IT was a weekend of upsets in the TAC Cup as Gippsland Power and Northern Knights both claimed victories, while the Calder Cannons and Sandringham Dragons collected wins away from home.
In the opening match of the round, Gippsland Power were neck-and-neck with the Western Jets at the main break, just three points in front.
By the last change, the Power had increased their lead to 26 points, and eventually ran out 43-point winners courtesy of a big second half.
Once again Kade Renooy was the highest disposal winner, finishing with 21, while Nicholas Giarrizzo was impressive with 26 disposals, four marks and five tackles for the Jets.
Up in Bendigo, the Pioneers blew an opportunity to jump into the top eight, going down to the Northern Knights by four goals.
The Knights started strongly to lead by 22 points at half-time.
After the main break Bendigo hit back to cut the deficit to five points, but it was the Knights that emerged stronger in the last term, running away with a comfortable 11.15 (81) to 8.9 (57) victory.
Lachlan Murphy racked up 37 disposals, seven marks, six tackles and a goal in an impressive performance, while Isaac Miller was one of the best for the Pioneers with 35 disposals, eight marks and six tackles.
Up at Eureka Stadium, seven goals from Jordan Johnston was not enough to help the Rebels get home against the Dragons, going down by four points.
Leading by 29 at halt-time, North Ballarat could not stop the Dragons getting on top in the second half to come-from-behind and record a sensational four-point win.
Sandringham’s Josh Trew booted four goals for the Dragons, while Callan Wellings continued his strong form for the Rebels with 32 disposals, seven marks and seven tackles.
Seven goals to Karl Brown helped the Calder Cannons overcome an under strength Dandenong Stingrays at Shepley Oval.
The Cannons flew out of the blocks to a 31-point quarter time lead and never looked back from there, with a strong four-quarter performance running out 65-point victors in a stunning performance.
Tyson Lever and Jackson McDonald were among the top performers for the Cannons, while Nathan Scagliarini finished with 25 disposals and 11 tackles in a workman-like effort for the Stingrays.
Up in Albury, the Murray Bushrangers got over the line against the Eastern Ranges – twice.
After being declared narrow winners in a short fourth quarter, Eastern Ranges staff appealed the end of the game realising the time keeper had not allowed for extra time.
The teams ran out for a further eight minutes before the Bushrangers got home in a tight 15.14 (104) to 14.13 (97) win.
James Cousins continues to put his hand up with another 35 disposals, 10 marks, while Trent McMullan (five goals) and Lachlan Tiziani (four goals) also impressed.
For the Ranges’ Joshua Begley continued his rise in the TAC Cup with 22 disposals, five marks and eight tackles.
In the final match of the round, Oakleigh Chargers gave it their best shot but could not produce an upset against the Geelong Falcons at Simonds Stadium.
The Chargers fell a goal short of victory after trailing for the entire match.
Jack Blood and Max Augerinos were again solid for the winners, while Sam McLarty had a strong performance with 21 disposals, eight marks and a goal.
Geelong Falcons have moved six points clear on top of the TAC Cup ladder, with the top four all but done and dusted, eight points ahead of North Ballarat Rebels in fifth.
The Calder Cannons have somehow picked themselves up to sit sixth, four points ahead of the Eastern Ranges, Oakleigh Chargers and Western Jets.
Bendigo Pioneers and Northern Knights (12 points) will need some luck to make finals, but a few strong performances can change the course of the season.