The evenness of the Goulburn Valley League under-18 competition is plain to see, with nine sides registering a win in the first two rounds.
Shepparton Swans fell 10 points short of tasting success for the first time this season, despite Steele Simpson (six goals) starring in attack, as Benalla roared home in the second half to pinch a 13.6 (84) to 11.8 (74) win.
Benalla trailed by 55 points at the main break, but kicked 12 goals to two in the second half in a stunning turnaround.
Chelton Orchard (three goals), Matthew Gillespie (two) and best afield Jesse Walker, helped Benalla to the away win at Princess Park.
Mansfield sang the team song for the first time after it led from start to finish to grind out a 15-point win against Mooroopna at home.
The Eagles withstood multiple Mooroopna surges, at one stage they led by two points, to hold on 12.5 (77) to 9.8 (62).
Nicholas Watson (one goal) and Archie Smith were two of the better players for the Mansfield and Mooroopna had solid contributions from Isaac Dowling (three goals), Dustin Blake (one goal) and Jack Montgomery.
Rochester handed Euroa a heavy defeat, piling on 10 goals in the second half to register a 16.11 (107) to 2.7 (19) win.
The away side clinched its first win largely due to Nathan Kay (two goals), Adam McPhee (one goal), Spencer Cleary (three goals) and Will Pressnell (three goals).
Euroa’s Jack Frewen, James Herring and Lachlan Hill battled hard.
Shepparton United continued its winning ways, cruising to a 102-point win against Tatura, in a superb team performance that involved 10 individual goal-kickers.
United’s Jakob Butcher and Jhett Cooper booted three majors each and best-on Sheldon Bogdan (two goals) was a standout in the 19.12 (126) to 3.6 (24) win.
Harry Murdoch (one goal) and Corey Reardon were the Bulldogs’ best performers on a tough day for their side.
Kyabram recovered from a first-half slump to run out a 29-point winner against Shepparton, with Bombers Cooper Gentle and Connor Hawes leading their side to consecutive victories.
The away side could have easily dealt with the Bears in the opening half, however, inaccuracy in front of goal had it enter the main break one point down.
In the second half Shepparton continued the yips on goal — kicking seven behinds — as Ryley Yenco and Matthew Pellegrino (one goal) were the pick of the Bears in the 9.11 (65) to 4.12 (36) loss.
Echuca posted a 37-point win against Seymour, due to some brilliance from Matthew Hore (four goals) and William Devlin (three goals) and best afield Joseph Guiney.
Seymour’s Hudson Kaak booted five goals and Dylan Cook was named best-on in the 16.4 (100) to 10.3 (63) defeat.