Round 1 saw a couple of drought-breaking wins for teams that did not taste victory in 2013.
Wintry conditions hit Hallam Reserve as the Friday night game got under way with a cold wind sweeping across the ground. South Yarra adapted better to the conditions and showed composure, repeatedly sweeping the ball out of defence.
Hallam failed to kick a goal until a set shot after the half-time siren, but drew level early in the third quarter. After that, South Yarra proved too strong. When the game ended in tranquil conditions, the Lions were home by 23 points, and sang their song with gusto. Daniel Russell and Eamon Hanney were best for the winners.
At Essex Heights Reserve, Endeavour Hills made an emphatic statement that it will not be pushed around anymore, beating Ashwood by 33 points. The Magpies will be disappointed with an inaccurate 11 goals 21 behinds, but the Falcons showed how it is done with 19 goals 6 behinds. Shane Peake led the charge with five goals and was best for the winning team.
The clash between Black Rock and Carrum Patterson Lakes at McDonald Reserve kept spectators and radio listeners on the edge of their seats. The contest was close all day, with the Jets in front for much of the time and clinging to a one-goal lead at the last change. Black Rock will gain confidence from their impressive effort, but the Lions were too good in the last quarter, triumphing by eight points. Trevor March and Adam Lello finished with three goals each for the Lions, and their best player was Rod McLeod.
Mt Waverley hit back hard after being eliminated by Dandenong in last year’s finals series. At Greaves Reserve, the Redlegs were only a point down at quarter time. The Mountain Lions then piled on 19 goals to one for the remainder of the game. James Gough kicked six of their goals, and Ben Beecroft was their best player.
Lyndale made a solid start to the season against Sandown at Edinburgh Reserve. The Pumas won every quarter, eventually getting up by 37 points. Trevor Kumetaitis and Trent Day each kicked three goals for the Pumas, and their best player was Jayden Johnson.