Gisborne sounded an ominous warning to its BFNL rivals with an emphatic demolition of Kyneton on Friday night.
In front of a bumper crowd at the Kyneton Showgrounds, the Bulldogs silenced the Tiger faithful with a blistering performance after quarter-time.
Both teams kicked six goals in an entertaining first term before the Bulldogs blew the home side away by kicking 18 of the next 22 goals to win 24.12 (156) to 10.7 (67).
"Kyneton were up and about early, which we expected, and it was a really hot game of footy,'' Gisborne coach Rob Waters said.
"In the second quarter we just had one of those quarters when you get on a roll and we tried a couple of things that worked.
"When you get that momentum it's hard to stop and we were buzzing.
"The game opened up for us... it was a really pleasing performance."
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Gisborne's forwards made the most of the midfield dominance. Josh Kemp (seven goals) and Pat McKenna (five goals) caused the Kyneton defence plenty of headaches.
For the second time in as many weeks, midfielder Brad Bernacki was named Gisborne's best, while key defender Jaidyn Owen did a great job to keep Kyneton assistant coach Guy Dickson goalless.
The Tigers unveiled their latest key signing in the form of midfielder/forward Cameron Manuel.
Originally from Western Australia, Manuel played in the WAFL for Perth before moving to Melbourne where he won the 2016 Chandler Medal as best and fairest in the powerful Eastern Football League.
He most recently played with Moe in Gippsland.
"He's a star, a class act,'' Waters said of Manuel.
"He played midfield most of the day and rested forward, kicked four goals... he's going to be a very, very good player in our league."
Louis Phillips and Jake Safstrom battled hard for the Tigers, while Rhys Magin kicked four goals for the second consecutive match.
"It was just one game, I have no doubt Kyneton is an improved side this year,'' Waters said.
"Particularly through the midfield they bat much deeper than they did last year.
"We got a hold of them after quarter-time, but I'm sure they're a better side than that."
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