Macleod returned to the top of the Meadows Greyhounds Division 1 ladder after romping to a 62-point win over Bundoora.
After conceding the first two goals of the game, the Roos ran rampant to record the 16.17 (113) to 7.9 (51) win at Yulong Reserve, moving the club four points clear atop the ladder with a 7-1 record after eight rounds.
Justin White and Jack Bianchin were superb across half back and racked up possessions at will, while Chris Long, Anthony Doherty and Ned McKeown all produced strong performances in their side’s big victory.
Macleod coach Garry Ramsay said the performance was his side’s best of the year.
“That may have been the best we’ve played this year so I’m very happy with the boys. It was a really good win,” Ramsay said.
“(Bundoora) probably had a few key players out but I thought we moved the ball pretty well. Our disposal was really good and we didn’t turn the ball over too many times, so that was really pleasing.”
Macleod shared the load in attack with a dozen players getting on the goal kickers sheet, led by Matthew Clark who finished with a team-high three majors.
Ramsay credited his side’s versatility for its ability to kick a winning score against the team ranked fourth on the ladder.
“We had 12 goal kickers which is really pleasing,” he said.
“There are a lot of versatile players there and that works well for us if one does go down, where we’d like to think we have someone there to replace them.”
Macleod set its win up in a 20-minute period before quarter time, where it piled on five unanswered goals to a take a 23-point lead into the first break.
White and Bianchin each found a heap of the ball which ensured the Roos’ forwards had plenty of opportunities, with the ball continually driven into the visitors’ attacking half.
At times Bundoora was its own worst enemy, with the Bulls making a number of costly defensive turnovers which directly led to Macleod shots at goals.
This was highlighted by the Bulls twice overstepping the paint from consecutive kick-ins from behinds – allowing Macleod to continually build pressure by locking the ball in its forward 50.
The quarter-time break did nothing to stop Macleod’s momentum as Clark put through his second goal just one minute after the restart of play.
Bundoora was gradually able to even the midfield battle and netted consecutive goals through Danny Younan and Andrew Carmusciano in the space of three minutes to cut the deficit to 16 points midway through the term.
However a quick response from Reid Brandt and another goal to Jack Langford gave the Roos a healthy 32-point lead at the main break – a margin which should have been greater but for some sprayed shots at goal late in the term.
Early goals to Carmusciano and Gary Moorcroft kept Bundoora in the hunt in the third term, with the home crowd finding its voice – particularly after a huge mark from Dom Nixon on centre wing.
However a running goal from Hamish Paynter from a defensive turnover and another to Clark minutes later sealed the contest, with the Roos taking an unassailable 38-point lead into the last change.
The visitors piled on five goals to one in the final term to go on for a percentage-boosting win, with Ramsay hopeful his side can carry the momentum into the second half of the season.
“This has been the most stop-start year we’ve had and it has been really hard to get that continuity,” he said.
“I don’t think we’ve been playing all that well and we’ve just got over the line a couple of times.
“We’re really looking forward to playing week after week now and really getting stuck into it.”
Final score: Bundoora 7.9 (51) def by Macleod 16.17 (113)