By Lance Jenkinson
Deer Park’s dismantling of Werribee Districts will have the rest of the Western Region Football League division 1 quaking.
The Lions were nigh on faultless in a commanding 55-point win that quickly turned one-sided on the scoreboard at Soldiers Reserve on Saturday.
Lions coach Marc Bullen described the ruthlessness of the victory as a “brutal assault on the opposition”.
“That was probably the best game of football we’ve played in over 18 months,” he said. “I couldn’t have been more proud of the side today.”
Deer Park, the six-time defending champion, was charged up for this one.
After conceding the first goal of the match, the Lions banged on six unanswered goals to take a 31-point lead into quarter-time.
If alarm bells were not ringing for Werribee Districts at that stage, they were after Deer Park piled on nine goals to five in the second quarter to lead by 53 at half-time.
Bullen rates Werribee Districts highly and was thrilled to blow them out of the water early.
“Their list has improved dramatically over the course of the last 12 months,” he said. “To go out and kick six in the first and nine in the second was absolutely outstanding.”
Kwame McHarg scorched the field with his pace and wowed the fans with his skill to collect best-afield honours.
“Kwame was absolutely outstanding,” Bullen said. “He continually took the ball away with pace at the stoppages.”
By no means was McHarg alone – this was a Lions team with no weak links.
The Lions’ talls were dominant, with Jase Perkins and Chris Stewart kicking five goals each. And the smalls chipped in, Shannon Byrnes and Spiros Amarantidis adding three apiece.
Ruckman Troy Kelm has been a big part of Deer Park’s early success. With Chris Stewart nursing a leg injury and playing predominantly forward, Kelm has been important in providing first use for the Lions’ onballers.
Stewart has another issue stemming from the game, with his hand blowing up “like a watermelon” following his stellar performance against Werribee Districts.
“He potentially might have a small crack,” Bullen said.
Deer Park has kept hold of top spot on percentage ahead of a date with third-placed Spotswood at John McLeod Oval on Saturday.
In other division 1 games, Sunshine Kangaroos snapped a two-game losing streak with a 138-point win over bottom side Albion.
St Albans fell away after three-quarter time, losing by 54 to Spotswood.
Caroline Springs went scoreless in the last quarter of a 54-point loss to Altona. Frank Campisi kicked four majors for the Lakers.
In division 3, Sunshine Heights caused an upset by downing previously undefeated Tarneit by 23 points. Mathew Serafin’s four goals were crucial for Heights.
Albanvale slaughtered Wyndham Suns by 112 points, Nathan Black leading the way with 13 goals.
Black is the premier forward in the division with 37 goals in five games.