The Wimmera Hockey Association played their first round of games on the artificial turf at the Dimboola Health and Fitness Centre on Saturday, and several classic games resulted.
The Yanac Tigers enjoyed one of their most significant victories in recent seasons over arch-rivals, the Warrack Hoops, with a four-goal win in the first game in the Open division.
After a very even first half in which neither team scored, Oskar Bennett of the Hoops opened the scoring by converting a penalty corner two minutes after the break.
Ethan Anderson equalled the scores five minutes later, and Bradley Alexander put the Tigers ahead soon after.
Three more goals to the Tigers set their final total at five goals while restricting the Hoops to just one goal.
Those who witnessed the game went away with a different view than the scorecard may suggest, as the Hoops maintained the pressure for the full seventy minutes but were not as polished in their forward line and did not reap the same rewards from their hard work as the Tigers.
The Kaniva Cobras and the Horsham Hurricanes also put on a memorable performance after both came into the game looking for their first win for 2021, and it took until the last minute of the game to confirm who would take the points.
In a very even game, the Hurricanes opened the scoring twenty minutes into the game, establishing a lead that they took beyond the half time break, despite the Cobras having a majority of the forward play. The Cobras evened the scores eight minutes into the second half.
With fewer options off the interchange bench than their opponents, Horsham was more deliberate with their play, making the ball do the work, in contrast to the Cobras effective use of their strong, accurate hitting.
With the game looking to be heading for a tie, a rebound from the Hurricanes' goalkeepers' pads in the last minute of the match was stopped, and a quick return hit broke the deadlock.
The final game in this competition took place under the lights when the improving Nhill Rangers scored three goals to the Dimboola Burras' one to record a comfortable win and move to second place on the ladder.
The first Women's game saw Kaniva control most of the play in their encounter with the Horsham Jets, scoring three times whilst keeping the Horsham Jets scoreless.
In the other game the Dimboola Roos finished five goals behind the now-second-placed Nhill Thunderbirds.
The Horsham Bombers continue to build on their impressive early season form with an eight-goal victory over the Kaniva Raiders, and the Yanac Warriors are only two points behind after a solid six-goal win over the Warrack Revengers.