Wangaratta warmed up for its eagerly anticipated re-match against Wangaratta Rovers by producing a sublime second quarter display against Lavington on Saturday.
After an even first term, the Pies launched an eight goal to nil blitz, posting a 19.10 (124) to 9.10 (64) win in the grand final re-match.
The Panthers shattered the dreams of the Wangaratta players with a 34-point upset in 2019 and coach Dean Stone didn't shy away from revenge being a motivator.
"We built it up, we know the last game they had our measure, we really wanted to reverse that," he declared.
"Our second quarter was just fantastic, some of the best footy we've played."
Rovers and Wangaratta produced the best game the league has seen in years with the former toppling the red-hot competition favourites by 14 points on April 18.
"In a nutshell, the footy we played is the type we need to play to beat the best teams," Stone explained.
"Our defence was outstanding, we built a lot of pressure across half-back that turned into offensive movement and we were able to take advantage of that."
Backman Michael Bordignon was again outstanding with the visitors conceding only 55 points per game.
At the other end, Wangaratta blasted 16 goals to seven after the solid, but unspectacular, first quarter.
Ben Reid kicked six majors, while the classy Jessie Smith and on-baller Abraham Ankers snared five apiece.
Reid has now kicked 21 goals in his five outings to sit seventh in the Doug Strang Medal.
"He probably played a little under three-quarters of the game and some of the ball movement to our key forwards was really good and we got the one-on-ones we were looking for," Stone revealed.
But Reid and Bordignon were pipped by the classy Ankers for best on ground.
The Northerm Territory star is averaging almost two and a half majors per game, an outstanding effort for a midfielder, and he's joined Reid in equal seventh spot on the goalkickers.
Ankers has now been named the Pies' best in four of his nine games and he's an early Morris Medal fancy.
The Pies lost a rotation when Matt Hedin was forced off with a hamstring complaint after around 15 minutes.
It continues a frustrating run for the defender after he injured his shoulder in a marking contest against Myrtleford's Dawson Simpson and missed two months, although half of that was due to the interleague bye and COVID.
Lavington was missing interleague defender Brant Dickson, but captain Luke Garland continued his super form since the resumption on June 12.
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Nick Meredith also produced a blinder, restricting Michael Newton to a goal.
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