Nagambie threw the race for the Kyabram District League premiership wide open on Saturday, delivering reigning premier Tallygaroopna its first loss since 2017.
And the Lakers did it in fine fashion, comfortably accounting for the Redlegs by 52 points at Nagambie Recreation Reserve.
It was Tallygaroopna’s first defeat since a 2017 elimination final against Avenel, after finishing last year's flag campaign with 17 wins and a draw.
In an even first contest, the Redlegs took a six-point lead into the first break, though would have been smarting from an inaccurate 4.6, before the Lakers ran riot in the second quarter to add eight unanswered goals on the board to surge 44 points clear at half-time.
The Redlegs then took back the third quarter to bring the deficit down to 23 before the Lakers again got their run on to stretch the final margin to nine goals.
Nagambie coach Anthony Haysom said it was a pretty even performance across the board.
“There was a couple of patches (Tally) got momentum,” Haysom said.
“But we were able to wrestle that back.
“I thought there was a pretty even spread across the team.”
But that does not mean Haysom is complacent on the win, noting Tallygaroopna was without a number of key players, including Tyson Sidebottom and Tim Karolidis.
“A nine-goal win over Tally is something to be proud of,” Haysom said.
“But there is plenty more to work on.
“We understand we’ll need to be at our best - and better than Saturday - to get a good result next time we meet.
“No doubt they’ll be full strength – and we’ll get a couple back ourselves.”
Among Nagambie’s best was Daniel Haysom and Blake Fothergill through the midfield, while Michael Roberts (four goals) and the coach (four) starred up forward.
“It was probably Danny’s best game for the year,” Haysom said.
“He seems to step up in those bigger games, so it’s great he’s back to a bit of form.
“Blake’s backing it up week after week – he’s got some good consistency going.
“And (Roberts) has played plenty of footy – you know what you’ll get with him.
“But it’s not just the goals, it’s the contest he makes up forward so the small forwards can play their part.”
Nagambie has locked up a top two finish ahead of the final home-and-away round this Saturday. The Lakers will play Dookie United, who was soundly beaten against fellow finalists Avenel on Saturday.
But Haysom again remained stoic on his side’s chances against Dookie.
“They’ll be out to get us and looking to finish their season strongly,” Haysom said.
“We need to be careful about how we go about it.
“We’ll get our game going and get the result we are after.”
Final score: Nagambie 18.10 (118) def Tallygaroopna .9.10 (64)
Goal Kickers: M. Roberts 4, A. Haysom 4, M. Wilson 2, D. Fitzpatrick 2, N. Fothergill 2, M. Lusted, D. Haysom, J. Shiels, B. Fothergill
Best Players: D. Haysom, B. Fothergill, M. Nolan, S. Barber, T. Madden, D. Carroll
• Nagambie’s reserves team also pulled off a coup, unseating competition leader Tallygaroopna from the top of the ladder with an eight-point win.
Bryce Fleming kicked two goals for the Lakers, while Shaun Silver was judged best on ground.
Nagambie retains sixth place with one match remaining, though will need a win against Dookie United this Saturday to solidify its final berth.
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