Allansford got the job done despite missing three of its A graders on Saturday in the Warrnambool and District league.
The Cats secured a 30-23 win in their close match with Kolora-Noorat at Allansford Recreation Reserve.
Coach Bridget Foster said Hannah McGowan, Sophie Bellman and Tessa Jewell were unavailable.
It meant 17 and under player Maddie Drake stepped up and the young goalie delivered with a team-high 19 goals.
"She got a start at goal shooter and she did really well," Foster said.
The coach added recruit Asha Roche, who scored 11 goals, provided great leadership for Drake as the pair worked together in attack.
It was a tight contest with the Cats leading by four goals at both quarter and half-time.
It was three goals the difference at the final change before Allansford got away.
Foster said the Cats got a handy lead early and then worked hard defensively to hold off a young and quick Power outfit.
Reliable centre Georgia Martin, Carmel Moloney and Cassie Jewell were the Cats' best.
Foster's team finished bottom-of-the-ladder with only two wins in 2019 so has made a great start to beating that effort.
Allansford plays Nirranda in round two while the Power has Merrivale at home.
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