South Gambier has thrown down the gauntlet to the Bendigo Bank Western Border Football League after a special effort from coach Brayden Kain pushed the side to a triple-fig- ure triumph at Island Park on Saturday.
Casterton Sandford was the only team yet to be added to the Demons’ growing list of victims and despite a spirited first quarter, the Cats were easy prey.
The home crowd was pumped up at quarter time after Ricky and Matthew Killey kept the Victorians within four points of the ladder leader.
However, having battled through the home side’s initial burst, South settled into its rhythm which and ran away with the game.
The absence of Brodie Foster, Jack Casey, Scott Enderl and Bronson Saffin did not slow the Demons down as some young and older faces filled the void.
Kaleb Bowd was given best-on- ground honours after a bold performance in the middle.
The small, but solid man played like a tall and nullified some of the big Cats and also won a lot of possession.
Another rising talent in Todd Reid rose up and repelled any inside-50 attempts by the home side with his intercept marking ability.
Joel Duncan made his A Grade debut and impressed straight away, while veteran Brett Howard showed no rust in his return to the big league by finding the ball and booting three goals.
The man who made the biggest impact was Kain, who was able to get on the end of his side’s strong forward delivery and kick seven goals with five of them occurring before half time.
Jack Tentye also troubled the scorers regularly as the Demons took control in the second term keeping Casterton Sandford score- less.
The Cats were able to keep the same amount of majors as South in the third quarter before the red and white ran riot to almost double the lead to 100.
Kain said he never assumed an easy win and backed his team’s outside run even when Casterton Sandford looked dangerous.
“We always knew they were going to come out firing and as much as it caught us off guard, we knew we had to weather the storm,” he said.
“They were fairly physical at the contest and set up a big press which made us struggle to move the ball how we like to.
“We never got complacent, but once the sting of the game settled down we kicked precisely and ran over them.” Now the Demons have accounted for every Western Border rival in a dream start to the season.
Kain said the secret behind the success has been building up enough talent to cover all bases, but is wary of what opponents will come up with in the rematches.
“The most pleasing thing is the depth in our group because we had four changes against Casterton and still meet that same level,” he said.
“Getting early wins on the board certainly puts us in a strong position moving forward, but we are trying not to get ahead of ourselves will take it week by week because teams will be coming for us.” South returns home to face an in-form Millicent, while the Cats enjoy another home game against North Gambier.