GISBORNE shrugged off a determined Maryborough to take control of Saturday’s second half played in freezing conditions at Gardiner Reserve.
With the mercury barely reaching nine degrees and a frosty breeze gusting across the oval, the Bulldogs booted 16 goals to three in the concluding two quarters.
Ben Sonogan, who had played a shutdown role on Magpie dangerman Tyson MacIlwain early, moved into attack after half-time and drilled four goals.
With spearhead Jarrad Lynch (5) and pacy midfielder Patrick McKenna (3) also chipping in with regular majors, Gisborne outclassed the Magpies in their 21.11 (137) to 6.10 (46) victory.
Early on Maryborough was right in the contest. The Dogs led by just four points after an entertaining and hard-fought first term.
MacIlwain and Daniel Vadala (2) landed Magpie majors at the pavilion end. Gisborne was more wasteful, but stayed in touch through the run of McKenna and Daniel Weaver, plus the goal smarts of Josh Bain and Lynch.
The Bulldogs grabbed a 15-point lead by the long break thanks to the hard running of Weaver and Scott Walsh and the astute tap-outs from ruckman Tom Waters.
That was the end of the match as a contest. Gisborne added seven goals in the third term and a massive nine goals in the last to run out comfortable 91-point winners.
Icy rain at the start of the third term didn’t deter the Bulldogs. Kane Grbac, Sonogan (2), skipper Shaun Comerford and McKenna all hammered home majors with the Magpie defence shredded.
It took until the time-on period of the third quarter for Magpie spearhead Matthew Bond (fifth on the BFNL goal-kicking table going into the match on 33 majors) to boot his one and only goal for the day.
He was well held by resolute defender Heath Simpson.
The Bulldogs went on a scoring spree in the last quarter with wingman Ethan Minns rolling home a long, running shot and McKenna sliding through a great goal off the side of his boot.
Gisborne coach Rod Sharp said it was gratifying to see his players turn in a much-improved second half.
“They got a little bit of a rev-up at half-time. We played some good footy in the third quarter, started the last quarter extremely well and then after a little bit of a flat spot for five minutes we finished off really well."