Twin City turned in its best performance of the AWFA season with a 6-0 drubbing of St Pats at Kelly Park on Sunday.
The Wanderers had a 2-0 lead at the break, before Shaun Wilhelm’s second half hat-trick handed them the points in emphatic fashion.
Wilhelm’s brother, Cayne, opened the scoring in the sixth minute, before a nice finish from Phil Tester doubled the advantage.
Tester added another six minutes into the second half, before Wilhelm came off the bench to put the game beyond doubt with goals in the 69th, 81st and 84th minute.
Wanderers’ coach Lee Botting couldn’t have asked for more.
“St Pats are a young side, but you can’t get complacent,” Botting said.
“I know they had a really good half against Myrtleford, so when we went in at 2-0 (at half-time) I asked them in the first 10 minutes if we can put another one on the board.
“From there on, it just allows you to relax a bit and play the sort of football we play.
“We know we’re right, we just have to strengthen the amount of players I’ve got to choose from, rather than picking young boys and putting them straight in for those big games.
“I was very impressed, especially with the intensity in the first half.
“In the second half, the intensity was there as well.
“You can easily let yourself go into a lull when you’re 3-0 up, but they finished it off.”
In a further positive for Twin City, last year’s best and fairest Cody Walsh had his first game back in the thirds after injuring his knee in the final game of last season.
St Pats coach Phil Page admitted the performance simply wasn’t good enough from his side.
“We never had more than four passes in a row for the whole game,” Page said.
“We’ve been in games up to half-time, but for some reason we lose our structure and mental state of how to play the game.
“We’ve got four or five out there busting their gut, but three quarters of the way into the game, they’re knackered, because others aren’t pulling their weight.
“It wasn’t going to be easy this year, but some of the other younger ones have got to start stepping up.”
A shining light for Patties is 14-year-old rising star Ben White, who hasn’t looked out of place at senior level, but Page is after a better collective effort.
“They’ve got an opportunity, but I’m not going to have them running around just for the hell of it,” he said.
St Pats’ day was further soured by a knee injury to Oscar Bell early in the second half.
Meanwhile, Myrtleford moved to outright top spot with a 7-1 triumph over Albury United, Boomers upset Wangaratta 2-1 away from home, Cobram thrashed Albury Hotspurs 8-2, Melrose finished strongly to beat Wodonga Diamonds 4-1, while Albury City had the bye.
The senior men’s ladder after round eight is: Myrtleford 24, Wangaratta 21, Melrose 18, Boomers 18, Albury United 13, Albury City 12, Cobram 12, Twin City 10, Albury Hotspurs 9, Wodonga Diamonds 4, St Pats 1.