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FOR Bendigo inter-league captain Jack Geary, the competition's standing in the AFL Victoria Community Championships rankings doesn't sit comfortably.
Bendigo went into Saturday's match against Outer East at the QEO as the 10th-ranked competition in the championships.
But for Geary, who has been representing the Blue and Gold since 2010, that was far too low.
However, Geary is hopeful Saturday's 99-point annihilation of Outer East will be the first step on a consistent ascension back up the rankings, with Bendigo now eighth following its 18.17 (125) to 3.8 (26) demolition.
As well as climbing over the top of Outer East in the rankings, making the result that bit more sweeter is Bendigo has also now moved ahead of arch-rival Ballarat (No.9).
"Hopefully, with this result today inter-league footy can really snowball for us and next year the quality players we had today put their hand up again," Geary said.
"Sitting at No.10 in the rankings before today, I don't think that does us justice and we showed that today.
"I'm confident with the side we had out there today that we would have beaten Hampden last year no worries; I can't imagine Ballarat would have matched us and then all of a sudden you're up around that top five mark, which I think is where we belong.
"It might take a few years, but with Darryl (Wilson, coach) getting the buy-in from the players that he did and really stirring that emotion, hopefully, it flows on."
Before Saturday Bendigo had lost its previous two inter-league games by less than two kicks - by nine points to Hampden last year and 11 points to Ballarat in 2017.
While both those previous matches had been arm-wrestles, Saturday was anything but as Bendigo kicked the first seven goals of the game and was already 60 points up by half-time.
"We spoke before the game about starting well. We were under the impression that Outer East was probably going to be a bit bigger and slower and like contested footy," Geary said.
"If you look at our side, we weren't overly tall, but the way we spread was really good and we put a bit of faith in our backs to intercept mark and I felt we were able to make them look slow at times."
Geary was again one of Bendigo's standout players through the midfield and also chipped in with two second-half goals.
Geary was named Bendigo's second-best player behind Golden Square team-mate Jake Thrum.
Of the seven inter-league games Geary has played for Bendigo, Saturday was the fifth time one of the most decorated players of modern times in the BFNL has figured among the best.
Meanwhile, there was no wiping the smile off the face of Jake O'Brien post-match given how hard wins have been to come for him recently.
O'Brien is in his second season at Castlemaine, which hasn't won a game since April 14 last year.
"It has been a long stint between wins, so this is fantastic," said O'Brien, one of 16 Bendigo debutantes.
"It was great fun out there today... the ball movement was so silky and it was good to get on the end of a few.
"It's fun winning and I really enjoyed the whole experience. The boys were all really good and it was a fantastic environment.
"It's always an honour to represent your league and to have the calibre of players today was good fun."
O'Brien, 21 was part of a Bendigo midfield group that had the better of Outer East, while he also kicked two goals - the first in the second quarter when he weaved through a stoppage; the second in the third with a booming kick from 50m.
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