Eastlake consolidated third spot on the AFL Canberra ladder with a runaway win over Ainslie on Saturday, as the club belatedly celebrated Aaron Bruce's 250th milestone.
Bruce banged through four goals in the 35-point win at Phillip Oval, a week on from his 250th match for the Demons who were heavily beaten by ladder leaders Queanbeyan last week.
The home side was quick to make amends, outlasting a plucky Ainslie side who fell away in the last quarter.
"We were disappointed last week given it was Aaron Bruce's 250th - we responded the way we wanted to, the blokes that came in did their job," Eastlake coach John Harper said.
"It was just pleasing to have a good solid win against Ainslie, who have improved and obviously beat Belconnen a couple of weeks ago. They're not far off, they'll be there again this year we just got the goals when we had to kick them."
Harper's side emerged from the contest unscathed on the injury front, and kept the heat on Queanbeyan and Belconnen who demolished Tuggerong and Gungahlin respectively.
"Queanbeyan I think are the best side but Belconnen are pretty good as well, they touched us up in round two and we get them in a fortnight's time so it's really pleasing that we can go into that fortnight with a bit of confidence now," Harper said.
"This has been our second home game, we get to play them here so hopefully we can bring the contest on."
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Jordan Doering's young Ainslie side also came through the match without injuries.
"It was literally the first day today I can say we actually finished with four on the bench, that's a positive," Doering said.
"That's the joys of footy, we go back and we review the tape and we show what we did really well because that's what we want to keep teaching these guys but also we show them what we need to improve on.
"I'm super happy from round one to round six, [we've taken] huge strides forward, but again that's the challenge, these young guys have got to learn to play consistent senior footy."
Doering said his side would continue to improve throughout 2021.
"We showed snippets that we can compete with sides like Eastlake, they've got some pretty good high end talent and we're very young but that's the joys of having a young side, it's going to be up and down," Doering said.
"Our first half was really positive. The last 15 minutes of that last quarter then was just a little bit disappointing where they got on top."
AFL CANBERRA ROUND 6
Eastlake Demons 13.9 (87) def Ainslie Tricolours 7.10 (52)
Queanbeyan Tigers 26.18 (174) def Tuggeranong Valley 2.4 (16)
Belconnen Magpies 34.23 (222) def Gungahlin Jets 3.2 (20)