The Murray Bushrangers’ forward line had a day out at Queen Elizabeth Oval, crushing the Bendigo Pioneers by 82 points on Sunday.
Shepparton’s Jordon Butts was best on field forming a potent forward line alongside Barooga’s Daniel Johnston who piled on the damage with eight majors.
Butts again staked his claim to play AFL with three goals as Murray coach Leon Higgins praised one of the four Bushies players heading to the draft combine in October.
‘‘Jordon took nine marks and as one of our two key forwards was terrific, he set up a lot of play and influenced the game as much as anyone,’’ he said.
The duo was among eight goal-kickers, including a five-goal haul from Wangaratta’s Joe Richards.
Starting the game kicking against the wind, the Bushrangers made working with the breeze count in the second term.
Scoring 8.5, Murray was well in front at half-time and Higgins said the 33-point margin was due to the dominance in attack.
‘‘We scored eight goals in the second and eight goals in the third, the third quarter was always going to be important, but our forward line dominated the game, they were terrific,’’ he said.
Mooroopna’s Laitham Vandermeer played a crucial role, in his first game in three weeks after suffering two head knocks against the Western Jets.
‘‘I was happy with Laith, he’s playing a different role in the forward line and we want to expose him to different areas of the ground, he played a bit on the wing and as a small defender role in the past, but his role on the weekend in the forward line was similar to Joe Richards (as a small forward),’’ Higgins said.
Vandermeer will play one more game of school football for Xavier College before he is available to return full-time to the Bushies.
Shepparton United’s Zane Barzen took his season goal tally to 13 with two goals at the weekend.
The win resulted in the Bushrangers jumping up to third spot on the TAC Cup ladder.
Echuca ace Darby Henderson kicked two majors for the Bendigo Pioneers, to be named one of his side’s best.
Murray Bushrangers 2.4, 10.9, 18.11, 23.18 (156)
Bendigo Pioneers 3.4, 5.6, 7.10, 10.14 (74)
Best: Murray Bushrangers:
Jordon Butts, Daniel Johnston, Joe Richards, Nick Murray, Laitham Vandermeer, Daniel Bond.
Goals: Murray Bushrangers: Daniel Johnston 8, Joe Richards 5, Jordon Butts 3, Jy Lane 2, Zane Barzen 2, Mark Marriott, Laitham Vandermeer, Nick Richards.