BENALLA All Blacks ticked the first box in their quest to finish off the Ovens and King Football League season on a high note, crushing Whorouly by 40 points on Saturday.
The Panthers put the Lions under immense pressure from the outset, tackling hard and forcing turnovers, and it was only a lack of finishing that kept them from delivering the killer blow before halftime.
Still, with Ben Cook, Riley Moran and Scott Docherty leading the charge, Benalla took a stranglehold on the match, keeping Whorouly to just one goal in the first half and taking a 31-point lead into the long break.
From there it was simply a matter of holding firm.
In the lead up to the match Benalla coach Harry Moran spoke about his desire to see the Panthers take control of a match and maintain it, and that was exactly what they did.
Zac Amarant, Jayden Guppy and Ben Pretty were all strong contributors as the Panthers continued to suffocate the Lions, running out 9.15 (69) to 4.5 (29) winners.