THE Horsham Demons showed the gap in class between the top-two contenders and those battling to take the next step up by comfortably accounting for the Warrack Eagles.
After missing opportunities early the Eagles were never really in the contest as the Demons won 16.13 (109) to 9.11 (65).
Horsham coach Louie Dalziel said his side’s depth showed through again on the way to the win.
“We made a few changes in order to get match-ups right and to be able to give some guys a go in different positions,” he said.
“Everyone that came in did what they had to do and played their roles.”
Despite having more scoring shots in the first quarter the home team found itself behind by 21-points at quarter time.
Warrack was dealt a big injury blow in the second quarter when Shannon Argall left the ground with a foot injury and did not return for the rest of the match.
Eagles coach Ryan McKenzie said the injury was a bit of a mystery.
“He came off saying he had felt something in his foot,” he said.
“It’s not something he’s had before and he’ll go and have it looked at on Monday.
“That hurt us going forward in the second half because we didn’t have him resting there.”
Horsham’s lead grew to 28-points at half-time as it started to get on top in contested football.
“That was a big win for us mentally,” Dalziel said.
“We know that when we are winning contested possession we are going to be able to use it on the outside.”
Simon Hobbs was again influential of the half-back lines as were Deek Roberts and Brad Hartigan through the midfield.
A 31-point lead at the last break turned into a 44-point win for the Demons at the final siren.
“It wasn’t a game where we really had any standouts, which is what I like,” Dalziel said.
“Rhona Conboy was good rebounding the ball from the backline but it was our depth of contributors that was so important.”
McKenzie impressed Dalziel with his continued ability to win the ball despite Tim Eldridge keeping a close watch on him.
For the Eagles, Scott Adams put in a big-hearted performance to ruck all day once Argall went down.
“He was giving us first use of the ball for most of the day,” McKenzie said.
“We weren’t so much hurt in the centre of the ground when Shannon went off as we were up forward.”
Malcolm Douglas also played a vital role for the Eagles and was his side’s best.
THERE was a special moment before the senior game when terminally ill five-year-old Linc Murrow led the team onto the ground with his mother Brooke Holland and McKenzie.
McKenzie said it was good to show support. “Horsham got on board as well and we donated all the money we raised in the raffle,” he said. “It’s something no-one should have to go through.”