READ MORE - Strathfieldsaye too classy for South Bendigo
MARYBOROUGH'S 11-game audition for a new 2020 coach began on Saturday with another sign of the Magpies' improvement.
With Ben Lavars having announced he will be stepping down as coach at the end of this year, the Magpies have 11 games to show they are an attractive proposition in 2020 and beyond.
Saturday's win over Kangaroo Flat ticked off a number of boxes for the Magpies as they build back to a competitive BFNL team.
Coming off a victory over last year's finalist, Kyneton, the previous week, Saturday's 17.16 (118) to 13.10 (88) triumph against the Roos was the first time Maryborough has strung together back-to-back wins since late in 2014.
That the Magpies won at Dower Park was also an accomplishment given their 1-39 record in their previous 40 away games.
And their score of 118, which featured four goals from Stewart Crameri, was the Magpies' highest in their past 89 games dating back to midway through 2014.
With there a clear two divisions in the BFNL with the gap between the top and bottom five, the ladder is showing the sixth-placed Magpies to so far be the best of the second tier sides, surpassing Kyneton, Kangaroo Flat and South Bendigo, who they finished below last season.
"Today really shows the development from last year," Lavars said.
"Last year we could stick with the better sides for a half or so, but when the intensity lifted we couldn't go with them.
"But in the third quarter today when the game was in the balance, we were able to lift our intensity and effort and get the score on the board to create a bit of space, so that shows really good progression."
Meanwhile, Sandhurst's sequence of 67 games without conceding a score above 100 came to a halt as Gisborne beat the Dragons 14.20 (104) to 12.6 (78) at Gardiner Reserve.
Other winners were Golden Square, Eaglehawk and Strathfieldsaye by a combined 364 points in the season's most one-sided round.
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