Thomastown flew out of the blocks early to stun Lalor in the opening round of the Northern Football League division 2 on Saturday.
Six goals to nil in the first quarter at Lalor Reserve opened up a 34point lead for the Bear, leaving last year’s grand finalists on the back foot.
And the Bears didn’t let up all day to win easily 2110 (136) 14.13 (97). Bears coach Dean Sinclair said the result was the perfect way to start the season.
“They had it over us last season,” he said.
“They were the only team we didn’t beat last year.
“Whether we caught them on the flatfooted, I’m not sure, but we emphasised before the game how hard it is to beat Lalor in Lalor so it was important to get a good start.”
Sinclair said his players focussed on ensuring that what they did in the first quarter was replicated for the rest of the game.
They did that for the next two quarters, before the Bloods kicked late goals in the final quarter once the match was over.
“We had to stick to our structures and keep the momentum going,” Sinclair said.
“We had to keep them on the ropes.
“I thought the boys might fatigue towards the end of the game because of limited rotations. We’d done all the hard work early.”
Sinclair said that because it was the first round a couple of players struggled with cramp, but there were no serious injury concerns.
Jacob OseiDuro kicked five goals for the Bears and was one of the best on ground, while Ricky Mercuri and Adrian Natoli were also prominent.
Todd Hughes kicked five goals for the losers.
With the withdrawal of Reservoir from the competition, the Bears have a bye this weekend.
“We’re going to keep going hard on the training track this week,” Sinclair said.
“We’ve got things to work on around the stoppages and on our forward entries.
“We’ll train Tuesday and Thursday and on Saturday we’ll watch Fitzroy Stars, who we play after the bye.”
In division 1, Whittlesea and Bundoora both started their seasons with losses.
The Eagles were in front most of the day against West Preston Lakeside, before losing the lead in the dying minutes.
That was enough for the Roosters to snatch the 12.16 (88) 13.8 (86) win.
Luke Deards was best for the Eagles in the loss.
Bundoora was never in the match against Macleod losing, 19.16 (130) 12.9 (81).
In division 3, Mernda won its second straight game. Facing the winless South Morang, the Demons had their noses in front all day to get home 19.10 (124) 15.12 (102).
Epping recorded its first win of the season, thrashing Kilmore 25.16 (166) – 5.1 (31).