MILDURA is on the board after somewhat of an upset win against South Mildura in SFNL round 1 on Saturday.
The Demons, written off for much of the pre-season due to a large player exodus, showed class in at times deplorable conditions to run out 8.3 (51) to 3.15 (33) winners and start Heath Caldwell's coaching career off on a winning note.
"I'm over the moon, the boys were just terrific," an elated Caldwell said.
"We followed a gameplan specifically to suit the conditions and I was just super pleased with the boys and how we got the win."
Particularly in the first half dust, wind and rain played havoc -- but Caldwell credited an unlikely source for the gameplan that better nullified the condition.
"For myself it was a bit of an education from last year, last season we had an absolute hail of a game against Wentworth and they just used the conditions really well, they just played really smart," he said.
"We made a note of that and we really made it stick, a couple of times in the first quarter going against the breeze we made a few silly decisions but we were lucky to get away with it -- (South) kicked 1.6 so it gave us a chance.
"In the second half we executed to perfection."
Under lights last night Red Cliffs withstood a third quarter surge by reigning premiers Irymple to win out 12.12 (84) to 8.5 (53) and kick start their climb back up the ladder.
Elsewhere Robinvale-Euston held Wentworth to a single goal from their only scoring shot, winning 12.14 (86) to 1.0 (6) while Ouyen United defeated Merbein 15.12 (102) to 1.6 (12).
On the netball court Merbein won a tight A Grade contest with Ouyen United 32-31, Wentworth defeated Robinvale-Euston 45-23 and South Mildura won 41-33 over Mildura.
Irymple started its premiership defence with a 56-39 over Red Cliffs.