WEDDERBURN sent an ominous message to St Arnaud and the rest of the North Central Football League on Saturday.
The Redbacks have been beaten only once this year, at the hands of St Arnaud in round 11.
But there was no upset this time, as Wedderburn put on a clinical display after half-time to run away with an 89-point win.
From the start it was clear the three-time reigning premier had come to play.
Paul Prime kicked the first two goals of the match before Saint Daniel Needs hit back.
Prime added another shortly after, helping Wedderburn to a five-point lead at the first change.
St Arnaud fought back strongly in the second quarter, booting six goals, but Wedderburn found five goals of its own to keep a 28-point buffer at the main break.
From there it was all Wedderburn’s way.
Sam Barnes was on fire with nine goals in a best-on-ground performance.
Barnes was held to a season-low one goal in his last outing against the Saints.
Prime also played well to finish with a six-goal bag.
St Arnaud’s Nick Baldwin was the best for the visitors.
Needs slotted four goals, but the St Arnaud attack could only find two majors after the long break.
Wycheproof-Narraport surprised Charlton for its third win of the season.
The Demons had only two wins to their name before Saturday and were beaten by an aggregate of 113 points in their previous two meetings against the Navy Blues this year.
They set the pace early with a six-goal-to-two first quarter.
Despite repeated fightback attempts from Charlton, they were in front at every change and held on for a 15-point win.
Sam Driscoll’s strong play for Wycheproof-Narraport earned him best-on-ground honours.
The team had so many contributors that not even a seven-goal haul from James Coatsworth could land him a spot in the best.
Ben Walklate was Charlton’s best, and Travis Baird led the team’s goal-kicking with six.
Birchip-Watchem is back in the top four after wearing down a valiant Donald.
The Royal Blues, led by Glenn Wyatt, battled gamely to trail by just two goals at the main break, but were undone by a seven-goal third quarter from the Bulls.
Daniel Castellano’s eight-goal haul saw him earn best-on-ground honours for Birchip-Watchem, while Adam Hall and Seamus Young kicked four apiece for Donald.