BUNGAREE had to strain every sinew to get over rivals Springbank and keep its unbeaten start the Central Highlands Football League season in tact this afternoon.
In a top-of-the-table showdown played in driving rain for much of the second half, the Demons ground over the top of the GJ Gardner Tigers with the only goal of the final term to win a thriller by two points.
Recruit Chris O'Keefe had two cracks at giving the home side the lead mid-way through the last quarter and converted the second in what proved the match-winning kick.
Springbank forward Paul McMahon could have spoiled the party shortly after, but missed an easy chance with only minutes remaining on the clock.
The victory leaves Bungaree as one of two undefeated teams in the competition and on top of the ladder moving into round five.
The other flawless start to the year belongs to Learmonth, which claimed another major scalp in beating Waubra.
That 10-point victory moves the Lakies to second on the table.
Elsewhere, Carngham-Linton surprised Creswick, winning by 16 points, Hepburn thumped Newlyn by 97 points, Buninyong accounted for a goalless Skipton by 123 points, Clunes opened its account over Dunnstown thanks to a 13-point triumph, Gordon continued its good form, beating Beaufort by 36 points, Smythesdale booted its second major of the year in a 164-point loss to Daylesford and Ballan got on the board with a two-goal win against Rokewood-Corindhap.