STRATHFIELDSAYE rebounded from a poor Easter performance with a 124-point demolition of an outclassed Castlemaine in Anzac Day’s Camp Reserve clash.
With Stephen Milne booting seven goals and coach Darryl Wilson having the luxury of rotating key defenders into the forward half, the match was a contest for the first quarter only.
Final scores: Strathfieldsaye 21.17 (143), Castlemaine 2.7 (19).
The Magpies booted their only two goals for the day – to Matt Conboy and Tallan Wright -- in the opening term to trail by eight points at the first change.
The Pies were able to bottle up Storm’s run and keep the ball locked into ground level contests.
But as soon as the Storm runners got going and away from the congestion with Matt Ladson, Nick Smith and Kellan Smith prominent and their teammates able to spread wide, the Magpies were cooked.
Castlemaine did not add a single point to their scoreline in either the second or the third quarters.
And just five points were added in the final term at the pavilion end.
The Storm banged home five goals in each of the second and third terms and eight in the last. Matthew Johnston found targets with his accurate passes and booted a fine second quarter goal from the scoreboard pocket.
Wilson said there were a couple of reasons to move normal defenders such as Ash Trollope and Jayden Donaldson into attacking roles.
“The ball wasn’t going down their end all that much so we thought we would get a little bit of rotation going.
“Plus we’re a little bit underdone compared to other clubs. We started four weeks behind everyone else because of playing in the grand final last year.
“So from a fitness point of view we’re not where we want to be. Today gave us an opportunity to run players through the forward line.”
Wilson said he and his match committee were delighted with the work former St Kilda run-with player Steven Baker got through.
“We thought his defensive pressure was superb. Just to see what he does off the ball is great and when he kicked that (last quarter) goal everyone ran to him.
“He doesn’t kick that many so that was great.”
Wilson said gun midfielder Shaun Everington would be ready to resume next week, in round 5.
Milne was involved in a third quarter scuffle which involved a scrum of players on the railway flank, pavilion end.
It didn’t seem to bother him. From the free kick he calmly slotted the Storms’s 10th goal and added a couple more to his personal tally in the final term as the late autumn dark started descending.