Heathcote has started its 2022 HDFNL season with a confidence-boosting win over North Bendigo.
Saints hadn't defeated the Bulldogs since the 2014 season, but that all changed on Saturday afternoon in the round one 13-goal victory, final scores 48-35.
Saints coach Brooke Bolton said defeating the Bulldogs had boosted the team's confidence.
"It's definitely a nice feeling to get the win in round one," Bolton said.
"It's given the team plenty of confidence. Our aim is for it to continue during the next few weeks and for the rest of the season."
In the face of a strong Bulldogs' side, the Saints persevered to finish the game off strongly and end the eight-year drought
"We just kept going and didn't give up," Bolton said.
"There were lulls throughout the game where we dropped away for a moment, but then we picked ourselves straight back up and kept pushing forward to ensure they didn't stop us.
"It was a full-team effort and everyone played their role which was the best part about the win."
Bolton said the win had set the precedent for the Saints to continually refine their on-court ability for the rest of the season.
"There's definitely areas we will continue to work on, especially seeing as the match against North Bendigo was one of the first where we'd had the entire team all together," she said.
"Looking ahead, the more we play together and keep refining things we're bound to continue improving throughout the season."
Meanwhile, in the other opening-weekend A-Grade match Elmore 55 defeated Colbinabbin 41.
There was also a drought-breaking game in the opening-round of the Loddon Valley with Marong ending a long-standing stint without an A-Grade win over Maiden Gully YCW.
Panthers fought hard from behind on Saturday afternoon to lock in the four goal 46-42 win over the Eagles.
Panthers found themselves down 10-5 in the first quarter, but after a few changes across the court managed to keep with the Eagles to prevent them from flying away with the win.
Despite trailing the Eagles for most of the game, the Panthers turned the tables towards the end of the match.
"It's definitely exciting to start the season with a win, especially as I think it's been nearly 18 years since we'd beaten MGYCW in A-Grade," Panthers coach Bianca Garton said.
"Which in itself is a huge achievement, especially coming from behind.
"Everyone was certainly up-and-about after the game and I couldn't have been any prouder of the girls or asked for more from them."
Garton credited the defensive effort of her team as crucial to the victory.
"Even though we were behind during part of the game, we still felt in control and just slowly pegged away at the scores with plenty of defensive pressure.
"That is certainly our strength as a team. We play a really defensive game and a lot of the girls are able to read the play down that end of the court to lock in defensive turnovers.
"This was definitely the case in this match as it was a very physical contest which shocked us a bit.
"It took us around half a game to find our feet, but once we gelled we had excellent defensive pressure across the court."
Garton said the opening win was a good test for the team ahead of what's bound to be a competitive season.
"We knew it was going to be a tough game against a top squad from 2021, but it has shown us where we are at," she said.
"It certainly puts us in a good position for our match next week against Bridgewater which will also be a tough game."
Meanwhile in the other A-Grade LVFNL matches, Bridgewater 46 def Pyramid Hill 28 and Mitiamo 70 def BL-Serpentine 38.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.