In the EVCA off-season the jungle drums were beating that West Bendigo could be a big improver this summer.
The Redbacks' huge round one win over Sedgwick justified the hype and now they go into another big battle against league power Spring Gully in round two.
West Bendigo split its matches with minor premier Spring Gully last year, but the Redbacks lack of consistency ensured they missed the finals.
Only once in the 2020-21 season did West Bendigo win two games in a row and that's where the club needs to take the next step if it's to challenge the likes of Spring Gully, United and Emu Creek on a regular basis.
Spring Gully destroyed California Gully by 194 runs in round one and looked to be every bit as strong as last summer.
After a first-up bye, reigning premier Emu Creek plays its first game of the season in a grand final re-match against United at Ewing Park.
Unexpectedly, United dropped points in round one when it was held to a tie by Marong.
The Tigers had Marong on the ropes a couple of times throughout the match, but couldn't land the knockout blow.
They'll need an improved performance on Saturday if they're to topple the Simon Marwood-led Emu Creek.
Marong will fancy its chances of recording its first win of the season when it travels to California Gully.
The Panthers' bowlers did a fine job to restrict the potent United batting line-up last week and this Saturday they face a Cobras' side that managed only 47 in round one.
In the final game of the round, Sedgwick hosts Mandruang at Club Court.
The Rams had a day where nothing went right in round one, while Mandurang had few troubles in disposing of Axe Creek.
On paper, Mandurang's batting doesn't appear as strong this season, but a round one score of 8-233 showed there's still enough firepower in the top six.
Sedgwick will provide a much sterner test for Mandurang this week.
The Rams only had two players score in double figures last Saturday and there's too much talent in the team for that to happen again.
Read more: Selection night - BDCA and EVCA teams
Read more: EVCA round one review
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