Romsey held onto top spot on the Riddell District Football Netball League senior football ladder with a 38-point away win over Woodend Hesket.
The Redbacks are 11-3, still ahead of Diggers Rest on percentage and a game clear of Wallan, Riddell and Rupertswood.
A tight start in Saturday’s game saw the Redbacks kick two goals to one in the first term to take a five-point lead into quarter time.
The pace quickened in the second term with Woodend Hesket kicking five goals to three to lead by seven points at half-time.
It was all Romsey in the third term, with the Redbacks kicking six goals to one to lead by 27 points at three-quarter time.
Another three goals in the final term sealed the win for the Redbacks, their second in a row.
Romsey coach Corey O’Sullivan said it was an important win for the Redbacks.
“We knew it was going to be a hard game, they beat us over there last year and when you play sides with nothing to lose, they become dangerous,” he said.
“They ran hard forward and hit up well in the first half. We had to stay composed and reset at half time.
“We had to stop them playing the way they wanted to and play our brand.
“To our boys’ credit, they wrestled back control of the game in the second half.
“Our defenders became dominant and our forwards worked hard so we dominated the second half which was good.”
Romsey hosts Macedon this week in what could be a dangerous game for the Redbacks.
The Cats are sixth on the ladder, a game behind the group from third to fifth and have nothing to lose as they’ve clinched their place in the finals.
Romsey will need to win its last two games, this week against Macedon and the final round at Riddell to seal the minor premiership.
Diggers Rest are nipping at their heels with fixtures against Woodend Hesket and Lancefield to close the season.
O’Sullivan said he was aware of the importance of the penultimate fixture against Macedon and they were not taking the Cats lightly.
“We know Macedon is an exceptionally good side with some terrific players and they have no interest in finishing sixth,” he said.
“The last time we played them, they had some key players missing and it could possibly be a role reversal as we might have some players out and they’re getting close to full strength.”
O’Sullivan said the Redbacks could be missing three or four important players going into this weekend.
“Nathan Rayment and Chris Burkett will be missing, so we’ll have some leaders missing but it’ll give some other guys an opportunity,” he said.
“But it’s no different to any other side. Every week we go in with our best available 22 and that’s what we’ll do this week.”
Woodend Hesket 8.9 (57)def by Romsey 14.11 (95)
Goals: T. Chapman 2, S. Adams 2, A. Rae, D. Toman, T. Wilson, T. O’Loughlin
Best: D. Bramley, S. Adams, M. Peart, J. Sheppard, T. Wilson, B. Slater
Goals: J. Caruana 4, J. Jedwab 3, J. Naylor 2, A. Paterson, R. Wood, C. Whelan, R. Stott, J. Newell
Best: B. Way, J. Caruana, J. O’Sullivan, M. Burkett, A. Paterson, J. Jedwab