A REJUVENATED Thurgoona celebrated its 30-year anniversary with a 65-point hiding of Barnawartha at Thurgoona on Saturday.
In another stark reminder that the Bulldogs are far from a spent force, the home team led from start to finish to record its best win of the season.
The victory was highlighted by a spectacular Michael Rampal mark over Tiger Josh Spence during the second term.
“It’s one of the better ones I’ve seen,” coach Jamarl O’Sullivan said.
“It was a ripper.
“He was commentating on the way down.”
Thurgoona welcomed the return of Matt Hodoros, Daniel Kannenberg and Mark Haydon with Hodoros outstanding up forward.
Sam Cross, Rampal, Charlie Williams, Luke Gerecke and Lucas Mellier also combined well to inflict Barnawartha’s first loss of the season.
O’Sullivan said it was a vital win.
”We really needed to beat Barnawartha and Rutherglen,” he said.
“It just makes a big difference when you get a couple of players back.
“We are getting a good spread again and I was really happy to win on the weekend for the people at the club who have been through the hard times.”
Thurgoona will welcome the return of Kade Brown, Darcy Moore and Kane Westlow in coming weeks.
It wasn’t all doom and gloom for Barnawartha with coach Peter Cook returning from injury to kick six goals in a classy display.
Brad Dalbosco and Tom Anson also stood up under pressure.
Kiewa-Sandy Creek were forced to work hard to defeat a persistent Beechworth by 19 points.
Callum Turner and Jason Bartel led the way for the Hawks with Trent Turner, Jamie Paul and Peter Winnett also prominent.
Bryce Mummery tried hard for Beechworth.
Tallangatta scored a 52-point win over Mitta United.
The Hoppers got on top with a four goal to none second quarter with Luke Fraser, Nick Guiney and Daniel O'Connell winning plenty of the ball.
Mitta United were best served by Joel Wilson and Jamie Baude.
A flying start steered Dederang-Mt Beauty to a 28-point win over Yackandandah.
The Bombers kicked 6.7 to 1.1 in the opening term with Adam Schupina and Josh Kable instrumental in the early blitz.
Rutherglen brought down rivals Chiltern by 48 points with Jared Farwell best afield and Wahgunyah were too good for Wodonga Saints thanks to a six-goal burst from Corey Smith.