LAST weekend was a challenging one for TAC Cup clubs as they relied on the next tier of players to stand up with many omissions due to Under 18s Championships.
On a wild and windy day, Geelong Falcons reasserted themselves against a reborn North Ballarat Rebels.
The Falcons were top-of-the-table taking on a Rebels side fresh off six straight wins in what was clearly match of the round.
From the start the Falcons always looked to be a class better and while they butchered opportunities in front of goal when the game was on the line, North Ballarat was not much better.
A host of lesser known players stood up for both sides as Mitch Diamond (Falcons) and Callan Wellings (Rebels) were among those to impress.
In the end it was the Falcons getting up by 23 points despite the Rebels booting two late goals to give themselves half a chance.
CEDRIC COX! Just took a casual five bounces along the wing, turned Parish inside out and centred it #Taccup
— Peter Williams (@pawil5) June 18, 2016
Across at Warrawee Park, Western Jets made the most of an under strength Oakleigh to record a vital 33-point victory.
It was the second win against the Chargers for the Jets, who knocked them off at full-strength in round one.
Judah Dundon starred with 24 disposals, seven marks, five tackles and two goals, while for the Chargers, Lachlan Walker and Campbell Lane again found plenty of the ball.
A full-strength Gippsland Power showed what lower teams are capable of if they meet a severely under strength premiership contender, when they matched it with Dandenong Stingrays.
The Stingrays were missing up to 14 of its best 22 according to number one ticketholder Jarrod Potter and the Power took advantage, leading for stints in the match and were level at the last break.
They ultimately fell short with the Stingrays gritting out an eight-point victory, but Gippsland lost no respect with the performance.
Leading for the entire day, Jackson McDonald was phenomenal for the Cannons, collecting 34 disposals to go with his five marks, 10 tackles and a goal.
For the Ranges, Thomas North and Josh Begley were impressive once again.
Begley showing a bit on-ball for Eastern, and underager Harrison Nolan showing plenty of dash and dare for a big lad (194/89). #TACCup
— Barrels (@Uncle_Barrels) June 18, 2016
The Sandringham Dragons also continued their strong form in the top four this season, recording a four-goal win over Northern Knights.
A low scoring contest for three quarters, the Dragons trailed by two points at three quarter time, before piling on seven goals to three in the final term to run away with the contest.
Over-ager Goy Lok found plenty of the football with 28 disposals, four marks and four tackles to his name.
— Peter Bonadio (@PeterBonadio) June 19, 2016
In the final match of the round, Murray Bushrangers were far too strong for Bendigo Pioneers, as Esava Ratugolea booted eight and Lachlan Tiziani finished with five in a complete performance.
Read more on Esava Ratugolea here:
The Bushrangers won by 72 points despite the best efforts of Joe Atley (26 disposals, 10 tackles, one goal) and Darby Henderson (38 disposals, eight marks, four tackles).
It was a tough pill to swallow for the Pioneers as they watched Western and Calder both win their respective matches – teams that ill afford to win for the Pioneers to book a finals berth.
Murray singing the song loud and proud after a strong game. pic.twitter.com/u6djOTpe6S
— Matthew Grundy (@grundog49) June 19, 2016