Bundoora survived a last-quarter scare against North Heidelberg to open its account in Northern Football League division 1.
The Bulls looked on track for a big win at three-quarter time when they led by 45 points, but the Bulldogs had other ideas.
Eight goals in the final quarter brought the Bulldogs back into the game, but the Bulls did enough for a 16.8 (104)-14.16 (100) win.
Bulls coach Andrew Sturgess said it was a good response after a disappointing first-one loss.
“We felt like we deserved to win after controlling it for most of the day,” he said.
“We got the jump and set a good platform. It meant that we could play our game instead of having to play catch-up football.
“The way they scored in the last quarter – that momentum is hard to stop and they had it at the right time of the day.
“The pleasing thing for us was we were able to get the win. It could have rattled us. I’m proud of the boys.
“One of the real focuses for us is making sure we had an even contribution and we felt like we got that.
“The guys played exceptionally well and nobody didn’t perform – there was an even spread.”
Daniel Venditti was named best on ground for the Bulls with Sturgess saying Brenton Keating and Matthew Evans down back were instrumental.
Veteran Gary Moorcroft kicked five goals and was well supported up forward by Beau Moorcroft, Travis Keating and Samuel Willatt.
The win has the Bulls siting 1-1 and heading into the Easter break.
For the first-year coach, things are sitting nicely after a strong pre-season.
“Everyone is willing to learn, which makes my job easy,” he said.
“We’re one from two. We reviewed last week and learnt from it and got better and that’s the same message this week.
“We will get better next week. We feel like we can match it with anyone.”
In division 2, Epping won a thriller against Diamond Creek 12.15 (87)-12.12 (84).
Thomastown got its first win of the season by beating St Mary’s 17.12 (114)-6.3 (39).
Epping remains without a win after losing to Watsonia 19.19 (133)-9.5 (59).
In division 3, Laurimar beat Lalor 17.12 (114)-7.8 (50), while Mernda and South Morang lost.
In the opening round of the women’s competition grading, Bundoora kicked off the season with a big win.
Coming off an undefeated season in their inaugural season, the Bulls defeated Diamond Creek Womens 2 14.10 (94)-0.0 (0).
South Morang had a first up win, while Mernda lost to VU Western Spurs 2.