Riddell District Football League stepped it up after quarter-time to knock off West Gippsland Football League in the AFL Victoria WorkSafe Country Championships on Saturday.
After an even first quarter at Macedon, the RDFL moved the ball more cleanly and it showed on the scoreboard.
A 15-point half-time lead was extended in the third and fourth quarters, with the RDFL eventually winning 18.15 (123)-11.5 (71).
West Gippsland Football League is still in the early stages of its inaugural season so were an unknown quantity going into the match.
West Gippsland was ranked 25th in Victoria and the RDFL 26th.
RDFL coach Arron Bray said securing information about its opponents had been tricky, so the league’s focus had been on perfecting its own game.
Bray said once the RDFL players settled, they were able to take control.
“Everyone was hungry to get their hands on the ball,” he said.
“We had two or three blokes going after the same ball. They were sitting on the outside and getting the ball out.
“We had to back our blokes to win the football and have some guys on the outside.
“The smalls were really good below their knees.”
Co-captain Jon Kent kicked six goals and Phil Lobb chipped in with five, but it was the work of another forward, Rex Hickman, that won most praise from the coach.
“Rex made life easier for the other forwards,” he said.
“He ran their centre half-back to places all around the ground he didn’t want to be.
“There was good space behind him for the other forwards.”
Woodend-Hesket’s Daniel Toman received the RDFL’s best-on-ground medal.
Kent and fellow co-captain Brett Chambers were also named among the best.
“Dan hunts the ball well and can hit targets,” Bray said.
He said the strength of the side was the way the players had gelled leading up to, and during, the match.
“We had nine or 10 go through the midfield at certain stages,” he said. “It was a real team effort.
“From the first training session we made sure it wasn’t all the players from Wallan together and all the players from Rupertswood together and so on.
“It showed, with everyone gelling as a team.”
The win means the RDFL will move up the rankings from 26th.
In a clean sweep for the RDFL, its under-18s also defeated West Gippsland.
Diggers Rest’s Corey Wright was awarded the best-on-ground medal, with Rupertswood’s Dylan Featon kicking five goals.