Gisborne overcame a slow start against Maryborough on the way to a big win in the Bendigo Football League on Saturday.
The Bulldogs surprisingly trailed at the first break, with the lowly ranked Magpies coming out switched on.
From there, the Bulldogs found their mojo with a nine-goal second quarter.
That momentum continued through the second half, with the Bulldogs winning 24.16 (160)-7.6 (48).
Bulldogs coach Clinton Young gave credit to Maryborough for the way its players attacked the game early.
“They played well in the first quarter,” he said. “They pressured us and we weren’t coping.
“We needed to adjust and after that we played our footy. It’s a good experience for us, as we’ve generally been a good starting team.”
The Bulldogs again had plenty of targets up forward, with seven players kicking multiple goals. Pat McKenna led the way with six.
Young said it was good to know they had plenty of different options.
Seven Bulldogs players have kicked five goals or more for the season, with McKenna and Jack Scanlon sitting second and third on the goalkicking table.
James Ferry, in his second game for the season, was best on ground.
Young said having Ferry in the side added another element to the team.
“He dominated in the backline,” he said. “It’s pleasing to see him play well, as he’s had a number of injuries.
“He’s a very experienced player, having played VFL … we would love to have him out there more often. Hopefully, he can stay out on the park.”
Nick Doolan, Matt Goodyear and McKenna were also named among the best.
The win moves the Bulldogs to 5-1. They remain in second, only behind undefeated Strathfieldsaye.
This week they will face reigning premier Eaglehawk, which is fifth with a 4-2 record.
Young said it would be a good challenge.
“We’ve played some good football,” he said. “Our first real test was against Strathfieldsaye, which we failed, so hopefully we can pass this test.
“The reigning premiers up there will be a great challenge for us and we’re looking forward to it. They lost yesterday [Saturday] and they won’t want to lose two games in a row.”
Kyneton won a thriller against South Bendigo.
Having led all day, the Tigers had to survive a late comeback from South Bendigo before securing a 14.13 (97)-13.14 (92) win. Playing coach Luke Beattie kicked six goals and was named in the best, along with Rhys Magin.
The Tigers are sixth with a 3-3 record.