A focus on getting a fast start paid off for Craigieburn, with the Eagles setting up a big win against Hillside early in their Essendon District Football League division 1 clash.

After some poor starts in recent weeks the Eagles were on fire early, with 10 scoring shots in the opening quarter they had a 41-point lead at the first change.

The Eagles built on that throughout the game, winning 21.7 (133)-9.14 (68)

Eagles coach Lance Whitnall said they had worked to address the poor starts at training during the week.

“It was a good win and we played some really good football,” he said.

“Our starts had been slow and it was a focus and I was pretty happy with it.

“Starting like that makes it hard for them as we have the game on our terms.”

Whitnall said they knew that Hillside would come at them at some point, but he was happy with how the team had responded.

He said it had been about being able to hold the margin and then add to it late on.

“There were no standouts and it was hard to pick the best player,” Whitnall said.

“Everyone played their role.”

Up forward, John Bellino kicked six goals, while Brent Gordon, Jesse Davies and Samuel Laffan kicked two goals each.

The win, the Eagles’ sixth of the season, has them sitting in third spot. Just four points separate the top four teams.

Following weekend results, fifth-placed Hillside sits two games outside the top four.

“We said to the group before the start of the game, it would put a gap on the fifth side if we won,” Whitnall said.

“That’s what we want. We’re pretty happy at the moment.

“The top four is settled … and anyone in the top four on their day can beat each other.

“It’s really good.”

Craigieburn

Craigieburn’s Steven Boyall and Jamie Gorgievski tackle Stephen Syme. Picture Shawn Smits.

PHOTO GALLERY: Craigieburn vs Hillside 

Craigieburn has the bye this week, meaning they play one game in three weeks.

Whitnall said while not ideal the break would give more time for those on the sidelines to recover.

“We’re starting to get a few back the next couple of games,” he said.

“We’ve still got five or six out of our best side. [but] the guys taking those spots are making it hard to be pushed out.”

Ryan Bongetti, Jacob McNicol and Corey Viani are among those to return soon.

In other results, Tullamarine beat Roxburgh Park 21.19 (145)-8.10 (58).

Brad Allen kicked five goals for the Demons, with Adam Bartrop was named their best.

For the Magpies, Luke Capuano was their best, with four goals.

In premier division, Greenvale suffered its third loss of the season, losing to Strathmore 13.9 (87)-12.6 (78).