SPECTATORS were treated to some gripping matches of football as round one of the 2014 Mallee Football League season commenced on Saturday.
Woomelang-Lascelles unfurled its premiership flag in front of a large crowd when it hosted Ouyen United in the first match of the round.
The Cats were quick out of the blocks as they looked to start the season where they finished last year.
When the Cats kicked five goals to Ouyen United's one in the first term, the match looked a foregone conclusion.
A strong fightback from the skilled Ouyen outfit saw it reduce the deficit to three points at half-time, and then take a 10-point lead into the final quarter.
A huge 10-goal final quarter by the Cats saw them run out comfortable winners.
Corey Kelly and Jayden Lonergan kicked eight and five goals respectively for the Cats, and were ranked among the best by coach Anthony Foott .
For the Demons, two goals each went to Bradley Vallance, Robert Lindsey and Laurence Angwin.
Walpeup-Underbool was at home to last year's runner-up Sea Lake-Nandaly Tigers in what was tipped to be a close game. The Tigers jumped out of the blocks early with five goals to one in the first quarter.
Walpeup-Underbool settled in the second term and wrestled back the momentum to be trailing by only 11 points at the long break.
The Tigers flexed their muscles in the third quarter and kicked another five goals to keep Walpeup-Underbool out of the game, with Cliff Ryan slotting five goals for the match.
Wesley Harrison was named best on ground for the Tigers, while Kane Munro, Simon Brown, David Piasente, Ryan Stacey, and Josh Stone played well for the Roos.
The final match of the round pitted Hopetoun at home against traditional rivals Beulah.
The first quarter of the match was closely contested, with skill errors and turnovers keeping the ball moving from end to end.
Beulah was able to settle first and kick away to a commanding 66-point half-time lead, and wound up victors by 129 points.
Dennis Redden and Dale Shannon each kicked five goals for Beulah.
Lucas Cook battled hard for Hopetoun and was supported by Liam Price, Leighton Hately, Zac Robins, Jackson Fisher, and Corey Daniels.