After an exceptionally long COVID-19 hiatus, local footy finally got underway for the Spencer Gulf League with games in Port Pirie and Port Augusta at the weekend.
Central Augusta Bloods took the points over cross-town rivals West Augusta Hawks.
It was a tight three quarters, but Centrals proved too strong in the last booting five goals to Hawks' one.
Evergreen power forward Hayden Warren got a game equalling high of three goals for the beaten Hawks and looked in good nick, with Ty Harrison and Jamahl Mckenzie particularly good.
Damien Kroes, Richie Hobbs also stood out in a disappointing finish for West.
Centrals have taken much pride in their preseason and are looking at improving this year after battling back into finals last year.
Muirhead is all class and looked sharp whilst Nathan Khan is as lively as anyone when he is on song.
Benbow also snagged three and Centrals had good service from many of their younger brigade. Jason Dare-Ryan, Ryley Herman and Timothy Milera all debuted at the weekend.
Dare-Ryan scored himself a spot in the Best Players and Milera kicked his first A grade goal.
Good winning start for the Bloods.
Prop Risdon def. Port
Prop Risdon Lions started their season in emphatic fashion with a dominant display over cross-town rivals Port Bulldogs coming away with a 20 plus goal win.
Lions were thrilled and worked hard during the break to sure up their numbers and are at least as good as the side that won as many minor round games as anyone last year. They are still smarting from their straight sets exit from last year's finals and could not have done any more to quickly erase those memories for the new season.
Port came in with a noticeably young side and were shown up by a well drilled experienced outfit and they will continue to learn and gain experience as the season goes on.
Akker was the pick of the players for the Dogs and battled hard with fellow youngsters and new players in Drew and Max Voumard should good signs coming in from Northern areas along with fellow new boy Noblett in his bulldog debut.
New skipper Sam Keane put in a good display but many of the Port players succumbed to the pressure and power of the Lions.
Lions started well and poured on pressure all day. Port were held goalless till early in the third whilst Lions scored five, six, seven and six for a four-quarter effort.
Tyler Eckert finished third in last year's Madigan Medal and again held that form for a best afield performance plus four goals. Talls in Dyer and Wallace were both good all day with five goals each as twin targets up front and around the ground.
It was a super start for the Lions as they chase their second flag and look most likely to break South Augusta's reign.