Yackandandah roared back into action with a thrilling 14-point win at home to Tallangatta on Saturday.
Five weeks since the Tallangatta league entered a temporary shutdown, the Roos blew off the cobwebs with a gutsy performance in front of a healthy crowd.
Humbled by Kiewa-Sandy Creek in their previous outing, Yackandandah bounced back in style to win by 16.15 (111) to 15.7 (97).
They were sternly challenged at the start of the third and fourth quarters, when the Hoppers kicked three unanswered goals, but showed real character to withstand the barrage.
"Historically, we may not have done that," Roos coach Darren Holmes said.
"There's some very sore young men in there but they didn't give up.
"It was a team effort. It's what we play for, it's what we coach for, we represent our community and we want to make them proud.
"To do what they did today, against that team, who were very physical, I couldn't be prouder of them.
"It's all I can ask as a coach and it's great for Yackandandah people to see a bunch of Yackandandah men running around doing that."
The Roos emerged from the mid-season hiatus looking the fresher with Johann Jarratt and Bailey Glass snagging two goals apiece in the first term.
Kaine Parsons booted two at the other end, one a monster from outside 50, but Yackandandah had established a lead which they never relinquished.
Four quick goals at the start of the second, two of them for Joakim Jarratt, had Tallangatta on the ropes and had the home side kicked more accurately, they would have been out of sight at the main break.
As it was, the margin at half-time was 28 points and the tide turned when the Hoppers started to dominate at the contest after the restart.
Khyle Goodman slotted two majors and Tallangatta dragged themselves to within two goals before a timely double from Lachlan McMillan saw the pendulum swing again.
Yackandandah's running power started to tell and even when four Luke Fraser goals in the final quarter threatened to punish some Roos profligacy, the men in blue and white stood up to be counted.
Emerging with particular credit was 18-year-old ruckman Liam Williams, who went toe-to-toe with Scott Spencer and didn't take a backward step all day.
"We really set ourselves for this game but Yack jumped us and being 42 points down halfway through the second quarter is going to make it hard," a disappointed Tallangatta coach Tyson Smith said.
"We got a run on but it was just too much to make up.
"Full credit to Yack, they moved the ball well and were fit and quick.
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"It was frustrating. We weren't able to stop them. When we had momentum, we gave it back to them.
"They kicked three or four goals twice in a row and that really cost us.
"We haven't played for five weeks - and we looked like that early."
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