GIVEN they were outscored 40 goals to three in their four grading games and then placed into division one of the Northern Football League Women's competition, 2019 was always going to be long and arduous for the Bendigo Thunder.
That was reaffirmed again on Sunday when the new-look team filled with first-year players was handed a 180-point belting from the VU Western Spurs.
For the second time this year against the Spurs the Thunder were held scoreless in a 27.18 (180) to 0.0 (0) loss at Henry Turner Reserve in Footscray.
"We were thoroughly outclassed by the absolute best team in the competition," Thunder coach Luis Alvarez-Harris said.
"Our girls tried really hard, didn't give up and gave really good effort, but we were beaten by a side with a lot more talent than we had."
Brianna Burt, who competed valiantly in the ruck, was the Thunder's best.
Georgia Gordon, Jaime Sawers, Bianca Jones and Jenna-Rose Anderson were also in the best players.