BENDIGO United recruit Ben Gunn blasted a century, took three wickets and inflicted a run-out in a brilliant debut for his new club on Saturday, but his efforts weren't enough to get the Redbacks over the line against Strathdale-Maristians.
The Suns extended their unbeaten Bendigo District Cricket Association streak to 26 games when they beat the Redbacks by two wickets on the second last ball of their one-day clash at Bell Oval.
Gunn - who crossed to the Redbacks from Strathfieldsaye - scored the BDCA's first century of the season.
His 110 off 109 balls helped the Redbacks to 7-229 off their 45 overs after winning the toss and batting.
Opening the batting, Gunn was on the attack from the outset, with five of his first six scoring shots boundaries.
He also rode his luck after the Suns dropped him four times. Gunn batted into the 39th over, belting 13 boundaries and two sixes.
Gunn put on 141 for the third wicket with Matt Pinniger (76 off 86, seven boundaries, four sixes).
The pair put Bendigo United into a strong position after the Redbacks had been 2-18 early as Curtis Tuohey (0) and Heath Behrens (0) both made ducks.
Behrens was one of four wickets for Ben DeAraugo, who opened the season with 4-32 off eight overs, before later playing a pivotal role with the bat for the Suns.
DeAraugo top-scored in the Suns' innings with 56 off 47 balls after coming in with the score 3-121 in the 29th over following the wicket of Nick Baker (16 off 20).
The Redbacks looked the winners closing in on stumps when DeAraugo was caught by Behrens off Leigh McDermott as the Suns fell to 8-209.
However, Matthew Thomas and first-gamer Dylan Bailie teamed together to lift the Suns over the line.
Bailie scored the winning runs off the fifth ball of the 45th over when a mis-timed heave off McDermott just cleared mid-on for two.
Bailie finished four not out, while Thomas' 20 not out off 12 balls was crucial.
Earlier, openers Travis King (43 off 73) and Cameron Taylor (32 off 63) put on 84 for the first wicket, but both were dismissed in the 23rd over.
Taylor was run out from a direct hit from Gunn, while King was caught at extra cover by Pinniger off McDermott.
Suns' captain Linton Jacobs chipped in with a brisk 30 off 26 balls.
McDermott picked up 4-67 off 8.5 overs for the Redbacks. He was expensive late in the innings when he had 37 hit off his last 17 deliveries.
Gunn rounded out a superb first game for the Redbacks by taking 3-41 off eight overs.
* Touted as this season's wooden-spoon side, Strathfieldsaye made a winning start, defeating Bendigo by six wickets at Tannery Lane.
The Jets' win was kickstarted by a superb opening spell from bowler Justin Hargreaves.
Hargreaves had Bendigo reeling early in its innings at 4-12 in the 11th over.
Hargreaves removed Brett Andrews (4), Robert Glen (1), Craig Pearce (0) and captain Mark Ryan (0).
At that stage Hargreaves had figures of 4-7 off 5.1 overs, before finishing with 4-32 off nine overs.
From 4-12, Bendigo recovered to post 155 off its 45 overs.
The fightback was led by young guns Mitchell Blackman (57 off 105, five fours), Nathan Fitzpatrick (44 off 72, five fours) and Alex Pearson (27 off 30).
As well as Hargreaves' four wickets, Ben Devanny claimed 3-17 for the Jets, including the scalps of Blackman and Pearson.
In reply, Strathfieldsaye chased its target down in 42.4 overs as it answered with 4-158.
The Jets had been 4-92 in the 31st over during their chase, but Ben Devanny (44 n.o.) and Cory Devanny (36 n.o.) steered their side home with an unbeaten stand of 66.
Captain Greg Lyon (24), recruit David Farley (25) and Brent Hargreaves (15) all made starts for the Jets.
Scott Dole (1-22) and veteran Andrews (1-24) were the pick of the bowlers for the Goers.
* White Hills also caused a round one upset, defeating Huntly-North Epsom by 66 runs at Scott Street.
The Demons' English experiment paid immediate dividends, with overseas recruits Gareth Davies and Jake Foley both having an impact.
Batting at No.4, Davies scored an unbeaten 62 in the Demons' score of 6-203.
Davies hit five boundaries and two sixes in his knock.
Also batting well for the Demons was young opener Brayden Stepien, who scored 57 (eight boundaries).
Stepien and Davies put on 87 for the second wicket, taking the score from 1-29 in the 12th over to 116 in the 30th.
No.3 Sam Stagg (28) was the only other Demons' player to pass 20.
Recruit Thomas Wilson picked up three wickets for the Power, taking 3-49 off seven overs.
In its innings, Huntly-North Epsom didn't pay enough respect to the White Hills' bowlers and was dismissed for just 137 in 39.1 overs.
Only new opener Michael Hanson - playing against his former side - offered any major resistance to the Demons.
Hanson scored 70, before he was seventh wicket to fall with the score on 118.
The Power innings never got going after crashing from 1-40 to 5-57.
Demons' leg-spinner Foley picked up 3-37 off nine overs, including the wicket of Hanson, while Glenn Roulston took 2-14 off nine overs in a superb spell.
Wily veteran Roulston removed Power dangermen Linc McRae (8) and Brodie McRae (2).
* Eaglehawk had few concerns in recording a six-wicket win over Sandhurst at Weeroona Oval.
The Hawks restricted the Dragons to 7-168 after Sandhurst won the toss and batted.
Sandhurst had plenty of players make starts, but recruit Alex McGauchie (32 n.o. off 30) was the only player to make more than 30.
New captain Craig Howard (28), Shane Robinson (24) and Ned Slater (24) were all dismissed in the 20s.
Of the nine Sandhurst players who batted, only openers Isaac Conway (2) and Nick Scullie (7), who was run out by a direct hit from Anthony West, didn't reach double figures.
Eaglehawk shared its wickets around. Cory Jacobs (2-20) was the only multiple wicket-taker, while four other players took one each.
The Hawks chased their target down in 32.5 overs, making 4-169.
Eaglehawk lost opener Andrew Smith (10) with the score on 15 when spinner Howard, who opened the bowling, took his first wicket for the Dragons.
However, the Hawks' top-scorer Cory Jacobs and West batted Eaglehawk into a strong position.
They put on 93 for the second wicket, with the partnership ending when West (30) was trapped lbw by young Dragons' spinner Liam Bowe.
West's wicket sparked a mini collapse. When Matt White (1) and Jacobs (62) were also dismissed by Bowe soon after, the Hawks had fallen from 1-108 to 4-113.
But captain Jason Abbott (24 n.o.) and recruit Aaron Monro (31 n.o.) safely guided the Hawks over the line with 73 balls to spare.
Jacobs took the attack up to the Dragons during his innings, bringing up his 50 off 48 balls.
Bowe picked up 3-45 for Sandhurst.
* Golden Square continued its domination over Kangaroo Flat, defeating the Roos by 17 runs at Dower Park.
Square - which hasn't lost to Kangaroo Flat in their past 11 games - compiled 4-192 batting first.
The backbone of the innings was Grant Connelly, who blasted 86, which was laced with nine boundaries and two sixes.
Square also got contributions from Scott Johnson (34), Jason Johnson (30 n.o.) and new captain Tim Wood (22), who opened the batting.
Tim Robertson (2-20) was the sole multiple wicket-taker for Kangaroo Flat, which was held to 8-175 in reply, with opener Daniel Barber (78) leading the way.
Barber's 78 was a career-best, surpassing his 76 against White Hills last season.
Brent Hamblin (30 n.o.) and Josh Newlan (21), who put on 78 for the second wicket with Barber, were the only other players to pass 20 for Kangaroo Flat.
Luke Baird (2-34) took two wickets for Golden Square.