HORSHAM Saints have caused a massive upset to start the 2014 Wimmera Football League season, defeating reigning premier Dimboola by 21 points at Dimboola Recreation Reserve on Saturday.
Trailing by the narrowest of margins at the first change, the Saints kicked out to a 22-point lead at the major break before sealing the game 14.11 (91) to Dimboola's 11.8 (74).
Saints coach Shayne Breuer said it was the perfect start to the season.
"It was a good win and the main thing for us is we got the four points," he said.
"We missed some easy goals early, but in the second quarter we put some scoreboard pressure on, which was pleasing.
"I was really pleased with how hard they were at it, and overall across the board everyone contributed, and when you win that's generally what you get."
Breuer - in his first year at the helm at Coughlin Park - said last year's grand final defeat was not extra motivation for his players.
"We never even talked about it," he said.
"We probably had half a dozen guys who didn't play in that, so as a group it wasn't even discussed.
"But saying that, the guys who did play last year probably would've been carrying something."
Gavin Kelm picked up from where he left off last season, slotting five goals, while Pat Knott, Dennis Adams and Jacob Cooke-Harrison were named among the Saints' best.
Breuer said it was good to see his players match the Roos in the contested play.
"I think both teams at the end of the day were pretty sore and pretty tired," he said. "We started to use the ball really well and our in-and-under guys were more than even with them, and that's where they're always pretty strong.
"If anything it gave me some confidence in the way we're going about it and hopefully the players as well."
Dimboola now has two weeks to regain focus ahead of a round two clash against Minyip-Murtoa.
However, it could be without last year's Toohey Medallist Justin Chilver, who was reported for a bump on Saint Alex McRae in the third term.
Roos coach Stuart Farr said his side needed to switch on quickly.
"The guys weren't ready to play," he said. "They've got to understand it's going to be a very even competition and if we don't bring our A game we're going to get rolled.
"It was disappointing, but it was round one and a bit of a reality check.
"We've got two weeks to get things right before we meet Minyip-Murtoa and I'm confident we can get it right."
Farr praised the Saints, saying they arrived ready to play.
"Full credit to the Saints - they were switched on and gave us a bit of a lesson in contested footy and how to move the footy," he said.
"We were a little bit flat, but their pressure was good and they moved the ball really well.
"We were completely outplayed for the four quarters, which was disappointing."
Lachie Exell, Ash Clugston and Daniel Baker kicked three goals for the Roos.
Farr said Nigel Sibson, Matt Magee and Exell were impressive on a disappointing day for the reigning premiers.