Saints tumble to Cat attack | PICTURES

PERENNIAL powerhouse Osborne has made a mockery of the theory it would struggle to overcome the departure of several key players during the off-season.

On Saturday it claimed the prized scalp of defending premier Brock-Burrum at Brocklesby.

After finishing fourth last season, many pundits predicted the Cats to slide down the ladder after the departure of triple best and fairest Matt Clarke, Nic O’Connell, Luke Heyme and Djali Bloomfield.

But Osborne has showed no ill-effects in the opening two rounds to start the season undefeated after knocking off both of last year’s grand finalists.

Make no mistake, the Cats have gone from a final-six roughie to a top-two contender on the evidence so far.

Premiership coach Daniel McAlister said the 18.6 (114) victory to 8.10 (58) would do wonders for the Cats’ self- belief.

“I think we are shocking everyone, including ourselves,” McAlister said.

“The experienced guys are getting a lift from the younger guys who just run out there with no pre-conceived notions.

“They just want to go out there and do their best and play for the jumper and the spirit of the club which has been developed over 110 years.

“It’s a pretty exciting place to be at the moment.

“We will take a win against both of last season’s grand finalists any day of the week.”

The Saints unfurled their premiership flag with the club forced to buy a new flag pole when the previous flag pole had rusted away after one of the longest premiership droughts in Hume league football.

Osborne unfurled its 2012 flag in the corresponding match last year which the Saints won by 80 points with McAlister keen to return the favour on Saturday.

The Cats were also celebrating the milestone matches of Stephen Doig (150) who dimmed the influence of Saints matchwinner Darryn McKimmie and McAlister (50) who bobbed up with three goals.

Osborne opened up a handy 20-point buffer in the opening term mainly through the efforts of Pat O’Connell, captain Marty Bahr and veteran big man Hayden Gleeson.

The Saints showed some resistance in the second quarter but were clearly outplayed in the second-half as the Cats piled on 12 goals to four.

Simon Lane was outstanding on the last line of defence for the Cats.

In other matches, Henty forwards Ryan Hon and Shannon Terlich combined for nine goals in the Swampies 57-point rout of Howlong.

Murray Magpies won their third game in three seasons with a 31-point win over a disappointing Lockhart.

Josh Warren-Marmo booted eight goals as Rand-Walbundrie belted Walla by 135 points while CDHBU got the better of Billabong Crows by 15 points.

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