Hillside’s task to make the Essendon District Football League division 1 finals has just become a lot harder.

A win on Saturday against Craigieburn would have put the Sharks level on points with the Eagles, but a loss would leave them two games outside the top four midway through the season.

The Sharks suffered a loss on the back of a fast start by the Eagles.

The Eagles had 10 scoring shots in the first quarter for a 41-point lead at the first break.

The Sharks were able to slow the Eagles down after that, but were unable to eat in to the margin in the second quarter.

The Eagles extended the margin in the second half to eventually win 21.7 (133)-9.14 (68).

Sharks football manager Darren Mantynen said their starts had been a problem.

“We were definitely expecting to perform a lot better,” he said.

“It’s a habit we’ve got into. We did it against Tullamarine as well.”

Mantynen said the side’s goal kicking was another issue this season, as the side has not made the most of its opportunities.

“They didn’t blow us out of the game itself, but they did on the scoreboard.”

Four players kicked multiple goals for the Sharks and Michael Ajaimy was named their best.

Ruckman Lachlan Rayner and Liam Johnstone both played well, as did Victor Micallef when he went forward. Bailey Ryan, in his third senior game, showed good signs.

The Sharks finished with no fit players on the bench. Kye Rishworth was the main injury concern with a suspected ACL.

Hillside

Craigieburns’ Bryson Scales spoils Hillside’s Liam Johnstone. Picture Shawn Smits.

PHOTO GALLERY: Craigieburn vs Hillside 

The loss leaves the Sharks two games outside the top four.

Mantynen said they were in a little bit better position than they thought they would be with injuries and a young side.

He said they were closer to fielding a full side on the park.

“We can’t afford any more mishaps now,” he said.

The Sharks hope to get back on the winners’ list against a winless Oak Park side.

In division 2, Burnside Heights suffered an upset loss to East Sunbury.

The Bears got off to a good start and led by 21 points at the first change, but there was little to smile about after that.

The Thunder kicked nine goals to four after quarter-time, to win 11.14 (80)-9.7 (61).

Josh Covelli kicked three goals for the Bears, in a quiet day for him.

Despite the loss, the Bears remain in second spot. They have a bye this week.

In the women’s premier competition, Burnside Heights had a convincing win against Pascoe Vale.

The Bears could quite easily have won by a lot more, had they kicked straight, winning 8.21 (69)-1.0 (6).

Kayla Ravanello kicked five goals for the Bears.

Hillside lost to Aberfeldie 14.13 (97)-0.2 (2).

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