On a rare Friday night showing, Bungaree flexed its muscles and cruised to a 57-point win over Clunes.
It was a performance best described as “patchy” but the Demons did little to dampen expectations of them as a genuine contender.
After a pre-game Anzac Day presentation, an impressive crowd was treated to a frenetic opening term, in which both sides had the run of the play.
It was only after quarter-time that Bungaree was able to get the contest on its terms and control the speed of the game.
Man-mountain Shaun Finlayson was an imposing figure in the match, booting six goals in a powerful display.
The Magpies ran out the game with a strong final term, but the damage was already done, as Bungaree continued its flawless start to the season.
However, Demons’ coach Greg Middleton was far from enamoured with his team’s performance, describing it as “scrappy”.
“I thought we had periods of good and bad,” Middleton said.
“We let ourselves down too often. With the boys coming off a break, it was probably always going to be a bit like that”.
“The fact that we had a few injuries didn’t help either – our rotations were stuffed in that last quarter.”
The Demons have an important clash with rivals Springbank next weekend, with both teams entering the contest in strong form.
However, Middleton said it would be businesses as usual.
“It’s just another game to us,” he said.
“With our injuries, it might be an opportunity for some blokes in the seconds to get a go.”
With seven players under the age of 19, it was always going to be a difficult proposition for Clunes.
However, the Magpies can take confidence from their impressive opening and closing terms.
An upbeat Clunes’ coach, Jason Hill said he was pleased with how his team approached the game.
“I thought our intensity was up,” Hill said.
“I thought after quarter time, we didn’t drop our bundle. I just thought we were in and out of the game.”
“To win the last quarter was really good for us, and I let the boys know that after the game.”
Still without a win to its name, Clunes will prepare to face Dunnstown next weekend.
Magpies’ defender Nick Hind received considerable praise from Hill for his aggressive running, as did recruit forward Ben Newton, who kicked five goals.
For the victors, the likes of Chris Cowan, Heath Pyke and Matt Sheridan were all significant contributors to the win.