HAMPDEN league's Saturday night offering of entertainment didn't disappoint at Cobden when the host snatched the premiership points from Terang Mortlake.
A generous crowd rolled through the Cobden gates for the evening encounter, which the Bombers won 9.17 (71) to 10.6 (66).
Victorious coach Wayne Robertson said it was the perfect way to start the season.
"It was a beautiful night for footy," he said.
"We had a bumper gate and bumper canteen.
"It was huge for us.
"We haven't won at home under lights for a few years."
The Bloods jumped out of the blocks in the low-scoring first term, inching ahead 2.1 (13) to 1.3 (9) at quarter-time.
Cobden had a lot of the ball in the second term but struggled to find the middle of the sticks and levelled scores the hard way, 3.8 (26) to Terang Mortlake's 4.2 (26).
"It was a very close game all night," Robertson said.
"Our kicking for goal let us down a bit.
"We seemed to hold the ball inside our 50 a lot more than they did.
"It was a pity we couldn't convert."
The Bloods made an early dash for home in the third quarter, sprinting 21 points ahead through James Reicha and Damian O'Connor working solidly in defence, with support from Gus Bourke in the centre.
But the host refused to surrender and pegged the margin back to two points at the last change.
"Terang started to get ahead and the boys could have just rolled over," Robertson said.
"But they didn't, they dug deep."
Tim Horan continued to roam the forward line for the Bombers in his first game back after 12 months' rest with a hip injury.
Louis Cahill and Bronte McCann worked hard in the middle as Cobden snuck in front in the dying stages.
"We knew it could come down to the final minutes," Robertson said.
"But we stuck to our structures and our blokes never gave in.
"Both sides were fantastic."
Bloods coach Shane Threlfall said he was impressed with his group's endeavour.
"It was an arm-wrestle all night," Threlfall told The Standard.
"All of the statistics we took were indicative of a tight game.
"We could have buried them in the third quarter but we just couldn't get that one or two extra goals.
"We will have some sore bodies this week."