MORNINGTON has opened its season with a nail-biting six-point victory over Seaford in the MPNFL Peninsula League.
The match was neck and neck until the third term when the Bulldogs pulled out in front, going into the final quarter 21 points ahead.
The Tigers surged in the final term levelling the scores late but were unable to overcome the spirited Bulldogs, who just hung on to win, thanks to a late Matt Johnston goal.
Mornington coach Josh Beard was thrilled with the round one victory, praising his players for their efforts. "It's was a great day for the footy club after such a tough couple of years," he said.
After a horror 2011, the Bulldogs recruited strongly over the summer with a number of players returning to the club, including key position player Kallum Searle, who was charged with trying to contain Tigers forward Michael Kraska. The spearhead finished with six goals and was lively early but was well held in the second half.
Mornington midfielder Byron Murphy, a former Glenelg player in the SANFL, was highly influential, with Beard applauding his efforts in the midfield and across half-back. "He is an extremely talented player; he is good at bringing teammates into the game."
Tigers coach Craig McIndoe was impressed with the way his team started, hitting the contest strongly with young players Harry Czarnecki and Rory Luxton showing good signs of things to come.
The third-quarter lapse was costly but the Tigers were able to work their way back into the game through Kane Taylor and Aaron Turner but could not overcome the deficit, with Mornington just keeping its nose in front.
McIndoe was impressed by the Bulldogs, and warned other teams about their improvement - "they aren't to be underestimated".
Mornington plays a much-improved Mt Eliza at Alexandra Park this Sunday and Seaford takes on Bonbeach, which suffered a defeat in its round one match-up against Mt Eliza.
In other Peninsula League matches, Karingal easily accounted for Edithvale-Aspendale at Ballam Park in a resounding 61-point victory. and Chelsea made short work of the Pines with a 75-point win over the Pythons, Luke Damon kicking seven goals for the Seagulls.
Langwarrin was handed a 94-point loss by reigning premiers Frankston YCW in a dominant display at Lloyd Park.
Victorian Football League:
Frankston Dolphins 10.16 (76) d Coburg 9.6 (60) yesterday.
TAC Cup: Dandenong Stingrays, bye.
MPNFL Nepean League: Frankston Bombers 10.17 (77) d Somerville 9.10 (64); Rye 20.22 (142) d Tyabb 9.10 (64); Red Hill 16.11 (107) d Devon Meadows 11.7 (73); Hastings 18.5 (113) d Crib Point 10.10 (70); Rosebud 16.12 (108) d Pearcedale 10.18 (78).
MPNFL Peninsula League: Chelsea 21.19 (145) d Pines 10.10 (70); Frankston YCW 24.7 (151) d Langwarrin 9.3 (57); Karingal 18.18 (126) d Edi-Asp 9.11 (65); Mt Eliza 20.15 (135) d Bonbeach 12.8 (80); Mornington 16.10 (106) d Seaford 14.16 (100).
Casey Cardinia Football League: Doveton 24.21 (165) d Hampton Park 6.7 (43); Cranbourne 14.16 (100) d Berwick 10.8 (68); ROC 20.9 (129) d Pakenham 8.8 (56); Narre Warren 20.17 (137) d Beaconsfield 7.11 (53); Tooradin-Dalmore 15.9 (99) d Keysborough 13.9 (87).
For full results, click on the Scoreboard link at top right.
Victorian Football League: Frankston Dolphins, bye.
TAC Cup: Dandenong Stingrays v Western Jets, Shepley Oval, 11am
MPNFL Nepean League: Tyabb v Rosebud, Bunguyan Reserve 2.15pm; Frankston Bombers v Crib Point, Greg Beck Oval 2.15pm; Pearcedale v Somerville, Pearcedale Recreation Reserve 2.15pm; Rye v Devon Meadows, RJ Rowley Reserve 2.15pm; Red Hill v Dromana, Red Hill Showgrounds 2.15pm; Hastings v Sorrento, Thomas Barclay Oval 2.15pm.
MPNFL Peninsula League: Pines v Langwarrin, Eric Bell Reserve 2.15pm; Frankston YCW v Karingal, Jubilee Park 2.15pm; Bonbeach v Seaford, No 1 Oval 2.15pm; Mornington v Mt Eliza, Alexandra Park, Sunday 2.15pm.
Casey Cardinia Football League: Berwick v ROC, Edwin Flack Reserve 2.15pm; Narre Warren v Cranbourne, Kalora Park 2.15pm; Hampton Park v Keysborough, LS Reid Oval 2.15pm; Pakenham v Beaconsfield, Toomuc Reserve 2.15pm; Tooradin-Dalmore v Doveton, Tooradin Recreation Reserve 2.15pm.
All games on Saturday unless otherwise stated.