IT WAS a routine outing for Springbank as it cruised to a 114-point win against lowly Illabarook at Wallace on Saturday.
The home side controlled every aspect of the game, scarcely letting up against a Bulldogs outfit that is expected to finish on the bottom again this year.
The Tigers were overjoyed to have their spearhead back in the lineup, with key forward Tom Eltringham returning for the home side after being cleared this week of his duties with the North Ballarat Roosters.
His presence was a major factor in the win, kicking eight goals and giving the Tigers a clear focus going inside the forward 50m.
It was clear from the first bounce that Springbank would be far too good. When ruckman Kieran Sullivan tapped down to Luke Fisher for the clearance, the game appeared too much for the Dogs.
For the duration of the first half it was a question of “how much?”, with the Tigers marking inside their forward arc repeatedly with ease. Only inaccuracy prevented what perhaps should have been a 15-goal deficit at the main break.
The second half was a similar scene as onballer James Millikan and Eltringham began to display their class. Millikan and Fisher ran rings around the midfield brigade of the visitors, driving long passes to their exceptionally potent forward line. In the finish, it was all too simple for Springbank, which needed to close out this game if its finals aspirations are to become a reality.
For the victors, Eltringham and Millikan were best afield, while David Tung and Shannon Berriman were extremely solid for the Bulldogs.
Springbank now looks toward a clash at Ballan, while Illabarook hopes to get its first win of the season at home against Rokewood-Corindhap.
Springbank 19.16 (130)
Illabarook 2.4 (16)