Albury produced a 14-goal second half whitewash to blitz Wodonga on Saturday.
The Tigers restricted the visitors to just four behinds in the 20.11 (131) to 6.7 (43).
Remarkably, the youthful Bulldogs’ outfit trailed by only five points at half-time.
“Our ball use and pressure around the contest and conversion rate was pretty good,” coach Zac Fulford said.
“But, unfortunately, after half-time, we went away from a few things, our pressure around the contest wasn’t great.”
Wodonga can take heart though from that first half and console itself with the fact the Tigers have smashed a stack of teams in one half over their decade of dominance.
And in a worrying sign for opposition clubs, veteran Joel Mackie produced his best game of the season, booting three goals.
Mackie is no longer the ferocious tearaway, given his bull at a gate style over the past 12 seasons has worn him down, but he was named in the top players for only the second time.
He also starred with a season-high four majors against Yarrawonga in the season-opener.
Rhys King and Elliott Powell also bagged three goals.
Youngster Zach Bye was prominent in the ruck, while Kieran Ellis, Powell, King and Jake Gaynor also played well.
Gaynor has now been named in Albury’s best in 10 matches.
Josh Hicks, Reed Jackson and Shaun Flanigan were the best performed Bulldogs.
The match was also significant for the debuts of exciting Wodonga duo Elijah Hollands and Hudson Garoni.
“Hudson created a lot of contests and provided an option for us, which was really pleasing,” Fulford said.
“And Elijah demonstrated he can play at the level and contribute really well.
“If the opportunity arises, he’ll play again without doubt.”
The son of one of the league’s most creative players of the modern era in Ben Hollands, the 16-year-old has finished school football for Caulfield Grammar for the season, so he could well finish the year against Corowa-Rutherglen and Myrtleford.
If he does play, it will be interesting to see what impact he can have against teams outside the top five as opposed to the undefeated ladder leaders.
Murray Bushranger forward Garoni kicked one goal on debut.
The Tigers face the last of the teams outside the five in Wangaratta Rovers, before finishing with Lavington.
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