The highlight of the return of the Bendigo Bank Western Border Football League was a high-scoring shootout between Millicent and East Gambier at McLaughlin Park on Saturday.
With the Saints and Bulldogs in the middle of the intense fight for second position on the ladder, victory was a must and both sides threw everything they had.
Despite the wet conditions under foot, scoring was not an issue as the respective forward lines entertained the crowd by showcasing their kicking skills from all angles.
Millicent crept to an early lead in the opening stages before it took control in the second term.
The Saints found an opening and raced to a 35-point lead as the East backline struggled to lay a hand on Gene Robinson.
Despite being on the back foot, the visitors had the better of the third term.
Matt Willson and Jake Harrap used their expertise in the midfield to move forward with Beau Nunan and Brodie Clark the main targets.
But they could not slow down the home side with the Sherrin being kicked from end to end.
After the four entertaining quarters, Millicent prevailed by the solid margin of 33 points with Robinson the hero.
The dominant forward could not be stopped and was at his brilliant best to push his remarkable 2021 campaign to new heights.
In a year that already includes the crazy haul of 64 goals, Robinson kicked 13 on Saturday afternoon to ensure the Bulldogs would not drive home with smiles on their faces.
But the home side’s victory was far from a one-man effort with youngster Frazer Bradley also scoring three majors and taking control of the half-forward line.
Bradley was one of a number of youngsters such as Billy Shanks, Zac McGuinness, Sam Willis, Kalan Shanks and Eli Redman to standup and show no fear against East’s experienced heads winning some crucial possession.
Given the entertaining nature of the game, Millicent coach Clint Gallio said he was on his toes for most of the afternoon.
“The conditions were good for footy and with both sides being fairly attacking and having good ball users,” he said.
“We both took our chances and found scoring easy with quick ball movement and good entries.
“It was probably not until halfway through the final quarter where we felt a little bit comfortable and controlled the game.
“It was pleasing to come out with a five-goal buffer against a team around the same mark as us.” The result comes off the back of a few “solid” nights on the training track over the mid-year break which included a fun session with the netball club.
As the Saints eye consolidating a finals berth, their attention turns to the mighty South Gambier for the third time this season.
Millicent gave the Demons a big scare in the previous clash and with another home game this Saturday, Gallio is keen to see if his men can take their attacking style to the next level and match it with the best across four quarters.
“We are really looking forward to the challenge because South is the benchmark,” he said.
“We can only control what we can control, keep looking to improve and practice on what will give us the edge to beat teams.”