Turvey Park welcomed in the new season in style with a two-point upset of Mangoplah-Cookardinia United-Eastlakes on Saturday.
New Turvey Park co-coaches Mark Carroll and Jeremy Sykes got their tenure off to the perfect start, upstaging the Goannas 11.10 (76) to 11.8 (74) at Maher Oval.
The young Bulldogs team showed plenty of character to bounce back after the Goannas hit the lead courtesy of a six-goal third term.
MCUE took a six-point lead into the final quarter but a goal inside the opening minute to Lachlan Leary kickstarted the Bulldogs' revival.
Turvey Park hit the lead soon after and dug deep in a tense final term to claim an important four points.
MCUE kicked two goals inside the final minute, including one after the siren, to narrow the gap to two points but it was all too late.
Carroll conceded the win did not come easy but was proud of the way his team responded in the last quarter.
"It was a battle. A real tussle," Carroll said.
"The boys showed a bit of resilience, to be honest.
"Mango came back and hit the lead. They had all of the momentum but we kicked a goal a minute into the last quarter and went from there.
"It was a really good effort. We showed some resilience and it was a good team effort."
The Bulldogs led narrowly after an even start and stretched the margin to 17 points at the main break.
It was the third quarter when MCUE came to life, kicking six goals to two, and hitting the front late in the term.
Turvey Park did not have any great standouts, instead relying on a buy in from their entire 21.
Nathan Byrne, in his first game for the Bulldogs in a decade, was named best after rucking all day and providing a strong contest around the ground.
Luke Cuthbert started his time with Turvey Park in the right fashion and was influential, while Chase Grintell also returned to the Bulldogs with a good game in defence.
Carroll said it was a relief to post an opening round victory.
"To get the points first up is good because we've got a couple of hard games coming up," he said.
"It didn't worry me how we got it, it was just a matter of getting it. It wasn't an overly free-flowing game, it was a real tussle."
Teenage forward George Kendall was the spark for MCUE, kicking four goals and taking a number of contested marks.
Ethan Schiller and Elliott Winter were a couple of others to impress new coach Jeremy Rowe, in what was a tough way to start his time in charge at the club.