HUNTS Carpets won the battle of the debutants while Sportspower overpowered the fancied Australian Business Apprenticeships Centre when the second instalment of the Servies Super 9s got underway on Friday night.
It was an entertaining opening round and saw two contrasting results.
In the first game, New England Mutual came out strongly and slotted the first goal of the competition.
But Hunts hit back not long after, a trend that continued through the first half, with the two sides trading goals.
It was Hunts though that had the final say for a 3-2 lead at half-time.
Going into the final quarter, the difference was still only one but it didn’t stay that for too long with Hunts, at captain Andrew Byrne’s urging, upping the ante and pulling away for a 6-3 win.
Byrne cited the leadership battle between himself and NEM’s James Abbo as a key to the victory.
Surprise recruit Alex Waters was sensational, slotting two vital goals for Hunt, while Antony Doolan had a great game in the middle feeding Ben Hanlan, who was hard to contain.
Byrne also said that Ken Whitty had a great game in defence.
For NEM, Issac Farmilo was next to impossible to close down as he ran riot through the forwards.
Jimmy O’Brien also had a fantastic game in a beaten side.
The second game was a very tightly-contested affair with never more than a goal separating Sportspower and ABAC.
Sportspower arguably created more opportunities in the circle but young Apprentices keeper Will Brissett had a superb game in goals and denied most of their attempts.
All those attempts did pay off though, with Sportspower running out eventual 3-2 winners.
Best on ground for the Apprentices was Tamworth star and number one draft pick Sam Lobsey while Dean Waters was a standout on the night for Sportspower.
The two victorious sides will match-up in the second game next week in an early battle for top billing on the table, with the Apprentices and NEM matching up in the earlier 7pm game.