THE Woodside Wildcats are purring this week after recording a stunning win over a disappointing Yarram in the opening game of the North Gippsland football season.
Having finished 2015 in ninth place, an improved Woodside outfit demonstrated it will be no easy-beat in season 2016.
The Wildcats slotted 19 goals on their way to an impressive 64-point victory over the Demons in the Good Friday showdown at Woodside, 19.17 (131) to 10.8 (68).
The win was a fitting reward for Woodside captain Ryan Foat, who notched-up his 100th senior game, the first Woodside player to achieve this milestone.
A highly entertaining opening quarter was a goal-for-goal shootout. A swirly breeze marginally favoured the town end towards which Yarram were heading, but Woodside kept peppering away at the big sticks.
Accurate kicking kept Yarram in touch and when Corbin Sutherland slotted a major from a difficult angle at the 15-minute mark, the Demons were back within six points. However, persistent attacking up forward from Tom Love and Rob Michaelidis steadied the Cats to a nine-point lead at quarter-time.
Solid defensive pressure in the midfield from Woodside forced Yarram to go wide in the second quarter. This paid dividends as the Wildcats held the Demons back to just one goal for the term.
It was a different story at the other end, as good running off half-back and delivery of the ball directly to their forwards gave the ascendency to the Wildcats. The result was a five-goal to one quarter with the Wildcats tearing the game apart to lead by 33 at the main break.
Scoreboard pressure began to tell and an air of confidence saw Woodside take the game by the scruff of the neck during the third quarter, piling on two goals early.
Robust midfield work from the Wildcats forced Yarram wide again and when the Demons did get the opportunity to score, they were wasteful in front of goal, kicking inaccurately.
When Foat took a hanger and converted truly at the 19-minute mark, it was a rout. Working cohesively with Fazoli up forward, a five-goal to two quarter gave Woodside a 45-point lead at the final change.
The final term was a formality. A couple of early goals had Yarram reduce the margin, but Woodside had all the answers, putting on a couple of its own.
By the 15-minute mark, the sting had gone out of the game with Woodside claiming the spoils.