Bacchus Marsh completed a season-long whitewash of Lake Wendouree in the Ballarat Football League preliminary final at the Eastern Oval on Saturday.
The Cobras had their fourth win over Lakers for the year and of course the most important of all.
A shattered coach Tim Malone was at a loss to explain why Lake Wendouree had come up short.
Malone, who returned to Lakers this season after a successful stint with Springbank in the CHFL, said he could not put his finger on why they had failed to stay in the premiership race.
“I don’t know. They had the wood on us.”
Malone, who was a 2010 premiership player with Lake Wendouree, said he had believed he had a list capable of going all the way and claiming a second flag.
Lakers went into the game planning to shut down the Cobras with pressure at the contest and then opening up the game.
Instead, it was Bacchus Marsh which dominated.
Cobras coach Travis Hodgson said they had been able to play the game on their terms.
“We took away their space and spread better.”
He praised the players’ response after a 98-point loss to Darley in the second semi-final.
A physically stronger Bacchus Marsh took the match away from in the opening quarter.
As was the trend all day, Lakers took the contest right up to the Cobras early in the term, but paid the price for being unable to make any impact on the scoreboard.
Bacchus Marsh led by 27 points after a five-goal first term and despite a short burst by Lakers, extended the margin to 37 points by half-time with winners all over the ground
Lake Wendouree made what would be its last serious challenge with the first two goals of the third quarter, but Bacchus Marsh replied with the next three goals and it was all over.
Scott Sherlock led the way in an outstanding return from a long-term lay off with a hamstring injury. He set the tempo early in a classy display and then given the lightest possible workload.
The Cobras’ defence was resolute, led by Lachlan Phyland and Daniel Velden, while in attack Ryley Stuhldreier, Declan Phyland and Jethro Calma-Holt combined for eight goals.
Lakers lost Scott Carey (ankle) early and Nathan Pring (hamstring) late to injury.