THIS season's first match involving two of last year's Golden Rivers Football Netball League finalists lived up to expectations on Sunday, with Ultima defeating Nullawil by nine points.
In a match that saw both teams be within 10 points of each other at any break, it was the strength of the hosts' back line that secured the win.
Jayden Kiel and his fellow defenders were able to restrict Andrew Oberforder (three goals), Kal Heslop (two goals) and Phillip Lobb (one goal) to six majors between them - a feat that had not been achieved prior to the weekend.
Going into the match as slight favourites, the Maroons held a five-point lead at quarter time before the 'Roos began to control play.
Although Nullawil kicked one more goal than the hosts in the second term, Ultima held a seven-point lead at the main break after accumulating 13 scoring shots in the quarter.
The Maroons showed their strength in the third term, kicking four goals to two to hold a six-point lead at the final change of ends, but the 'Roos were able to finish strongly with the win to remain undefeated after three rounds of the season.
Arnold Kirby (four goals) and Jack O'Rourke (three goals) led the way in front of goal for the hosts, with Royce Free and Scott Mathiske - who both booted two goals each - joining Oberdorfer and Heslop as the Maroons' multiple goalkickers.
Kiel and O'Rourke were best on ground for the hosts, who face another challenging game this weekend, this time a grand final rematch at Wandella.
Kyle Doran and Matthew Heslop led the way for the Maroons, who host Moulamein in four days' time.
Gadsden's day out
AN eight-goal haul from Josh Gadsden helped Moulamein record its first win against Murrabit in three years seasons.
Playing at home for the second consecutive week, the Swans kept the Blues goalless in the second quarter and were never headed in a 33-point win - the club's first victory against last season's semi-finalists since round 13, 2014..
Gadsden booted more than half of the hosts' total goals, whilst keeping Justin McConnell and Nathan Henry to three goals between them.
The Swans' midfield - led by Tom Isma in a best on ground effort - also helped set up the win, with Max Baldissera and Ben Booth also standing out for the victors.
Cooper Williams and McConnell were the only multiple goalkickers for the Blues, with Bryden Morison and Nathan Wilson standing out.
The Swans will take on Nullawil this weekend, with Murrabit aiming to bounce back this weekend against Wakool.
Saints on the board
ADAM Pollock recorded his first win as a Golden Rivers Football Netball League coach since the 2013 grand final, thanks to Quambatook's 68-point win against Macorna.
For the second weekend in a row the winless Tigers challenged their opponents during the opening half, but fell away following the main break.
Quambatook held a 17-point lead at half time, before kicking eight goals to one in the third quarter to secure the club's first win of the season.
Andrew Spengler and Christopher Stone kicked three goals each for the victors, with Matthew Angel, Jordan Simpson and Shaun Haffenden booting multiple goals for Macorna.
Jarred Schlitz and Gregor Knight were best on ground for the Saints, with Steven Morgan again a key contributor for the Tigers.
Quambatook faces a challenging trip to Hay this weekend, with Macorna having the bye before a May 5 visit to Moulamein.
Lions' charge continues
WAKOOL kicked its highest score of the season, but conceded 30 goals for the third consecutive weekend in a 177-point loss to Hay.
Set up by eight goals to former coach Simon Bunyan, the Lions scored more than 200 points for the second game in a row to remain undefeated after three rounds of the season.
An 11-goal to one opening quarter set the precedent for the match, with Wakool's efforts in the final term matching the club's previous scores in each of its two games.
Bunyan and Angus McSweyn (seven goals) both outscored the Hawks individually, whilst Joe Thompson booted two of the hosts' six goals for the match.
Lachlan Cohen and Ben Arandt were best on ground for Hay, with Josh Flight and Thompson playing well for the Hawks.
The Lions will host Quambatook this weekend, with the Hawks to travel to Murrabit.