A five-goal final term ensured there was no repeat of last year’s opening round loss as South Launceston recorded an eight-goal win over Hillwood.
Wet weather made for a scrappy first three quarters, making clean possession hard to come by and goals even harder.
A 19-point margin meant the Sharks were still in the game at three-quarter time despite only kicking one goal, but a win wasn’t to be.
The Dogs doubled their score in the final term to put the game beyond doubt, with Anthony Viney (three goals), Bradley Keegan and Bradley Etchell all kicking multiple majors.
Experienced tall Rory Mansell dominated in wet conditions, giving first use to captain Luke McCarty and Joel Mountney who both starred for the Dogs.
The 9.13 (67) to 2.7 (19) win will see the Dogs go into the bye with a mammoth percentage of 288.33, with Rocherlea nearly 170 percentage points back in second.
Damon Howe, Adam Humzy and Rhys Heald were the best performers for Hillwood.
DELORAINE notched a confidence-boosting win at George Town, emerging with its first points of 2018.
A strong George Town wind set the scene for a see-sawing game, and after trailing by 21 points at quarter time the Saints levelled the scoreboard at the next break.
But a Roos outfit inspired by the likes of Oliver Smith, Jacob Wauchope and Dylan Schnoor opened up a five-goal buffer at the final break, which proved a hurdle too high for the home side.
The Saints came within nine points with four minutes left on the clock but Deloraine held on to secure a 9.18 (72) to 8.14 (62) victory.
Tait Highet topped the goal kickers for the Roos with three, while first-gamer Dylan Jones (two goals) impressed in his senior debut.
Saints coach Allan O’Sign (three goals) was the only other multiple goal kicker, with Sam Cooke best on ground for the losing side.
Conditions were just as tough at LONGFORD, where the home side fell agonisingly short of upsetting grand finalist Bracknell.
After kicking just one goal to half time to trail by 16 points, the Country Tigers lifted through Tom Cox, Ben Murfett and Josh Frankcombe, cutting the deficit to nine points at the final change.
Beau Thorp’s men again outscored Bracknell in the final term but it wasn’t enough to cue the team song as the Redlegs held on 6.11 (47) to 6.9 (45).
William Fisher, Jack Dyer and Jacob Huett were Bracknell’s best, while Matt Lang again impressed.
In the late game, ROCHERLEA joined South Launceston and Bracknell at 2-0 by upsetting the Magpies at Scottsdale.
The Magpies took a four-point lead into half time and stretched it to 16 not long after, but were overrun in the second half, falling to their second tight loss in as many weeks as Rocherlea won 12.9 (81) to 10.10 (70).
The Country Tigers sit about five percentage points ahead of Bracknell with a match against Longford to come next weekend.