With their season on the line, Mernda issued a statement in the second half of its match against Lalor in Northern Football League division 3.
A loss would have all but ended Mernda’s finals hopes, but the Demons produced a strong second half to seal victory.
With scores level at half-time, the Demons kicked 10 goals to three in the second half to come away with the 14.11 (95)-5.16 (46) win.
Demons football manager Shaun Mills said the side woke up in the second half.
“Lalor came out to play and saw an opportunity to take it to us,” Mills said.
“Some of our boys stood up and made a statement in the second half. They started working for each other.
“You have to beat the teams you’re expected to beat … we had some really good games from some of our new boys and the under-19 players.”
Nicolas Aleksovski kicked four goals for the Demons, while Matthew Campbell, Tyson Sparkes and Riley Edwards kicked two goals each.
Campbell started in defence, before moving forward later in the game.
Mills said the move worked brilliantly, with one of Campbell’s high-flying marks doing the rounds on social media.
“He came to us as a forward, but we’ve been playing him as a defender.
“The second half we moved him forward and he took some great marks and goals.
“We’ve got two or three under-19s in the front half and it gave them confidence too.”
Mills said Ryan Kannegiesser played his
best game for the club, while Brad Colliss, in his first senior game, was named among the best.
James Duclos, Anthony Talbot and Bradley Dimech were the other standouts, according to Mills.
The win is the Demons second in a row and third overall. They sit sixth, 10 points outside the top four.
Mills said the key now was to continue that consistency for the rest of the season.
“We’ve made it hard for ourselves, but have been able to blood the young guys,” he said.
“Our core group is 22 and then you have a lot of under-19s. For us, it’s about retention and making sure we are getting games into the young guys.
“Every week will be a test for us … It’s in our own hands.”
The Demons this week face Heidelberg West for the Les Butterworth Cup. Heidelberg West holds the cup, after winning the match between the two sides earlier this season by 34 points.
Lachlan Evans was named Lalor’s best.
In other matches, South Morang had a good win against Heidelberg West on Saturday, 12.13 (85)-11.8 (74).
Bailey Brown was named South Morang’s best.
In division 1, Bundoora lost to Heidelberg, 13.9 (87)-10.11 (71).
The Bulls still sit fourth.
In division 2, it was a tough weekend for Thomastown and Whittlesea.
Thomastown lost to Eltham 18.8 (116)-11.6 (72), while Whittlesea lost to Banyule 15.9 (99)-7.13 (55).
MARK OF THE YEAR?Surely you'll be doing very well if you're gonna beat this effort from Matty Campbell this afternoon!
Posted by Mernda Football & Netball Club Seniors on Saturday, 15 June 2019