BIG wins, devastating losses and a couple of upsets, Round 12 of the TAC Cup had it all.
In the opening match of the round, Dandenong Stingrays reminded the competition of its premiership credentials with a thumping 73-point win over Eastern Ranges.
After a close first term, the Stingrays restricted the Ranges to two goals for the rest of the game, while booting 14 goals themselves to cruise to a 15.11 (101) to 3.10 (28) victory.
Over-ager Thomas Glen had a day out with 29 disposals, five marks and three tackles, while Josh Begley was the highest disposal getter for the Ranges with 17 – the only Eastern player over 15 for the match.
It mattered little that Murray Bushrangers were still missing a number of key stars as the home side overcame a second quarter Northern fight back to hold off the Knights by 43 points.
Murray led by four points at half-time, but took control in the second half, particularly in the last quarter, when it finished the game full of running to win 20.9 (129) to 12.14 (86).
James Cousins had another day out, amassing 25 disposals, five marks, seven tackles and three goals, while Lachlan Tiziani continued his strong goal kicking form with six majors from 12 disposals and seven marks.
For the Knights, Matthew Signorello was the highest disposal winner with 33, while ruckman Charles Roberts had a superb game, amazing 21 disposals, nine marks, 18 hitouts, three tackles and a goal.
Down at Morwell Recreation Reserve, the Power were unable to shut down the Chargers as Oakleigh stormed to a 33-point win over the cellar dwellers.
Oakleigh led from start to finish and proved too strong with a number of starts returning to win 15.8 (98) to 9.11 (65).
Four players amassed more than 30 disposals, with first round prospect next year Jack Higgins having a day out, finishing with 33 disposals, six marks, three tackles and three goals.
For Gippsland, Will Leslie stood tall with 23 disposals, six marks and seven tackles.
Down at Werribee, Sandringham Dragons gritted out a tough six-point win over top-of-the-table Geelong Falcons.
The Dragons, while under strength, showed their depth by toppling the Falcons despite being goalless in the first term and trailing by 15 points at half-time.
In the end, accuracy proved key as the Dragons saluted 11.6 (72) to 9.12 (66).
No-one particularly stood out for Sandringham in a good team effort; however Ari Sakeson collected the most disposals with 22.
For the Falcons, Jack Blood finished with 25 disposals, four marks and three tackles, while Zachary Zdybel booted a goal while pinch-hitting in the ruck for 14 disposals and six marks.
Calder Cannons all but locked in their finals place and eliminated Bendigo in what many could consider an eight-point game.
The Cannons led by six goals at the final break and while the Pioneers held Calder goalless in the final term, they could only boot three majors themselves to go down by 19 points.
Zach Guthrie was superb for the Cannons with 25 disposals and 12 marks, while Ben Ronke was equally as impressive, amassing 27 disposals and nine marks.
For the Pioneers, it was Paddy Dow who stood above all others with 33 disposals, six marks, three tackles and a goal, while Jamieson Sheahan had 32 disposals, 28 of which were kicks.
In the final match of the round, North Ballarat Rebels held on against Western Jets to record a 10-point win.
After fading away in the second half last week and going down to the Sandringham Dragons, the Rebels got back on the winners list with a 14.12 (96) to 12.14 (86) victory.
James Gow was best on ground with 33 disposals, nine marks and five tackles, while Callan Wellings continued his strong form with 24 disposals, seven marks and seven tackles.
For Western, Daniel Foley had 27 disposals, four marks and three tackles to remain in draft contention.