Bungaree barely had to break a sweat as it tuned up for a defining period of the season with a big win over Newlyn.
The Demons embarrassed the Cats in the first half on Saturday, keeping the home side goalless while piling on nine majors of their own to lead by 56 points at the main break.
Newlyn came out stronger in the third term and managed to limit the damage, but the visitors’ success was never in doubt.
In the end, Bungaree won a scrappy encounter by 69 points.
The magnitude of Hepburn’s thrashing against Skipton saw the Burras leapfrog Bungaree into third spot on the Central Highlands Football League ladder, but the Demons remain a game clear inside the four with five rounds to play in the home and away campaign.
And it’s a tough road ahead for the red and blue, with games against top eight sides Daylesford, Springbank, Gordon and Buninyong before a round 17 battle with Ballan.
“I thought our first half was really, really good and it was really pleasing that we kept them goalless for a half of footy,” Bungaree coach Heath Pyke said after Saturday’s win.
“Our attack and intensity around the football was really good for what we’ve got in terms of a relatively young group. I thought our tackling pressure and even our forward pressure was really pleasing.”
Jake Trevenen and Joel Mirtschin kicked five goals each for the Demons, which had winners across all lines.
David Benson controlled the ruck, Matthew Sheridan was lively before coming off the ground in the third term with what Pyke described as a tight hamstring. Steve Ryan was good off half back.
Pyke said he was most impressed with some of the younger players such as Charles Martin in attack, Sam Hammond in defence and Harry Russell on a wing.
For Newlyn, there wasn’t too much to be excited about, but the likes of Dylan McLachlan and Dylan Fishwick tried hard and ruckman Jarrod Fryar drew praise for his efforts against Benson.
Cats joint-coach Chris Dwyer said his team was “nowhere near it” in a poor first half.
“(It is) disappointing because we have been going alright in patches the last few weeks, but we just didn’t bring it (on Saturday) at all,” Dwyer said.
Dwyer said the Cats’ effort was better in the second half.
“We have just got a lot of blokes who are confidence players and they just go missing when they get a bit of pressure on them,” he said.
Next weekend, Newlyn travels to take on an in-form Gordon.