BRIDGENORTH showed it would be the main rival to premiership favourite South Launceston with a comfortable 39-point win over Hillwood in the NTFA's division 1 yesterday.
In what was predicted to be a close battle between the association's second and third-placed sides didn't eventuate with the Parrots getting out to an early lead.
With good play from midfielders Nick McElwee and James Hodge the Parrots opened up a three-goal lead at quarter time and extended it to 31 points at half-time.
``We respect Hillwood as tough opponents and expected them to fight back, which they did in the third quarter, but then we were able to steady again in the final term,'' Bridgenorth coach Michael Bowden said.
Bowden said the win was very important in the overall picture for Bridgenorth as next weekend the team has the bye followed by some tough games after that.
``It is crucial that we try and hold one of the top three positions on the ladder,'' he said.
Bridgenorth remains a game behind top team South Launceston and Bowden said the number one position on the ladder would give the team a valued week off at the start of the finals.
Apart from his midfield Bowden was quick to praise the efforts of full-back Joe Holloway and Matthew Zanetto further up the ground in their contribution to yesterday's win.
It was the second time Bridgenorth had beaten Hillwood this season following an easy victory in the opening game in March.
Hillwood is clinging to fourth place on the ladder and was best served yesterday by Tim Gibbons, Jamie Rayner and Shannon Buller.
BRIDGENORTH 16.11 (107)
HILLWOOD 9.14 (68)