An even tussle between Castlemaine and Creswick broke open on the brink of half-time when Creswick scored twice in five minutes, the second goal on the very last tick of the clock.
Newcomers Tony Cormack and Dan Park, promoted from the Sunken Oval Sunday League, were throwing themselves into the fray for the Mainers on their home pitch at Soldiers Memorial Park, Chewton.
Industrious Castlemaine midfielders Dean Nendick and Aidan Windle had been as busy as ever, defenders Jim Kourkoulakos, Martin Myles, Nathaniel Muller and Aaron Shooter were knocking the sting out of most Creswick attacks while keeper Julien Whitcroft-McGlade dealt assuredly with any incoming shots.
In search of a spark in attack, Castlemaine introduced Sunday Lam and Harrison Cocks into the game deep in the first half. They provided the sought after sizzle but goals still did not come.
A second-half knee injury to midfielder Windle made the home team’s task tougher despite the fresh legs of Squirrel, Doryan Gowty and Graham Cullen, who all performed admirably once entering the fray.
But Creswick appeared to grow in confidence, their flying young wingers ever dangerous on the break, their stout defenders defending stoutly and all over the pitch players attacking the ball with gusto.
Atop a breaking wave of possession and attack, the away team surfed in to score twice more to claim a convincing 4-0 victory.