Bendigo put on a clinical display as it disposed of Coburg by 76 points as Victorian Football League action hit Shepparton’s Deakin Reserve.
The Essendon-aligned club was on top from the outset, boasting an array of AFL talent, and opened up a five-goal advantage early, which was rarely seriously dented.
But it was the Gold’s Bendigo-listed players that really shone.
Matthew Little slotted six goals in a best-on-ground display up forward, Justin Maddern chimed in with three in a prominent performance and former Rochester premiership player Ben Duscher again showed why he deserves AFL attention.
Duscher, who played in the Tigers’ 2008 Goulburn Valley Football League premiership, was slick and polished through the middle of the ground and got forward to snag a goal.
He was considered unlucky not to be picked up at last year’s AFL drafts and is having another outstanding season as a co-captain of the Gold.
Of the Essendon-listed players, rookie Brendan Lee was a standout through the middle of the ground and Ariel Steinberg looked solid in a new role in defence.
For Coburg, Richmond-listed players Matthew White, Angus Graham in the ruck and Tom Derickx in a shutdown role on Scott Gumbleton were the standouts.
Bendigo assistant coach Daniel Schmidt, who led Rochester to the 2008 premiership, said the Gold were pleased with their efforts.
‘‘We are very happy with it,’’ Schmidt said.
‘‘Our main focus for the day was winning the contested ball and we did that for the majority of the game.
‘‘We were able to hit the scoreboard and it was just good to get the points.’’
Coburg chose to host the match at Deakin Reserve as part an effort to strengthen it’s connections to the Goulburn Valley region.
Tigers officials estimated a crowd of more than 1600 attended.
Schmidt said Deakin Reserve was capable of hosting more Victorian Football League games.
‘‘The facilities are really good,’’ he said.
‘‘They have been updated a bit since I was last there, but they are really good.
‘‘It was a beautiful day for football and it was good to see a good crowd get along and have a look.’’
The win keeps Bendigo in the top eight, two games clear of ninth, while the Tigers drop to 10th.