IT’S a tough gig making Albury’s best players.
Just ask Setanta O’hAilpin.
The former Carlton player was outstanding in kicking nine goals for the Tigers in their 156-point hiding of Wodonga Raiders at Albury Sportsground on Saturday but could still only sneak on to the list behind Dean Polo, Brayden O’Hara, Chris Hyde and Joel Mackie.
The Fab Four racked up 120-plus possessions between them in a performance that left Raiders coach Simon Bone scratching his head.
“We had a guy playing in his second or third year of footy in Kyle Maynard who was in the middle for 10 and 15 minutes and I asked him about it and he just said ‘wow’,” Bone said.
“You wouldn’t find an on-ball division playing outside the AFL that would be as good as O’Hara, Mackie, Hyde and Polo.
“We were up against it but all you can do is keep chipping away.
“There is a reason why they have played in the last five grand finals and we are coming from the bottom of the ladder.
“It’s tough but we will stay positive and look forward to having a crack at Wangaratta next weekend.”
After conceding the opening two goals, Albury slipped into overdrive with Setanta and Aisake O’hAilpin feasting on quality delivery from the Tigers’ midfield.
What they missed Andy Carey, John Mitchell and Shane Munro swooped on.
No. 1 Raiders’ ruckman Luke Visser had the daunting task of playing on Setanta in his first match back from injury and, as strange as it sounds, did a sound job considering the amount of ball that came in his direction.
Despite leading by 85 points at three-quarter-time, Albury was far from content and slammed on 12.1 to 0.2 in the final quarter to storm to the top of the ladder on percentage from Yarrawonga.
The final 25 minutes resembled a training drill with Polo in particular prolific and O’Hara drifting forward to cap off another stellar performance with five goals.
Tiger Joel O’Connell tagged Ovens and Murray representative Steve Jolliffe completely out of the match, Luke Wells and Aisake O’hAilpin dominated the hit-outs and Justin Carey and Luke Daly showed plenty of dash running from defence.
Raiders’ midfielder Michael Steven battled manfully in the ruck against the odds while Jydon Neagle stuck to the task despite being forced off several times with a shoulder injury.