The last time Tullamarine went to Hillside Reserve, it turned out to be a day to forget for the Demons.
On Saturday, not only were the Demons searching for an all-important win in EDFL division 1, they were keen to redeem themselves against Hillside.
The Sharks started the better of the two teams, but after quarter-time, the Demons gained a narrow lead they would hold for the rest of the game to eventually win 9.7 (61)-8.9 (57).
Demons coach Anthony Leydin said it was a pleasing performance against tough opposition.
“It was certainly was a big turnaround from the last time we played them at their ground last year,” he said.
“We had a good second quarter and the lead got out to a couple of goals and it stayed that way until the last couple of minutes.
“Anything could have happened at that stage, when they got within a goal, and we had to weather the storm. We had to control the footy and had the poise to hold them out.”
William Becker was the only multiple goal scorer for the Demons with two.
Leydin said it would be hard at the selection table for their next match, with every player at least breaking even or winning their position.
“Our back six were fantastic and they’re the reason we got the result we did,” he said.
“Jack Sims played most of the game up forward and was fantastic, while Robbie Nikolic was good around the ground and Caleb Harwood was dangerous up forward at times.”
The win, their third in a row, was crucial for the Demons in what is shaping out to be a very even competition.
The Demons are third on the ladder, only percentage behind second-placed Airport West. Only eight points separates Airport West and seventh-placed Westmeadows.
The Demons, like the rest of the competition, have the coming weekend off for Queen’s Birthday, but then has a tough run of matches.
They play Oak Park, followed by matches against Airport West, Westmeadows, Taylors Lakes and Glenroy. All five sides are fighting for finals spots.
Leydin is hoping that if they can get their best team on the field, they will be able to match it in all five matches.
“We have a few players out with four- to five-week injures and some which are one- to two week-injures,” he said..
“We’re always getting a couple back and then losing a couple. Hopefully, it will settle down.
“If we can get our best team back, we should have a say in things later in the year.”
Meanwhile in other results, Westmeadows rammed it home against Hadfield, winning 32.22 (214)-7.2 (44).
Mitchell Church kicked eight goals for Westmeadows, while Benjamin Drummond kicked six. Bradley Sutcliffe was best on ground.
In premier division, Greenvale had a day out against the struggling Craigieburn, the Jets’ winning 37.17 (239)-6.2 (38).
Five Jets’ players kicked four goals each, with 14in total kicking goals.
Stephen Brewer was best on ground.
For the Eagles, Matthew Robertson kicked three goals.
In division 2, Jacana easily came out on top in a top-two battle against Coburg Districts.
The Jaguars’ only loss of the season had come in round one against the Lions, so they were keen to make amends.
The Jaguars won 18-10 (118)-8.13 (61).
Roxburgh Park suffered a second straight loss by going down to Moonee Valley 19.14 (128)-9.10 (64).