Flag favourite has 20 scoring shots to nine against a team not expected to challenge for the top five.
You'd think that would equate to a regulation eight-goal win for the higher-rated club. Right? Wrong.
Pyramid Hill gave Newbridge a reality check in round one of the Loddon Valley Football Netball League on Saturday, winning by nine points with one of the more amazing scorelines you'll see in a game of footy.
In wet and windy conditions, the Bulldogs kicked 8.1 (49) to the Maroons 4.16 (40).
Pyramid Hill kept Newbridge goalless in the first half.
"It was a funny old game,'' Pyramid Hill coach Brad Fawcett said.
"Our back six did a great job, they held up really well and got a lot of intercept possessions.
"The conditions didn't make things easy and our backline stuck to their roles.
"A lot of the second half was played in Newbridge's half of the ground, but we kept harassing them and made life hard for them."
Matt Klein-Breteler was brilliant for the Bulldogs across half-back, ruckman Adrian Holland made a big impact in his first game for the club and skipper Trent Barri led from the front in the back six.
"It was the type of win that should give the boys some belief that if they turn up to play and everyone does their role, then the results will look after themselves,'' Fawcett said.
"We don't have to rely on one or two players to get us over the line."
Newbridge coach Brad Comer said the result was an early wake-up call.
"You have to give credit to Pyramid Hill because they used the ball much better than we did on the day,'' Comer said.
"They wanted it more than us and they're a pretty good side. We probably had 75 per cent of the play, but they made the most of their opportunities and we didn't. We need to be much smarter than that.
"It was a reality check for some of our boys."
Newbridge was without key forward Rhys Ford, who will miss the first month of the season because of an overseas holiday.
A brilliant seven-goal to one second term set up Mitiamo's 25-point win over Bridgewater.
After restricting the Mean Machine to just one goal in the first term, the Superoos took full advantage of the wind in the second quarter and added 7.3 to 1.1 to grab a match-winning 37-point lead at the main break.
Bridgewater hit back hard in the third quarter with the wind and closed the margin to seven points, but the home side held firm in the final quarter to win 11.14 (80) to 7.13 (55).
"In the first quarter we won most of the in tight footy and Bridgewater didn't capitalise on the wind,'' Mitiamo coach Andy Grant said.
"We knew we had to set ourselves up with the wind in the second quarter and we managed to get on a run. The wind was as strong as I've seen it up there for a few years and it was pretty hard to get the ball out of your backline when you were kicking against it."
Luke Scott and Clayton Anderson kicked seven goals between them for the Superoos, while Terry Reeves, Matt Grant and Luke Lougoon were instrumental in the win.
The Mean Machine were best served by Joe Mayes, Harry Symons and Zane Hoiles.
The upset results kept rolling when Maiden Gully YCW Eagles upstaged Bears-Lagoon Serpentine by 35 points.
New Eagles coach Wayne Mitrovic kicked five goals in the 12.13 (85) to 7.8 (50) win.
The Eagles recruited well in the off-season, but they still went into the game as underdog against a Bears squad that many thought had the capabilities of leaping into the top three.
It was the Eagles who looked the much better side. They led handled the wet and windy conditions far better than the young Bears.
Midfielders Nick Waterson and Ryan Walker reished their return to the Eagles and were dominant in the win.
Shaun Bowles and Nick Arthur battled hard for the Bears.
"YCW played very good footy, we were slow off the mark and we were playing catch up footy all day,'' Bears' coach Greg Gadsden said.
"The conditions were really tough and YCW adpated to them far better than we did.
"We didn't play well and you can only play as well as your opponent lets you. YCW put plenty of pressure on our guys and didn't allow us to play good footy."
Reigning premier Calivil United started its premiership defence with a hard-fought 10-point win over Marong at Malone Park.
In a game where little seperated the two teams all day, a four-goal to one third quarter burst proved to be decisive for the Demons.
Coach Anthony Dennis kicked four goals in the 13.7 (85) to 11.9 (75) victory.
“We were pretty lucky early because I thought we could have been three or four goals down at quarter time,’’ Dennis said.
“We made a lot of basic errors early on, which you can expect a bit being the first game.
“With six new players in the side we were a bit slow to start, but we started to play better in the second and third quarters when we lifted our work rate.”
Vincent Rodi bobbed up with three goals for the Demons, who used a smaller forward line after the departure of premiership key forward Bryce Curnow.
Dennis said the Demons had put a heavy focus on defence in the off-season.
“This year we need our defensive skills to be better because we won’t be kicking 20 goals per week,’’ Dennis said.
“We’re going to need to try and win games with scores of 12 goals, so our defensive work needs to be good.”
Despite the defeat, there were plenty of positive signs for Marong under new coach Corbin Fleming.
They won their fair share of the ball through the middle and their back six held up well. The Panthers have plenty of height to test opposing defenders, they just need to wok on their kicking inside 50 to take advantage of those big forwards.
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