STRATHFIELDSAYE Storm ensured Kris Lea’s 100th game for the club on Saturday was a memorable one with a massive 107-point belting of top-five side Kangaroo Flat.
On the wide open spaces of Flight Centre Park, elusive forward Stephen Milne booted 8.8 (including two posters) for the Storm, while ruckman Michael Pilcher bobbed up with four majors.
Only Matt Giri was able to get the scoreboard ticking over early for the Roos with his three opening-term goals, before the Storm eventually romped home 20.27 (147) to 6.4 (40).
The Flat was hit hard by injury. Defender Liam Collins came off early and was later transported to hospital with broken bones in a wrist, while forward Braydan Knox limped off in the first few minutes with an ankle injury.
The Flat was super competitive in the opening term. They trailed by just eight points at the first change, although, Storm’s inaccuracy kept them in the contest.
Giri’s straight-as-an-arrow set shots from centre half-forward at the Tannery Lane end were right out of the text book.
At the other end, Strathfieldsaye sprayed shots and the home side only just sneaked to the lead when Lachlan Sharp and Pilcher hammered home shots.
The Storm defence led by Jayden Donaldson and running half-back Tom Dowd shut down the Flat in the second term.
While keeping the visitors scoreless, the Storm added 4.7 as they had their turn with the breeze. After a string of minor scores Nathan Moffat and Milne, courtesy of a 50m penalty against Billy White, nailed shots.
When Lachlan Bonney marked a Steven Baker pass and goaled after the half-time siren Storm was away to a 39-point lead.
Inaccuracy was still Strathfieldsaye’s bugbear in the third term. Although winger Sean Johns, midfielder Jake Hall and Dowd kept pumping the ball forward, a return of 6.8 was wasteful.
Pilcher was unbeatable in the air and he added two majors from strong marks. The Flat barely passed half-forward and managed a measly two behinds.
The Storm’s second turn with the wind in the final term yielded another six majors - three from Milne’s boot - as finally the Flat found the target with goals to Rinaldi and Luke Lougoon.
“I thought the Flat boys turned the ball over a little bit, making us look better than we actually were," Strathfieldsaye coach Darryl Wilson said.
“But to win like we did was exciting considering we’ve still got a few injuries and a few other guys not 100 per cent.
"We go into a bye now with just the one loss against the best side (Sandhurst) so far.
“And there’s Bartholomew, Vinnie Flood, Everington and Mildren still to come in".
Wilson said defender Ash Trollop would be a scratching from the Bendigo inter-league squad with a groin strain.