Benalla Rovers defeated Mansfield Eagles by 48 points to win the Benalla and District Junior Football League A-division premiership.
Benalla Rovers are the 2013 Benalla and District Junior Football League premiers.
Going into the match at the Benalla Showgrounds as favourites, the Rovers started in positive fashion, winning the majority of the centre clearances to lead the Mansfield Eagles by 14 points at quarter-time.
In a tough, fast-flowing opening, Harry Morrison and Jack Spinks started strongly for the Rovers and created many scoring opportunities.
In defence, Curtis Anker took a number of telling marks while Alex Rofe stuck to his role on Eagles forward Nick Wilcox.
The Eagles were well served by onballer Paul Griffin who led the way for his side in contested possessions and tackling.
Joe Brackles and Tim O’Brien were extremely solid in defence.
The second quarter saw more tight and intense football, in which ruckman Jack Melrose gave his Rovers midfielders first use of the ball.
Once again Morrison was dominant, and combined well with Toby Feehan across the half-forward line.
Cooper McCoy and Kaiden Skelton worked hard; they rotated through the midfield and then kicked critical goals in attack.
Griffin continued to win plenty of football for the Eagles who had a number of chances to score but failed to fully capitalise.
At half-time the Rovers increased their lead to 21 points with the game still very much in the balance.
With Rofe having the better of his contest with Wilcox, Rovers coach Darren Skelton called on his players to start again, ignore the scoreboard, and commit to playing 80 minutes of tough, hard football.
The third quarter saw more hard tackling and contested football from both sides, as the Rovers’ half backline of captain Corey Gunn, Michael Skilbeck and Jack Horsborgh won their share of contests.
Sam Newton also worked hard in the centre of the ground, and combined well with wingers Zoro Chang and Jack Love.
With Tom Newton, Rofe and Jim Taylor on the last line of defence, the Eagles were unable to find an avenue to score; Rovers added an additional two goals to take their lead to 34 points at the last break.
With the first goal of the last quarter critical, the Rovers worked hard to create opportunities and finally extended the lead to 40 points.
Morrison continued his dominance through the midfield and kicked the best of his three goals of the match to end the Eagles’ chances.
Eagles managed to kick two goals for the quarter and to their credit never gave up.
But the Rovers were too strong on the day and the final winning margin was 48 points.
The Jim Rankin Medal for the best player on the ground was awarded to Harry Morrison who showed his class in a four-quarter performance.
The Lorna Essenhigh Medal for the best player for the runners-up was presented to Paul Griffin.
For more BDJFL results, see this week’s Ensign.
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