SOUTH Bendigo rounded out the first half of its 2017 BFNL season with a 77-point thumping of Kangaroo Flat on Saturday.
The pacy, hard-tackling Bloods restricted the Roos to a meagre four goals on their Dower Park home deck.
With midfielder-forward Liam Bartels and Brock Harvey contributing nine goals, South Bendigo extended its lead the further the match went.
Only in the third term did the Flat keep pace in the goal-kicking stakes as the clubs booted just a pair of majors each before the Bloods raced home to a 17.8 (110) to 4.9 (33) victory.
Things looked bleak for the Flat by the 20-minute mark of the opening quarter.
After Bloods’ coach Brady Childs had marked five metres out from the Station Street end and steered through the first goal with less than three minutes played, South then added four more before quarter-time.
Will Keck collected a Mitch Hocking handball and shot truly, Harvey marked inside the forward 50 and nailed a low, flat shot for South’s third, followed by a Daniel Johnstone set-shot from just inside the arc.
Big ruckman Kieran Strachan marked an Alex Hywood kick forward and sank South’s fifth from just 30 metres out.
The Roos’ only response had come at the 13-minute mark when Kansas Varker marked on the scoreboard end’s old caravan park flank and steered through a Flat major.
South’s defence led by Brad Wright, Zac Hare and Alex Howe shut down the Roo attack. But with their midfield overrun by Bloods’ Blair Whelan, who was outstanding, Bartels (five goals for the day) and Hocking, there were limited options to allow the Roos to work the ball forward.
After another five-goal burst from South in the second term the Roos at least kept pace in the third quarter.
Jonathan Lanyon and Alex Pearson were the Flat’s hardest workers as finally the home side found some spark.
Dylan Klemm and Jack Bower at the opposite ends of the quarter – Klemm’s in the first 50 seconds and then Bower on the three-quarter time siren – goaled for the Roos.
But South’s go-to scorers in Bartels and Harvey rammed home majors with the Bloods 48 points up at the last break.
Five last-stanza South goals to nil emphasised the difference in class between the two clubs. Isaiah Miller added his name to the Bloods’ goal-kicking list, while Harvey marked and then nailed his fourth with the last kick of the day after the final siren had sounded.
Childs praised the commitment and concentration of his backmen. “They deserve a bit of recognition,” he said.
“Not only do they defend, hard they run off well and I think all good sides need solid running backs.”
Childs also said it was good to “get back on the winner’s list” after consecutive losses to Square and Storm.