Ominous Dogs find their bark

A REVITALISED Thurgoona stormed into top-three calculations with a 67-point thrashing of Wahgunyah at Thurgoona on Saturday.

With lively half-forward Sam Cross creating havoc, the Bulldogs set the tone early and were never threatened as they raced to their best win of the season.

Cross rocketed to the top of the league’s goalkicking list with an eight-goal haul, while his former Albury teammate Mark Bush was equally as impressive across half-back with the ball seemingly following him.

Ruckman John Willis continued his strong season and youngster Chris Bridle showed his sporting ability wasn’t restricted to the cricket field with dashing runs through the midfield.

Thurgoona coach Jason Sheather said it was an important win for the Bulldogs.

“Our last month has been good,” he said.

“I thought it would take us a while to hit our straps with a few new players in the side and it’s good to see the improvement.

“We aren’t getting carried away though as we will find out exactly where we are this week against Kiewa-Sandy Creek.

“They are the benchmark of the competition and so far we have come up short against the top three sides.”

Wahgunyah coach Nic O’Bryan asked his team to take risks at the last change and they responded by playing their best football in the final term with the dangerous Heath Northey exploding into action.

Northey finished with six goals while O’Bryan, Aaron Robins and James Wilson also fought the match out well.

The Lions sorely missed in-form defender Liam Tobias through injury as they crashed to their third successive loss to be replaced in the top-five by Dederang-Mount Beauty.

“We weathered the storm well as we knew Wahgunyah would come out hard after losing to Beechworth last week,” Sheather said.

“It was good to put together four quarters of solid footy.

“As I said, though, Kiewa will be the real test.”