The Mininera and District Football League commenced with some big games, with the Eagles and Lions impressing with some strong performances.
Great Western got their premiership defence off to a strong start with a come from behind win in a grand final rematch against Penshurst on Saturday.
New recruit Damon Folkes booted eight goals while Samuel Cocks kicked two goals and was in the Lions' best as they ran over the top of Penshurst to win by 21 points.
The Ararat Eagles also claimed an impressive win as they defeated Lismore Derrinallum by 44 points.
The Demons finished second on the ladder in 2019, while the Eagles went winless and were at rock bottom.
But some strong recruitment looks to have made a massive difference to the Eagles, which sets up a tantalising round two ANZAC Day weekend match-up between Ararat and Great Western.
Great Western senior coach Will Bell said he was pleased with the resilience of his team in round one and was looking forward to a big game on Saturday.
"Our biggest strength was our resilience and to hang in the game," he said.
"At the three-quarter time change we were down by the goal, but we were able to grind out the win in what was a hard fought game all day.
"You want to play in a strong competition and we think the competition around Ararat is going to be really strong.
"This is the first test for the Ararat clubs and we get to play the Eagles on ANZAC weekend in a really big clash and one of us will be 2-0 and the other will be 1-1."
Ararat Eagles senior coach Brett Sladdin said the club was also looking forward to testing itself against the best after a strong round one performance.
"We have enough good players that are going to be dangerous when they have the ball, but to see the way everyone worked when we didn't have the ball was really pleasing," he said.
"The main thing is they are the reigning premiers and they look they're going to be the the benchmark so it going to be a big test and a good opportunity."
The Moyston Pumas also impressed with a massive win against Wickliffe Lake Bolac.
The Pumas piled on 30 goals as they won by 177 points. Zach Louder kicked 10 goals on the day.
Tatyoon also got their season off to a winning start as they completed a 40 point win over Glenthompson Dunkeld.
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