IT was a happy homecoming for the Western Jets, recording a hard-fought 26-point win over Northern Knights in TAC Cup football's long-awaited return to Burbank Oval on Saturday.
The once-were-road-warrior Jets have clocked up the kilometres in recent times, taking 'home' games on the road, while their Morris Street home underwent major work that included ground resurfacing, improved player warm-up and recovery facilities, and a refurbishment of the grandstand and general facilities.
Click on the image below for our gallery of the big game.
The Jets took on the short-term pain knowing that glammed-up facilities would greet them on their return.
Jets regional manager Shane Sexton told the Weekly that while a number of his players had not played at the venue and the home-ground advantage might not be prevalent just yet, it was good to trade in the Leyland brothers' lifestyle for the comfortable surrounds by the bay.
"It's been a long time coming. It's a first-class operation down there now. Not too many of the kids have played there. We're happy to get back there and not have to travel all over the place."
The Jets were made to work every step of the way to give their home fans a chance to sing the club song. They took a narrow eight-point lead into the final change before storming to victory on the back of a five goals to two last term.
In consecutive wins for the first time this season, Steven Kretiuk's team is starting to find a semblance of the form that had it challenging the best sides in the competition in the season's opening month.
A key indicator for the Jets is their workrate at the contested football.
"That's where we had a drop-off," Sexton said.
"In recent weeks, we're working harder in there and it's starting to return."
Josh Bench, who went from a crumbing forward last season to a hard-at-it onballer this campaign, led the way for the Jets.
Western Jets 16.9 (105) d Northern Knights 11.13 (79)
Western Jets - goals: B. Said 4, A. Brown,
A. Piva 2, J. Sicily, B. Iles, J. Bench, C. Nastasi, M. Aneet, J. Dorgan, J. Walker, S. White. Best: J. Bench, S. Greenhough, B. Bewley, A. Brown, H. Walshe.