WESTERN Jets were steamrolled by local rivals Calder Cannons in a 112-point TAC Cup drubbing at Highgate Recreation Reserve on Saturday.
After a relatively close first quarter, Calder squared its season at 2-2 with a total and utter dismantling of the Jets.
As the game progressed it became evident the Cannons' key position players were in a class of their own. The size and skill of Keegan Shrimpton, Lachlan Plowman, Billy Morrison and Joe Daniher proved too much for the Jets whose defence was under a constant barrage due to an inability to clear the ball effectively.
A combination of relentless forward pressure by the Cannons and sloppy Jets disposal meant the ball spent most of the match in the Jets defensive zone.
Morrison, the Cannons key forward, led the way with an impressive seven goals, while the rebounding ability of defender Plowman ensured the Jets rarely entered their forward line.
Darcy Bailey and Jonathan O'Rourke were instrumental in winning the ball in the midfield, providing a constant supply to their forwards.
Although not one Jets player won his position, the endeavour of Sam Critchley, Nicholas Jones and Jake Greiser must be noted.
For Calder Cannons coach Martin Allison, the win signified a step in the right direction after back-to-back losses.
"We made a focus in the last two weeks about where we have to get better at," he said. "The spreading, the offensive running, the overlap on the handballs and linking up through the midfield and the switching out of defence, which today really played dividends for us.
"It was great from a coaching point of view for the players to get reward for the improvement that they rehearsed at training, that they implemented in this game and to be able to execute it was the most pleasing thing."
Western Jets coach Steven Kretiuk struggled to draw any positives from the 21-goal loss.
"We were a bit intimidated by the way they went about their footy. They were ferocious at the contest and left us flat-footed. Our decision making was really poor and I thought their pressure on the ball carrier was really good and we just didn't cope with that."
The Jets face a difficult trip to Shepley Oval on Saturday morning where they will play an equally desperate Dandenong Stingrays.
TAC CUP SCOREBOARD
Calder Cannons 24.14 (158) d Western Jets 6.10 (46). Western Jets - Goals: L Hunter 3, J McKenzie, A Elkasovic, C Nastasi.
Best: S Critchley, N Jones, J Greiser, C Nastasi, A Elkasovic, L Hunter.