Greensborough kicked off its 2018 Meadows Greyhounds Division 1 campaign in the best way possible, defeating a star-studded Montmorency by 27 points at War Memorial Park.
A fast start saw the Boro take a 29-point lead into quarter time, before the Magpies outplayed the home side in the second term to lead by three points at the main break.
But it was a brilliant second half by the Boro, who outscored the Magpies seven goals to three, that set up the 13.19 (97) to 10.10 (70) victory.
Jacob Ireland, Nick Riddle and Jack Johnston were among the best for home side, while co-captains Tristan Stead and Chris Clark led by example when their team needed them most to produce a fantastic win.
Tyrone Leonardis and Sam Binion were impressive in their debuts for the visitors, while Patrick Fitzgerald and Ben Walton combined for six goals and gave their side a presence in attack.
Cold, wet and windy conditions were the background to the opening bounce and it was the Boro – who were looking to produce a winning start to the season after losing their first five games last season – that had the best piece of the contest early.
After four straight behinds from the home side, Josh Grubb kicked the first of the afternoon. However, against the run of play, Ben Fennell kicked a beauty to give Montmorency a fast reply.
It was the only genuine highlight for the Magpies in the opening term as a flurry of majors from Ireland, Tynan Smith, Johnston and Clark extended the Boro’s lead to 29 points at quarter time – a margin which could have been greater with the scoreboard reading 5.8 to 1.3.
Jacob Pickett fired the first goal of the second quarter just three minutes into the term to extend Greensborough’s lead to a game-high 35 points.
But with the wind in their back, Montmorency soon settled and began looking the more composed team. Winning more ball through the midfield, the Magpies kicked six unanswered goals, led by two each from Walton and Fitzgerald, to lead by three points at half time.
Kicking against a five to six-goal breeze in the third term, the Magpies’ priorities quickly turned to preventing the Boro from opening too big a gap by three-quarter time.
Despite a host of injury complaints from the Boro bench, including a shoulder injury to Grubb, whose day was ended late in the second quarter, the home side managed to kick three goals in the term to lead by 20 points at the last change.
It set up a massive last quarter, with the Boro holding the lead, but Montmorency set to finish with the aid of the strong wind.
Brody Tickell kicked the all-important first goal of the final quarter two minutes in to put the Magpies on the back foot early.
But three goals in five minutes from Walton, Matt White and Fitzgerald suddenly reduced the margin to just nine points at the 12-minute mark of the quarter.
With Montmorency looking like running on for a come-from-behind win, Greensborough was able to dig deep. The Boro got on top in the clinches and their ball movement through the midfield was excellent.
Stead was moved forward and won a free kick in the goal square, which he converted. He then set up Jason Rogers, who sealed the contest with his first goal, before adding another minutes later to stretch the final margin to 27 points.
Final score: Greensborough 13.19 (97) def Montmorency 10.10 (70)