BENDIGO Gold gave Geelong an almighty scare in Friday night's Victorian Football League clash.
Geelong 18.13 (121) d Bendigo Gold 11.8 (74)
Gold raced to a three-goal lead in its season-opening game before hundreds of fans on home turf at Queen Elizabeth Oval.
At quarter-time, Gold led 33-21 before the Cats kicked into gear to lead 61-47 at half-time.
The Cats won the third term, 28-13, and dominated most of the last quarter.
When the clubs last met, Geelong won in Bendigo by 201 points.
Multiple goalkickers for Gold in Friday's opening round clash were Tyson Biffin, Alik Magin and Billy McInnes on two each.
Matt Farrelly and Daniel Toman were on target, while Jarrod Bacon, Tyrone Downie and Devin McFarlane goaled in their first games for Gold.
Bendigo's best against the Cats were Jack Sheahan, 2013 club champion Alik Magin, Tyrone Downie, Matt Farrelly, Jesse Wallin and Steven Stroobants.