Star forwards Jarrah Maksymow and Cam Richardson were always going to have a big say for Bacchus Marsh in the Ballarat Football League grand final at Eastern Oval on Saturday.
If they fired, Sunbury was going to be in trouble.
They did just that and Bacchus Marsh defeated the Lions by 55 points – 13.21 (99) to 5.14 (44) – to secure its first BFL premiership.
Maksymow and Richardson kicked a combined six goals on a day when majors were not easy to come by.
And their contribution could have been even more on the scoreboard had they kicked straighter.
While Richardson missed shots he would usually get with his eyes closed, his contribution made him one of the most influential players on the ground.
When he did find the mark in front of goal, the former Cobras coach’s timing was impeccable as he helped put the game away late in the third quarter and early in the last.
Maksymow has become a cult figure in his first year at Maddingley Park and it was easy to see why as imposed himself physically on the game as well as kicking four goals.
While the opening term was the difference between these teams in Bacchus Marsh’s second semi-final win two weeks previously, this time it was the second.
Despite being without injured ruckman David Kovacevic, Sunbury answered the early challenges to string together three goals.
Two late goals to the Cobras though signalled what was to come.
Bacchus Marsh stretched the run to seven goals with the opening five in the second quarter and it was off and running to lead by 39 points.
Sunbury rallied with two of its own goals before half-time and then came out full of energy, but without big targets in attack it came up empty.
The Lions managed to hold the Marsh, but when Richardson kicked the only goal of the term to set up a 32-point lead the match was as good as over.
Bacchus Marsh had winners everywhere.
Logan Blundell and Daniel Velden combined to shut down Alik Magin, Liam Noonan and Jackson Bolton ran through the lines hard, captain Tyson Shea worked tirelessly, Declan Phyland impacted in attack and ruckman Daniel Burton played with his usual control.
Sunbury gave it everything, but could not consistently generate the run which has been the linchpin of its game despite the efforts of Tim Hill, Jessie Flannery and Adam Short.