East Sunbury showed glimpses of last year’s form, upsetting Burnside Heights in the Essendon District Football League division 2.
It’s been a disappointing first part of the season for last year’s grand finalists, but on Saturday East Sunbury showed it couldn’t be discarded from the finals mix.
After a slow start, the Thunder took control of the game in the second half, on the way to an 11.14 (80)-9.7 (61) win.
Thunder coach Glenn Hopkins said there was a renewed enthusiasm within the group, which hadn’t played for a month.
“We needed to reload from a long break,” he said.
“We needed to reset and start playing well to put other teams on notice.
“We ran really well and were more energised in the way we played. We got a few guys back, which meant the reserves were also at full strength.
“They’re playing off spots now.”
The Thunder took time to get into their game plan, but after half-time were really good.
Hopkins said the game plan was simple.
“For us, it was about not letting them get the ball,” he said.
“We put pressure on and then were able to get back to our running style of play.
“Them not having the ball, put them off their game and we were able to control the game after half-time.”
Lachlan Wilkins was the only multiple goalkicker for the Thunder, with two goals.
Hopkins said Diquan Williams was best on ground for his performance on Josh Covelli.
“He kept him to three goals,” he said.
“No one can body-on-body with him. We wanted someone to run and jump and create second efforts when the ball hit the ground.
“When it hit the deck, he [Williams] was away.”
Skipper Lucas Shaw and star Kamen Ogilvie were the other standouts.
The win leaves the Thunder sitting in sixth, one game outside the top four.
Hopkins said some mid season recruits had also boosted their stocks.
Kane Murfett has played two games since crossing from Jacana, while Liam Smith made his debut at the weekend.
Chris Kendall, who comes from the Golden Rivers Football League, is expected to have an impact too.
Hopkins said they needed to continue with the form they showed on Saturday and make teams look at them as a finals contender.
“The guys are playing how we want them to,” he said. “They know where they want to be and the way we want to play.”
Meanwhile, the Sunbury Kangaroos remain undefeated after beating Coburg Districts 26.12 (168)-4.7 (31). Josh Burgess kicked 11 goals in a best on ground performance for the Kangaroos.
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