IT HAS taken 12 long months, but Greater Western Sydney finally sang the team song for just the third time in its history after a stirring 37-point victory over Melbourne at Skoda Stadium on Saturday.
GWS won two games in its debut season, against Gold Coast and Port Adelaide, but had struggled through a 21-game losing streak heading into round 19.
In danger of becoming the first side since Fitzroy in 1964 to go through a season winless, GWS emphatically ended that prospect in a 19.10 (124) to 12.15 (87) victory in front of 8308 enthusiastic fans.
The Giants justified being listed as favourites with bookmakers for the first time, with Callan Ward, Lachie Whitfield and Tom Scully all prominent in the biggest winning margin in club history.
Jeremy Cameron kicked four goals to stay right in the hunt for this year's Coleman Medal, with Ward adding four of his own and Devon Smith three to give outgoing coach Kevin Sheedy the 389th win in his storied career.
"I think it means a hell of a lot to our fans," Sheedy said afterwards, declaring he never felt the club would suffer a winless season.
"There was a bit of feeling out there in the stadium and we noticed that.
"Our people in orange were starting to dance a bit by the end of the game.
"For the club and the players it was really important because these boys work hard and they're developing into a really good side."
As uplifting as the victory was for the home side and its fans, the Demons endured another rotten day in a performance that likely ends caretaker coach Neil Craig's chances of keeping the position in 2014.
Nathan Jones, Cam Pedersen and youngster Mitch Clisby tried hard, while Dean Kent and Jack Watts each kicked two goals, but it was a poor effort from the lowly Dees, who are stuck on two wins for the season.
"Last week's loss was a really poor day for the Melbourne footy club because we were inept last week," he said.
"I didn't think we were inept today in terms of our effort.
"In fact if you look at a lot of the game statistics, the contested ball aspect was relatively even, clearances and centre bounces, relatively even inside 50s, so there's nothing there that says 'wow'.
"The one that stood out for us though was their scores from turnovers and our turnovers were really poor.
"I thought we fixed up the effort part of it from last week, but execution was really poor."
The Giants will now be a far more jovial bunch when they head west to face Fremantle next week, while the Dees have to pick themselves up for an away trip against Gold Coast.
After a cagey start, the game sprung into life midway through the opening term.
Watts kicked consecutive goals and Jeremy Howe slotted a nice set shot from near the boundary to give the Demons an early 13-point lead.
But GWS hit back quickly, with Taylor Adams, Ward and Jonathan Giles all nailing snap shots from open play as the home side snuck into quarter-time with a four-point lead.
The Giants then made all the running to start the second quarter, kicking three straight goals to break open a 20-point advantage.
Melbourne hit back through Jake Spencer, courtesy of a 50m penalty against Dylan Shiel, but a Giles running goal right on the siren gave GWS a 19-point lead and a standing ovation at the main break.
The home side then looked a likely winner, kicking the opening two goals of the second half to establish a 31-point lead.
The Dees weren't done, however, slotting four of the last five goals to carry all the momentum into the final term, trailing by just 13 points.
But the Giants were able to respond to seal a landmark day for the young club.