If spectators at Mansfield Recreation Reserve on Saturday did not know any better, they would have thought Euroa star Rohan Bail had not missed a match this season.
The former AFL player returned to the field for the first time since June 17 after seriously tearing his hamstring, but did not take any time at all to begin dominating once more.
Bail booted two goals and was influential across the field as the Magpies put the Eagles to the sword with a 67-point win after trailing at quarter-time.
‘‘He has not missed a beat, he’s all class,’’ Euroa playing coach JD Hayes said.
‘‘They (Mansfield) kicked with a little bit of a breeze in the first quarter, but I thought we started very well and utilised that breeze when we had it.’’
Euroa kicked 7.10 to 1.1 in the second stanza to blow the game wide open, but Hayes, back from an injury of his own, said it could have been a much more favourable scoreline for his team.
‘‘I kicked 2.5 in the first half, but I don’t think it has been up to me (to dominate) at all this year,’’ he said.
‘‘We have lots of depth and players with different capabilities, which makes us a very reliable unit.
‘‘We have multiple avenues to hit the scoreboard as well, so we’re very hard to match up on.’’
Will McFarlane booted five goals in the big win, with John Baring adding three of his own, to lead a group of nine individual goalkickers for Euroa.
The triumph keeps the Magpies locked equal on points in the race for second with Shepparton and Seymour, but Hayes knows his side must not rest on its laurels.
‘‘We’re coming to the pointy end now and everyone needs to keep playing their role and giving 110 per cent every time they take to the field,’’ he said.
‘‘The game against Seymour in two weeks will be massive, but we’re definitely not getting ahead of ourselves with Tatura (which Euroa faces next week) able to match it with the best.’’
More sore bodies made the long trip back to Euroa on Saturday night though, with Ben Hayes (possible cracked ribs), Jacob Gleeson (general soreness), Matt Ivill (shoulder) and Brad Gleeson all finishing the day worse for wear.
Meanwhile, Ben Fagan continued to star for Mansfield, kicking five goals to take his season tally to 28 and being named his side’s best player for the fifth time in 16 games.
‘‘It was a bit greasy, some rain came in the third quarter of the reserves game, but he was still grabbing everything,’’ Mansfield coach Cam Hotton said.
‘‘One-on-one he didn’t lose a contest, he was great.’’
Luke Walsh, Jamie Sheahan, Tom German and Ryan Bartlett also flew the flag for the Eagles, but Hotton was disappointed with how his troops fared in the second term.
‘‘We started off okay, but the second term was very poor,’’ he said.
‘‘The effort was bordering on insipid to be honest, and we just wanted to get some respect back in that second half.’’
Mansfield sets its sights on a trip to the Benalla Showgrounds to take on the Saints, but will have to do so without Mitch Wareham, who will most likely miss the rest of the season after injuring his shoulder early in the game.