A CLINICAL first half from Daylesford proved too much for Clunes to handle on Saturday, with the Bulldogs claiming victory by 39 points.
The real story of the day was veteran Joel Adams celebrating his 250th senior game with a win, though the occasion was slightly soured by brother Luke, who was scheduled to share the milestone, succumbing to an injury prior to the match.
The game itself was a tale of two halves.
Daylesford was completely dominant in the first half and ran all over the Magpies. Midfielder Trent Nesbitt was elusive as always and played a significant role in the Bulldogs taking a hefty 66-point lead into the main break.
The second half was a much different story, as Clunes belatedly switched on and took control of the play. The Magpies were particularly impressive in the final quarter, kicking six goals to two in an encouraging team performance.
Despite its fadeout, Daylesford responded well after last weekend’s shock loss to Creswick and demonstrated why it will likely play a big part at the pointy end of the season.
The defensive duo of Rob Rodgers and Nathan Gudgeon continued their fine form, while Adams was prolific on his big day.
Coach Andrew Button was disappointed by his team’s inability to maintain its dominance for four quarters, but still felt the result was a strong reply to last round’s effort.
“It was a complete turnaround. The boys took the loss to heart and it showed,” he said.
Button also praised Adams and his milestone. “It’s a great effort and it was good to win it for him.”
The Magpies were simply too slow out of the blocks, but should take confidence from their ability to control much of the second half. Martin Robinson was excellent in the midfield, while Justin Johns was more than handy floating up forward.
Coach Rick Andrews believed his team displayed its ability to match it with the top teams.
“Our second half showed we can get there, but we just didn’t believe it enough. The good teams believe it, they train it, and they exist it. That’s what we need to do,” he said.
Daylesford 16.11 (107)
Clunes 9.14 (68)