could do little to stop the key forward getting the better of him in the second term. Still was able to create enough space and kick three goals in the term.
Thomastown had opportunities to reduce the deficit but wasted its chances going forward. The Bears preferred to take shots from outside 50, instead of lowering their eyes and looking for teammates.
At half time the deficit was 38 points. However, those who expected Eltham to run away with the game were left surprised when Thomastown kicked the first three goals of the third term to reduce the margin to 18 points.
The Bears comeback was inspired by their midfielders getting first possession of the ball and driving the team forward.
But any thoughts of the Bears regaining the lead were quickly dashed by Still, who kicked two quick goals.
At three-quarter-time, Thomastown coach Ben Chapman told his players that the game was still up for grabs, despite the 34-point deficit, and the first few goals would be vital.
Thomastown had an opportunity early in the final quarter to reduce the margin but wasted its chances. Daniel Chadwick missed a gettable set shot that would have reduced the margin to under five goals.
Eltham was not going to let the victory slip out of their hands and goals to Freeman and Still cemented the win.
Eltham will next take on Lower Plenty in a much-anticipated top-of-the-table clash in Round 8, while Thomastown will host Watsonia.
Final score: Thomastown 7.10 (52) def by Eltham 14.11 (95)