Mooroopna had a sniff of a second victory of the season on Saturday, but Benalla used its class to prevail by 28 points.
Scores were locked at half-time in the Goulburn Valley League encounter at Benalla Showgrounds, with the Saints pulling away after the main break for an eighth win of the season.
Benalla playing coach Luke Morgan was happy to get the job done against the Cats, with his side missing a number of players.
Star forward Jarrod Bannister is still out, while key midfielders Zac Pallpratt, Sam Martyn and Jimmy Martiniello are on the sidelines with injury.
‘‘They’re an improving footy side, Mooroopna, and they’re going in the right direction and they were competing hard,’’ Morgan said.
Wade King made his senior debut after a number of impressive games in the under-18 team.
Benalla continues to develop its youth, with Morgan giving nine players out of the thirds side a chance to play senior football this season.
Chris Welsh, 19, is another star on the rise and received plaudits as best-on-ground for the Saints through the midfield.
James Marchbank is improving all the time in the ruck and delivered another excellent performance.
Charlie Morrison, Morgan, James Martyn and Pat Robinson were also outstanding.
Mooroopna playing coach Dale Osborne drew a number of positives from the outing, but was frustrated not to drive home with the four points.
‘‘We started well, used the ball early on, the unfortunate part that every time they (Benalla) went inside 50, they scored a goal,’’ Osborne said.
‘‘I spoke to the guys before the game and how high the opportunity was to win the game, so we came out really well in the first half, we just couldn’t quite on with it.
‘‘The effort and intent was pretty good, but there has to come a time when the guys stand up and say losing is no longer good enough.’’
Dean Smith and Clint Riley were terrific in the midfield, along with captain Trent Freer.
Jack Lear did an outstanding job on Benalla spearhead Nick Warnock, keeping the dangerous forward to one goal for the game.
Romain Grenville (four goals), Matt Deane and Trent Herbert also played well, as did young gun Kai Madgwick on a wing.
Jordan Brereton ended the match with a shoulder injury, while Deane also finished injured.
Benalla 3.1, 7.2, 12.3, 14.7 (91)
Mooroopna 4.2, 7.2, 10.2, 10.3 (63)
Benalla: Chris Welsh, Charlie Morrison, James Marchbank, Luke Morgan, James Martyn, Pat Robinson.
Mooroopna: Jack Lear, Dean Smith, Clint Riley, Trent Freer, Matt Deane, Trent Herbert.
Benalla:Tom O’Brien 3, Jordan Wolff 2, Tom Bennett, James Martyn, Chris Welsh, Cody Crawford, Nick Warnock, Aaron Blackburn, James Marchbank, Luke Morgan, Lachlan Thompson.
Mooroopna: Romain Grenville 4, Dale Osborne 2, Trent Freer, Dylan Cornick, Ben Hicks, Rhys McKenzie.