East Sunbury got lucky in the opening round of Essendon District Football League division 2, with victory sealed after the final siren.
The Thunder got a first view of a new-look and massively improved Burnside Heights side, and looked in trouble early on.
After trailing by 13 points at half-time, the Thunder got more of the ball in the second half but was still down by 17 points midway through the last quarter.
The margin was reduced to a point and in the end it came down to the final kick of the game.
Diquan Williams marked on the boundary line and then the siren sounded, leaving him the chance to snatch the win.
He slotted the goal to give the Thunder a 10.13 (73)-10.8 (68) win.
Thunder coach Steve Grey said his side was lucky.
“Burnside Heights played some good football,” he said. “In the first half they pressured us and we couldn’t go with them.
“It was a different game from us in the second half and we put the pressure on them. We had so much footy, but just turned it over, making bad decisions and not hitting targets.”
He said Burnside Heights was no longer the easy-beat of the competition and would challenge a lot of sides.
While disappointed with several aspects of the game, Grey said the way the side responded in the second half was pleasing.
“We were excited to get the win and it brings a bit of belief,” he said.
“We lost a few close games, under a goal, last year. We wouldn’t have been able to get the win last year.
“It was good to get back into the game when a lot wasn’t going right for us.”
Grey said Tom Cree, Lachlan Brne and new recruit Callum Lever were stand-outs for the Thunder.
Williams kicked three goals, including the sealer from the wing.
Grey said he wasn’t expecting the side to fire on all cylinders for a number of weeks.
“We had five under-19s on the weekend. DJ Williams, Jorden Braddy, Callum Lever and Tom Burnside have come into the side.
“Dylan Wright will help us this year. He’s a Sunbury boy who has moved back to the area.
“We’re a pretty new side – it will take a while to gel.”
Round two will be a special occasion for the Thunder with the day dedicated to club legend David Kimpton, who died late last year.
The Thunder will host Keilor Park during the day and hold a function afterwards.
Other division 2 winners were Coburg Districts, Northern Saints and Moonee Valley, in a one-point thriller against Roxburgh Park.