For Lalor, just getting on the field for round one of the Northern Football League season was a win – getting the four points in their division 3 season opener was a bonus.
The Bloods had an off season of uncertainty and at times it looked like the club would not field a team.
After a lot of hard work and the decision to drop down to division 3, the Bloods were on the park on Saturday for a round one clash against Reservoir.
Bloods coach Dean Grainger said the game was about getting the players on the ground and enjoying themselves.
He said everyone had been looking forward to the season opener.
The Bloods played well to win 11.13 (79)-7.10 (52).
Grainger said the match was closer than what the scoreline showed.
“We were discussing on the track that we want to be competitive,” he said. “Things we put in place, we put them together on the ground.
“The scoreline flattered us as Reservoir kept coming at us. They got within 11 points in the final quarter, but our boys dug deep.”
Robert Todd and Nathan Stavridis kicked three goals each for the Bloods.
Isaac Edgar and Daniel Moore were named the Bloods best in what Grainger said was a team effort.
He said the win would give confidence to the group after a tough off season.
“There’s a bit of fresh air,” he said. “There’s good signs that we’re heading in the right direction. We’ve set ourselves goals and broke them into blocks.
“We’ll sit down after thee or four weeks and plan again. It’s week by week and the guys are improving and developing and taking things on board.”
Grainger said there had been a lot of support for the club since the extent of their struggles had become known and there was good signs for the future.
Lalor faces St Mary’s in round two. St Mary’s had a strong win against Heidelberg West.
Mernda also started its season on a winning note, defeating Panton Hill, 22.10 (142)-8.11 (59). Daniel Bryant kicked seven goals for the Demons and Matthew Campbell was named best on ground.
South Morang lost to an inaccurate Kilmore, 7.19 (61)-8.10 (58). Laurimar had a bye.
Division 1 will get under way this weekend, with Bundoora to face Northcote Park under lights on Friday night. Whittlesea plays Heidelberg.
Division 2 also kicks off proper, after a standalone match on Good Friday. Epping will face Diamond Creek, while Thomastown will play Fitzroy Stars.