IT did not take long for Sunbury to show Redan it was on a mission on Saturday.
Sunbury coach Rick Horwood later declared that was clearly the case within the first five minutes of the game.
One minute after Matthew Medcraft kicked the opening goal from a neat give off from Jamie Lobb, Simon Clark grabbed a strong mark and goaled for his first of seven.
From that moment on, it was the reigning premier on the back foot for the whole afternoon.
“I knew at the five minute mark we were ‘on’,” Horwood said. “The way the team attacked the football at the start of the game was a statement about their intention.”
When Sunbury kicked three goals in a row after Redan started the second quarter with the first of the term, Horwood said the writing was on the wall and by half time the contest was all but done.
“When we kicked those goals I knew it would take a hell of an effort from Redan to get back into it.”
Even when soundly beaten, Redan did not throw in the towel. With little hope of victory, the L&H Lions outscored their eastern counterparts in the final quarter. Maybe the Sunbury players were already in party mode but perhaps it was simply what should be expected from a proud club that has won six premierships in the past decade.
“Redan kicked four in a row in the last quarter. One of our aims at the start of the game was not to let them kick two in a row,” Horwood said.
“I thought at the time it might take some of the gloss off the win. But you don’t think about that now. It was a fantastic win.”
Sunbury finished the match with the final two goals, and then the celebrations officially started.
A few years ago there was an at times bitter rivalry between Sunbury and Redan. Now they appear almost to have become a mutual admiration society.
Horwood joked when addressing the vanquished Redan players: “Thanks for letting us win one”, and all but demanded the league pair off the two clubs for next season’s rivalry round.
But he was serious in his respect for his opponent.
“They’re the yardstick in the BFL,” Horbury said after the match. “They’ve beaten us in four out of the six times we played them in grand finals and it is especially pleasing to beat an opponent you respect.”