Laurimar confirmed its status as the team to beat in Heidelberg Golf Club Division 3 with a runaway 35-point win over Kilmore at J.J Clancy Reserve in Round 13.
The Blues had loomed as a major threat to the Power’s unbeaten run and a win to the home side looked on the cards when they led by 20 points at quarter time.
However, the ladder-leader was dominant in the final three quarters and kicked 10 of the final 12 goals to win 10.12 (72) to 5.7 (37).
The win was the Power’s 12th in a row and moved them one step closer to claiming the minor premiership. They are now all but assured a double chance in the finals.
Kilmore remains third on the ladder despite its five-game winning streak coming to an end, although the Blues are now a game and percentage behind second-placed Panton Hill.
Both the Redbacks and Blues have five games remaining in the home and away season, but given the massive percentage differential between them, the Blues will need the Redbacks to lose two matches in order to climb above them on the ladder.
Josh Leather was outstanding in the ruck for Laurimar and got first hands to the football to give his side the ascendancy at the stoppages.
Jordan Wilkins and Jacob Lawson both racked up plenty of the football at opposite ends of the field, while Jack Stewart showed good signs and Mitch Thompson was his usual busy self.
Ben Cooney was Kilmore’s best, while Shane Skidmore and Chris Ryall were leading ball winners and were particularly influential during a dominant first term for the Blues. Leigh Irons toiled hard for four quarters.
In slippery and windy conditions, Kilmore made a fantastic start and kicked the opening goal when Cooney kicked an opportunistic goal after intercepting an errant handball in the goal square.
The lead was doubled soon after when Shane Skidmore converted a set shot from deep in the pocket, before a slick coast to coast play ended with Chris Ryall putting through a goal from long range to extend the margin to 19 points.
Kilmore was winning much more football at the coal face and was also looking too slick for the undefeated ladder-leader – spreading quickly and able to transition the ball from one end of the field to the other in quick time.
Laurimar didn’t look like scoring in the first term, however that all changed after quarter time.
Mitch Golby put through the Power’s first goal in the second minute of the second term, before Ethan Frawley trimmed the deficit to five points with his first goal of the day.
The visitors had a clear advantage in the midfield during the second term and were able to lock the ball inside their forward 50m for much of the quarter.
They weren’t able to convert their dominance into scoreboard pressure – booting four consecutive behinds, before Jesse McKinnon finally put them ahead at the 24-minute mark after converting a free kick.
Brad Deed added another 90 seconds after to give Laurimar a 10-point lead at the main break and his side continued its charge after the interval, with goals to Dallas King and Golby early in the third term pushing them 22 points ahead.
Ryall managed to break his side’s goal drought with his second at the 11-minute mark, which provided a spark for Kilmore. The Blues then kicked another via Jaxson Kinnear to close the gap to 11 points.
However, Laurimar won the resulting centre clearance and a long kick inside 50m from Justin Sherman bounced fortuitously to Frawley who strolled into the open goal.
Leading by 17 points at the last change, the Power sealed the game in the opening minutes of the last term courtesy of a goal to Sherman. Two more to King were the icing on the cake as the Power again proved their premiership credentials.
Final score: Kilmore 5.7 (37) def by Laurimar 10.12 (72)
Best Players: B. Cooney, S. Skidmore, C. Ryall, L. Irons, R. McLaughlin, T. McMillan
Goal Kickers: C. Ryall 2, B. Cooney, S. Skidmore, J. Kinnear
Best Players: J. Leather, J. Wilkins, J. Lawson, J. Stewart, M. Thompson, W. Ratje
Goal Kickers: D. King 3, M. Golby 2, E. Frawley 2, B. Deed, J. McKinnon, J. Sherman