After a see-sawing first half at RAMS Arena, the Rebels surged away with a flurry of goals early in the third term to leave the Cannons in their wake, sparked by a terrific running goal from best-afield Tom Templeton in the opening seconds.
It was a thrilling display of football from the Rebels and pivotal in the impressive victory – their third in a row.
Coach David Loader was delighted with his side’s ability to get the game on their own terms after an early arm-wrestle.
“The first ten or fifteen minutes of the third quarter, things just fell into place,” he said.
“The boys’ effort was really high and that led to us being able to score and play the way that we wanted to play.
“I was really pleased that we identified some things during the day and this group was really quick to make up for it and make it happen. You get a result like that through hard work.”
The Rebels trailed at quarter-time by a solitary point and, despite gaining the lead early in the second term, struggled to break free of the Cannons before the main break.
However, the Rebels’ midfield – led by Templeton and captain Darcy Tucker – took control of the game after half time.
Athletic forward Ezekiel Frank was the main beneficiary, booting six goals in an impressive display.
But for Loader, the most pleasing aspect of the game was how his side embraced the privilege of playing on ANZAC Day.
“It was probably one of our key focuses this week…to make sure we represented ourselves really well on what we believe is probably Australia’s most important day,” Loader said.
“It wasn’t to be ANZAC’s, but it was certainly to have the spirit and to be thankful for what we’ve got and are able to do through the heroic efforts of the people who have gone before us.
“I couldn’t be prouder of the boys and what they were able to do today.”
Josh Webster continued his outstanding form down back, marshalling the defence with strong leadership, while line-breaker Tom Taurau again provided impressive speed and tenacity.
Unfortunately, the Rebels have potentially incurred another serious injury, with promising key forward Sam White hurting his knee in the second term.
White was stretchered off and sent to the hospital for scans, with Loader later admitting the signs were not promising.
The Rebels will travel to Warrawee Park next weekend to face the in-form Oakleigh Chargers.
FULL MATCH RESULTS
3.3.21, 5.3.33, 6.4.40, 8.6 (54)
North Ballarat Rebels
3.2.20, 8.5.53, 13.9.87, 17.12 (114)