THREE key forwards united to help Nullawil challenge longstanding Golden Rivers Football Netball League records at the weekend.
Kal Heslop (12 goals), Phillip Lobb (11 goals) and Andrew Oberforder (10 goals) all stood out as the Maroons kicked 48.18 (306) in a 288-point victory against last season's ninth-placed side, Wakool.
The Maroons' score and final margin are the highest achieved this century and would challenge the league's records, which delve back to the mid-1940s.
The signs of what Wakool would face on-field were evident early, with the Maroons kicking eight goals to one to hold a 47-point lead at quarter time.
A nine-goal to one second term set up a 96-point lead to the hosts at the main break, but what was to occur in the second half would have many clubs wondering if the Maroons can be stopped this season.
The Maroons' defence, led by James Cowland, kept the Hawks goalless in the second half as the hosts kicked 15 goals in the third quarter and 16 goals in the final term.
Former AFL player, Mitch Farmer - who kicked five goals - was the best player on the field for the hosts, with Heslop, Lobb and Oberforder also standing out.
Ben Edwards and Dudley Bibby kicked Wakool's two goals for the match, with Joshua Flight and Calum Lindberg playing well for the visitors.
Nullawil will aim to continue its strong start to the season this weekend when the side travels to Quambatook, with the Hawks facing the prospect of playing another 2017 finalist - defending premiers, Wandella.
Blue duo lead the way
JUSTIN McConnell and Nathan Henry showed the pair will be a forward combination many GRFNL may struggle to control this season, with the pair combining for 11 goals in the Blues' 84-point win against Quambatook.
In what was tipped to be the closest match of the season, last season's semi-finalists took control of the game in the second half, giving new coach, Bryden Morison a debut win in charge of the Blues.
Going into the match without key playmaker Jack Baker, the Saints kept pace with the hosts in the opening term, trailing by nine points.
However, a seven-goal to three second quarter was a preview to what would happen after half-time, with the Blues holding a 33-point lead at the main break.
Murrabit kept the Saints goalless in the third term to lead by 65 points at three-quarter time, before finishing the game with another six-goal term.
McConnell kicked six goals for the victors, with Henry chipping in with five majors.
Martin Angus kicked four goals for the Saints, with Gregor Knight booting two majors in a key performance for the visitors.
Nathan O'Toole, McConnell and Nathan Wilson were best on ground for the Blues, with James Blackwell, Knight and Jarred Schlitz playing well for the Saints.
Murrabit will aim to go 2-0 this weekend when the club takes on Macorna, with the Saints to host Nullawil.
Bombers brush past Swans
IT may be a new season, but Wandella's miserly defence continued on their form from last season's grand final, restricting Moulamein to four goals in a 170-point win.
On a day when the Bombers celebrated their 2017 grand final win, it was last season's E.G. Hunt Medallist, Justin Robinson who had a day out for the hosts.
The midfielder kicked six goals and was the best player on the ground as the Bombers continued their decade-long dominance against the Swans.
Initially touted as a close match thanks to Moulamein's pre-season recruiting efforts, the Bombers opened the game with an eight-goal to one first term that set the tone for the remainder of the game.
The visitors managed one goal in each of the remaining three quarters, with the Wandella backline only conceding a total of 49 points in its last two games - last season's grand final and Saturday.
Down the other end of the ground, it was a procession in front of goal, with Daniel Kirby (five goals) joining Robinson as the only other players to outscore the Swans.
Ten other Wandella players kicked at least one goal, including new recruits Jason Iannucci and Jay McDonald, who booted four goals each alongside Cooper Condely.
Lachlan Allison - playing his first match for the Bombers after returning to the club following a stint with Macorna - and Dillan Treacy were best on ground alongside Robinson for the hosts, with Matthew Pearse, Ben Buxton and Luke Henery playing well for the Swans.
It could be another one-sided affair this weekend for the Bombers, who take on Wakool, whilst the Swans host Ultima.
Lions too strong
HAY continued its strong home record against Macorna at the weekend, restricting the Tigers to four behinds in a 205-point victory.
Macorna became the third side this decade to not kick a goal in a match, joining Wakool (2017 against Nullawil) and Moulamein (2015 against Nullawil) to have struggled in front of goal.
It was the Lions' key players - former coach Simon Bunyan (nine goals), key utility Jackson Ferguson (five goals) and new recruit Hayden Polglase, who was best on the ground for the victors - who set up the win.
The hosts kicked six goals in the opening term, and although the side was up by 107 points at the main break, the Lions had been inaccurate in the opening half, with the club's 16 goals coming from 29 scoring shots.
The accuracy in front of goal improved in the second half, with Hay kicking 16 goals from 20 shots.
It was a different situation for the Tigers, who manged one behind in the opening quarter and a minor score in the second term before doubling their total in the final quarter.
Matthew Angel, playing his first match for the Tigers, was the best player on the ground for the visitors, with Brady Taylor and Shaun Haffenden also contributing.
Hay has the bye this weekend before an April 21 match-up with Wakool, whilst the Tigers host Murrabit this weekend.