ANOTHER slow start. Another big finish.
Kyabram Bombers were just 11 points up at quarter time against bottom side Shepparton Swans on Saturday but by game’s end that margin had blown out to a massive 177 points.
Kyabram has been teasing sides early in all their games this season, giving them a sniff, but as it did again at Princess Park Shepparton on Saturday, by the final siren the Bombers were scoring with almost boring monotony.
Despite kicking into a breeze and contending with just about every player on the ground cluttering their forward line, the Bombers broke the game wide open with an eight-goal second term, which they followed up with seven in the third and 12 in the last quarter.
It could have been worse for the Swans if Kyabram had straightened out some of its 25 shots on goal that raised only the one flag.
Despite the scoreline, the undermanned Swans played good football in patches, but with no focal points in attack and Lachie Smith, Tom Holman, Liam Barrett, Jason Morgan and Adam Lovison shutting down the Swans forward line for most of the game the final result was always going to be ugly.
Kayne Pettifer took until the dying moments of the second quarter to kick his first goal but helped himself to another seven in the second half when the Bombers did practically as they pleased.
Kyabram coach Paul Newman played his first senior game for two years and while rusty early, gradually produced some of the old magic to kick two goals and unselfishly hand off a couple of others.
Brad Mangan, who had stints in the ruck to relieve sole ruckman Zac Norris, also made his mark on the scoreboard with five goals while Sam Sheldon, good all day on a wing, also drifted deep into attack now and then to kick four goals.
When the Swans were putting it to the Bombers in the first term Patrick Wearden, Tom Holman, Lachie Smith, Luke Morris, Josh Pell and Aaron Hayes were trying their hardest to spark their teammates into action.
Three of their smallest players in Liam Ogden, Bailey Bell and Brad Whitford then joined in as the Bombers took control.
Smith, Sheldon, Wearden and Morris were four-quarter contributors but by the end of the game nearly every Kyabram player was doing what he liked as the Swans fell away.
The Kyabram coach was happy with the team’s effort and spread of good players after another slow start.
‘‘But you have to give them credit because their pressure early was very good,’’ said Newman.
This week Kyabram hosts Shepparton — the side it beat for last season’s flag — in what should be a much tougher test than it was last Saturday.
My best for Kyabram were: Lachie Smith, Sam Sheldon, Patrick Wearden, Liam Ogden, Tom Holman, Luke Morris, Brad Whitford, Kayne Pettifer
■KYABRAM reserves had another big win, keeping their rivals scoreless for the game while piling on 28.22.
Makenzie Ryan continued his impressive start to the season with another strong display at the goalmouth, bagging eight goals. He has now kicked 26 for the season — an average of more than five a game.
Mobile onballer Connor Cowley was elusive again and topped off another classy display with seven goals.
Zaid Besim also did a lot of constructive work in the forward line along with big man Zane Coventry, while Charlie McLay and Billy Ryan freed up the ball from the stoppages frequently with determined displays.
Dom Watt, Tom Curnow, Zane O’Donnell, Kyle Halliwell and James Ross were also busy players for the Bombers in the runaway win.
■KYABRAM thirds had to dig deep to continue their unbeaten season in a tough, low-scoring, grimly fought clash in which defences dominated.
Down by eight points at the last change, Kyabram was able to open up the game in the final quarter to kick two goals while keeping the Swans goalless, which was enough to get them over the line.
Stars from the previous week in defender Jacob Liversidge and Harry Browning-Briese, on the ball and in defence, showed the Bombers the way home.
Bendigo Pioneers’ Riley Ironside and Cooper Vick came into the side and also stood out along with onballer Mitch Gugliotti, who is having a good first season with the club and his father, 90s Morrison Medallist Benny.
Ironside and Vick both played in the midfield and displayed exciting skills.
Bombers coach Glenn Hart said it was his team’s toughest test for the season, with a lot of Kyabram players drifting in and out of the game.
‘‘The Swans came to play and it was a physical encounter, our boys did well to control the last quarter and get the win,’’ Hart said.