Throw your pre-season predictions out of the window.
That is the lesson all teams, players and interested onlookers of the Goulburn Valley Bowls Division’s top competition must take out of round one’s results.
Three of the four matches played in the opening foray of the weekend pennant division one season went the way of the underdog.
Along with East Shepparton’s stirring victory over back-to-back reigning champion Shepparton Golf, Seymour and Hill Top secured confidence boosting wins over more fancied rivals.
The Hillbillies travelled to Shepparton Park with nothing to lose after watching a number of players depart in the off-season, and they certainly played like it.
Justin Spedding threw the biggest spanner into the works with a 30-15 win over Glenn Thatcher, while Jock Hicks (30-25) and Murray Stark (25-19) also claimed vital points on their rinks.
Jarryd Tinning’s rink was the only one to salvage anything from the day, defeating Jeff McNaughton 23-19 in the 2-82 to 16-104 loss.
Seymour also performed a surprise raid against Nagambie.
The Lakers rarely lose on their home deck, but last season’s second-tier premier picked up right where it left off to engineer a 14-85 to 4-79 triumph.
Daniel Nichols (32-15) and Paul Nichols (24-12) stood tall in the loss, but could not cover the other two Nagambie rinks.
In what was the only expected result of the round, Kyabram comfortably dealt with Stanhope to begin the new campaign in the best possible fashion.
David Cartwright’s rink of Kelvin Hubble (third), Danny O’Brien (second) and Rob Sceney (lead) made a mess of Stanhope’s Tim Hancock, winning 37-10 to punctuate the 18-117 to 0-77 drubbing.
If these first battles of the new season are anything to go by, fans are in for a scintillating war.