Murray Bushrangers’ youth girls’ side has started the season off in impeccable fashion, knocking off reigning premiers Calder Cannons.
Both sides went through last year’s season undefeated, with the Cannons taking out bragging rights after topping the table with superior percentage.
But the Bushrangers boast a talent-laden squad with Mooroopna’s Tamara Smith as a midfield general.
Smith helped Murray control the game from the outset, gaining eight inside 50s to Calder’s one.
But the Cannons remained in the game as its sole entry was converted into a major, but Murray turned a two-goal lead at the first break into a 17-point break at half-time.
The Bushies upped the ante in the third term as Benalla product Bec Webster tore through packs to dominate the midfield.
Shepparton Notre’s Sophie Damon was the ideal target up forward at Yarrawonga’s JC Lowe Oval, finishing with a goal, while Mooroopna’s Millie Brown and Northern Angels’ Tali Verhoeven also chimed in with a major.
With another four goals in the final term, Bushrangers coach Sam Ahmet was pleased with the 46-point win.
‘‘It was a pretty even performance, all the girls played well and we knew Calder Cannons has always been a (tough) side, so there was a challenge there for them and the girls really focused on what they needed to do,’’ he said.
Ahmet credited his side’s resolve in the second term, when Calder tried to stage a fightback.
‘‘In the first quarter we jumped them and we probably missed a few opportunities to nail the goals and in the second quarter they came back at us, but we steadied and played nice and composed footy,’’ he said.
During a solid pre-season, Ahmet put plenty of focus on fitness and team structure and the side will look to build on its promising first round performance following a week off.
Murray Bushrangers 2.6, 3.6, 6.10, 10.13 (73) d Calder Cannons 1.0, 1.1, 3.1, 4.3 (27)
Best: Murray Bushrangers: Julia Harvey, Tamara Smith, Eloise Ashley-Cooper, Olivia Barber, Tali Verhoeven, Sophie Damon.
Goals: Murray Bushrangers: Julia Harvey 3, Olivia Barber 2, Sophie Damon, Millie Brown, Tali Verhoeven, Olivia Hall, Chelsea Hargreaves.