TOODYAY coach Craig Nicholls' pre-season comment that he and his squad were itching to go could have been overlooked but their beginning statement of ten points over the gargantuan Gingin confirms there is new life in the competition.
Most, if not all, of the pundits would have been satisfied with the first of many Eagles’ wins, especially on a first up home ground, against Toodyay, to see Gingin grind toward another premiership.
But their complacency has surely been shocked with this opening gambit which now sees a new order to the contest despite it being very early days.
If this was not enough for a pundit's digestion, another surprise comes with Wongan-Ballidu's ladder lead following their convincing six-odd over a visiting Dalwallinu.
Couple this with a Boomers' reserves win and although their league ladder lead could be a rarity, to have both grades with a spot in the four is a momentous first up occasion.
Then to top an exciting introduction to this season's Mortlock competition, the strongly favoured Dowerin was perhaps lucky to get away with a five-point win over a new look Goomalling.
Apart from the Boomers - Dally game, the other matches were determined by points (15 in total) suggesting this season will be a very even contest and a ladder bouncing around like musical chairs.
A better pundit's bet now will see them suggesting a Boomers' top of the roost with Gingin in the nether regions won't last for long.
Then again they have been proved wrong and quite recently?
They're youthful, fast and versatile and the young Lion cubs took it up to the giants of Mortlock with a clarion call to the rest of the league.
Ten points is not a shattering win but it was a monster start for Toodyay over a still very skilled side and an enormous morale booster to the ‘green’ squad.
Apart from the first quarter, in a low-scoring game, Toodyay outscored the opposition for the rest of the match (overcoming a four-goal deficit during the second quarter) despite the unstoppable Geoffrey Rouse managing six, taking the game to just two points going into the final term.
Here the Lions shot ahead by 16 points before the Eagles kicked the last goal to save some of the discomfit.
Toodyay's winning formula might be seen in their versatility where coach Nicholls had at least eight rotating all over the ground.
This was epitomised by 18 year-old Ben Jenkins, returning to the Lions from Perth Colts, who was seen in the ruck (probably not losing a tap), forward and back lines and on the wing to be voted his side's best.
With two, he also headed seven goal-getters which also displays their flexible functionality.
They also weathered a tough but good physical game, which saw three yellow cards shown to three Eagles.
Although this report appears biased by the excitement of the shock victory it should be noted the Eagles still retain the skills of which they are noted with Jack Woodruff and the new find of Dylan Eiffler standing out in the back line, probably reducing an even bigger Toodyay win, together with the reliable forward in Rouse who defended his reputation despite the attention of two Lions' worriers.
More fever to come from these two sides.
Wongan-Ballidu may have opened their season with a six-goal blinder over a visiting Dally but it wasn't, as the scoreboard suggests, a pushover and a lot can be expected from these two as the season progresses.
In fact, if the 'Dogs weren't so flat in the first quarter, as the new fast running Boomers capitalised, it might have been a whole new ball game.
However the new look Boomers, with up to ten imports, looked the part of a fast, skilled outfit albeit on the smallish size but well compensated with ability and teamwork.
Their win was established in the first quarter where, boosted by an unexpected reserves victory, they took control from the bounce and a rewarding first goal of the season to retiring coach Brad Lyon in a roving role to prove he has still got it at 32 years of age.
Dally let the Boomers slip away in this period despite the advantage of a slight following breeze and if it wasn't for the Bulldogs' centre half forward Anthony Thomas keeping them in the game, it would have been a rout.
Big improvement from the Dally component in the second period where their busy duo of John Alanthwaite and Thomas capitalised to match the scores despite Wongan-Ballidu having the advantage of the breeze which suggested, at half time, although Dally trailing by three, the game was far from over.
And it wasn't as Dally, helped by freshening breeze to three or four goals, took control with an opening six-pointer from newcomer Michael Swarbrick, two from Thomas and another from Swarbrick and the scores were locked at 11.10 apiece.
A goal from Brad Lyon on the siren was to put the Boomers in front by six points going into the final term.
But they had the breeze for the final bout.
Not so, as it faded to a whisper and a desperate battle developed with Dally in with more than a better chance.
However with all the drama of a Western movie, in came the saving cavalry in one Tim Siegert with an opening goal and with two more, edged the Boomers ahead with a buffer of four to take the wind out of the Bulldogs' sails and accept the inevitable which was to extend to 40 points.
Worth repeating - a lot more to be heard from these two.
It was an exciting entertaining game when Goomalling hosted Dowerin and it looked as though the Blues were going to cause another upset in the weekend's bouts - in front at every change except the one that counts.
Holding a three-goal lead going into the final term, Goomalling could only manage four scoring shots to the Tigers' 11 in a monster fade-out to go down by just five points.
Although heavily under-manned with midfielder Anthony Booth still to appear and four other midfielders or key forwards still required, the Blues did everything right to hold the favoured Tigers until they lost their legs and couldn't stop the flow from a Tigers' death-knock assault.
It was, however, anybody's game until the last ten seconds, when the new find, ex-WAFL colts, Moora on-ball winger Benjamin McGillivray put Dowerin over the line.
But the bottom line really was the fact Dowerin could kick four majors to Goomalling's one when hitherto this period the Blues' back line was their strength with Reece Duffield's contribution and Callen Syred restricting the normally free-flowing David Wilson to just one.
Both sides had a good number in the goal-getting department (Dowerin eight, Goomalling seven) but the Tigers' tall full forward Michael Gallagher was the main destroyer with six of the best.
Jake (not Rhett as reported by the league) Carruthers headed the Blues' list with three and named Reece Duffield as their side's best, which should have included a crumbing forward in Kyle Sutherland.
Stuart Miller got Dowerin's honours with Chad Hagboom and Wylie's Reyner Wells not far behind.
Dowerin enjoys an early win but future encounters could be in doubt if the Blues ever manage to get to full strength.
And that could go for most other sides in the league as well.