MYRTLEFORD'S senior footballers came out on top in their chilly contested slog of a game against Wodonga Raiders at Birallee Park on Saturday, the Saints dominating after quarter time to get the points 14.16 (100) to 7.7 (49).
Conditions meant wet weather footy was the name of the game, as Raiders initially restricted Myrtleford from playing their natural, free–flowing game style before the Saints kicked into gear.
A 21 point margin in the Saints' favour blew out to 42 coming into the final term, as Myrtleford piled on the scoreboard pressure.
Co–coach Dawson Simpson said the effort across the ground was extremely positive, particularly from the forwards.
"We went there and Raiders, in the first quarter, were certainly very hungry and they were playing some really good footy," he said.
"We didn't have it all our own way, it was a wet slog of a game but after the first quarter we were able to get the ball on our terms.
"It was a good result, I'm happy with how the boys performed after quarter time.
"The forward line functioned a lot better this week, we went with two talls – Ryley Sharp (three goals) and the resting ruck, either myself or Callum Crisp – and played a smaller forward line and they were really good, everyone chipped in with a couple of goals.
"Ryley's just in fantastic form, he's so reliable, he's a real leader and the way he goes about his footy and prepares so strongly each and every week, it's no wonder he performs how he does."
It was a challenge all day for the Saints' ruckmen against Raiders' Isaac Muller, who went up all day and won three times as many hitouts.
"Isaac Muller is an enormous quality ruckman and had a big influence on the game and was fantastic," Simpson said.
"There were a lot of stoppages and our mids were good, they took a lot of body and were able to nullify him a bit.
"It was a good contest in the midfield – early on he (Muller) was really big for them and got them going.
"After a bit we were able to set up and nullify his influence a little bit, but Isaac Muller played a huge game and credit to him."
Myrtleford's reserves enjoyed a cruisy win over Raiders 23.29 (164) to 1.0 (6), while the thirds suffered their fourth loss of the season 5.2 (32) to 6.4 (40).
The victory keeps Myrtleford in fourth on the senior ladder, ahead of Wangaratta Rovers on percentage, going into their match against Lavington this Saturday at McNamara Reserve.
The Saints will be eager to settle the score against the Panthers, following their upset loss in round one.
"There's no doubt we've got a lot of respect for Lavington and we're looking forward to having another crack at them and hopefully getting the score back to 1–1," Simpson said.
"We certainly went over there with the expectation that they were going to be a quality side, and we just couldn't get a hold of them all day – they were very fast with the footy, they moved it with good skill.
"In the last quarter we were able to get our game going but it was too late, we had a six goal deficit and we pared it back to about two goals and weren't quite able to get it done.
"A fast start or an intense start is what we're after."