Gisborne by 258 points

Harry Thomas scored four goals for Gisborne.

A precision demolition performance by Gisborne senior footballers against an outclassed Maryborough shattered several records on Saturday.

The 42.21 (273) to 2.3 (15) carnage at Gardiner Reserve was the Bulldogs highest winning score ever since joining the Bendigo League in 2000, and the highest score by any club in the league this century.

But it is not Gisborne’s highest ever score. This came in 1972 when the ‘Dogs slaughtered Craigieburn 57.41 (269) to 1.3 (9) to set a new Riddell League record.

Prior to that, Gisborne’s highest score came in 1962, with a 37.19 (241) to 1.2 (8) performance against Macedon.

The biggest score and margin in the Bendigo League was established in 1990, when South Bendigo 49.28 (322) walloped Kennington 3.3 (21).

But Gisborne senior coach Rob Waters and the club’s hierarchy is not getting carried away by what occurred on Saturday, while still appreciative of the huge percentage boost and the confidence lift for players.

There were ominous signs for Maryborough when Gisborne won the Under 18s match 25.18 ((169) to 1.0 (6), then forfeited the Reserves fixture.

The Bulldogs fielded a strong senior lineup as a follow-up to a close loss to the powerful Sandhurst combination in their only previous outing this season.

A quite large crowd soon realised it was going to be an extremely one-sided encounter, with Gisborne leading by 60 points to nil at quarter time.

Ball use was good, and the Bulldogs put their varied skills on show, running hard, continually outnumbering their opponents and teaming well.

At times the match almost looked like a series of training drills, and some onlookers could not believe that Maryborough generally lacked firepower across the field.

Gisborne kicked 14 goals in the second term, received applause from their loyal fans, and proceeded to add a further 12 goals while keeping the visitors scoreless in the third quarter.

The scoring tempo slackened somewhat in the final term, and Gisborne ended up winning by a mammoth 258 points.

The Bulldogs had 16 individual scorers, with proven star Pat McKenna leading the way with eight majors, Harry Luxmore producing seven, versatile Sam Graham five, Zac Denahey and Harry Thomas four.

Irrepressible ball winner Brad Bernacki was named as best for the ‘Dogs, with Flynn Lakey, ruckman Braidon Blake, Luxmore, Denahy and McKenna also stand outs in an unforgettable afternoon.

While Gisborne now heads north confident of accounting for South Bendigo – losers to Kangaroo Flat on Saturday – Maryborough faces the task of rebounding against a Sandhurst side unlikely to show any mercy.