ELMORE bounced back from a tough opening round loss to defeat last season's finals nemesis Huntly in a thriller at Strauch Reserve.
The Bloods were able to survive the warm conditions and a scorching battle to win by four goals after scores were level at three quarter time.
Their 43-39 victory was the first in Elmore colours for high-profile recruits Ruby Barkmeyer and Cailtlin McLachlan and a first at A-grade level for 14-year-old wing attack Cayde Hayes, who was one of several candidates for the tag as best on court.
It was the two clubs' first meeting since last season's elimination final won by Huntly.
Bloods coach Sue Borserio said her side was rapt with her players' response to their big loss to Colbinabbin in round one.
"Last week was interesting, it wasn't until Saturday night when I looked at our stats that I found we were turning it over in that second phase," she said.
"Our centre passes were okay, but that second phase back into goals was letting us down.
"It probably comes down to the girls getting some familiarity with each other and that will come as they gel together."
Borserio, who has shown in her two years at Elmore that she is not afraid to promote the club's youth into A-grade, praised the contribution of 14-year-old midcourter Hayes.
"She is still eligible for 15-and-unders and a regional representative, but played an exceptional game and a very mature game at wing attack," she said.
"She's only a little girl, but her feeding into the goalers .... she can see the space the ball is going to go into.
"I am glad to have her paired up with Ruby (at goal attack) .... she has had a great pathway as a junior and is probably the perfect person to work with Cayde on the court as far as her development."
The Bloods 43 goals were nearly evenly shared, with Barkmeyer contributing 22 and Melissa Oliver 21.
For Huntly, it was a second close loss in two weeks after they were beaten by North Bendigo in round one by nine goals.
Hawks coach Emily Eliades said the defeat highlighted some areas of improvement for her side going forward.
"There were some missed opportunities of goals when we turned it over and some poor decision making at times coming out of the back end, but Elmore really capitalised on our unforced errors to their credit," she said.
"To have a loss against North and now Elmore, for us it's really on - the year is going to start getting a lot tougher for us.
"At the end there were no excuses, it was a good contest."
The Hawks were without defender Laura Hamilton and will keep close tabs on the fitness of Kaitlyn McPhee, who played out the game with discomfort with a hamstring injury.
Despite the loss, the Hawks coach could still draw some positives from the game.
"Compared to last week, we were able to persist with our pressure and playing one on one for a whole fur quarters," she said.
"Last week we dropped off a little bit there.
That fact we are so young - Shelby Webster has just come up from 17-and-under and (goal shooter) Chloe Fletcher is only 19 - is a positive for us too."
Meanwhile, Leitchville-Gunbower made amends for a narrow round one loss to Mount Pleasant by defeating North Bendigo at Leitchville.
The Bombers won a thrilling contest 43-41.
In Good Friday games, Colbinabbin defeated Lockington Bamawm United 60-26 and White Hills celebrated Dannielle Sawyer's 350th club game with a 70-28 victory against Mount Pleasant.
After two rounds, reigning premiers White Hills and runners-up Colbinabbin are the league's two only undefeated teams.
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