NULLAWIL strengthened its hold on second place on the Golden Rivers Football League on Saturday with a stunning 114-point thumping of Hay.
Hay's defeat saw the side lose contact with the top four, relinquishing fourth place on the ladder to Murrabit.
Despite recording a 35 point win in round seven, the Maroons were expected to be challenged by the Lions at their home ground, where they had won their past five games.
But the visitors dominated across the ground from the first siren and extended their lead at every turn to hand the Lions their fifth defeat of the season.
By the first break Nullawil had kicked three goals and opened up a 20 point lead, which was quickly extended to 48 points by half-time.
Hay had managed only one goal to the main break, and at the other end of the ground had no answers to Nullawil's scoring power.
The game continued in a similar vein in the third term, as the Maroons piled on nine more majors while holding the Lions to just two.
The damage was done by the last change of ends, with Nullawil ahead by 92 points, but the visitors surged again in the final term to kick another six goals and add a handy boost to their already competition-leading percentage.
Andrew Oberdorfer kicked seven goals for the Maroons to bring his season tally to 48, while Ben Sheridan kicked four and Kallen Heslop three, meaning he now has 75 goals from 14 matches.
The Maroons now boast a percentage of 245.48 and would seize top spot by defeating Wandella this Saturday.
Bombers still on top
WANDELLA delivered an entirely predictable trouncing of Macorna on Saturday, crushing the hapless visitors by 160 points.
The win gave the Bombers a healthy 15-point percentage boost, but they still face relinquishing top spot if they lose to Nullawil this week.
Their match against the Tigers was merely a continuation of round seven, when Wandella recorded a 133-point win.
The Bombers registered 50 scoring shots for the match, including 30 goals from 12 players.
They opened their account with seven goals in the first term, followed by nine in the second, six in the third and eight in the last.
Sam Sperling kicked six, Kokwam Niki five, Troy Robinson four and both Paul Grayling and Cooper Condely three.
Sperling now boasts 51 goals for the season, with him and Grayling (45 goals) central to a formidable Bombers forward line.
Dylan McGrath dominated in the ruck for the Bombers to earn best on ground honours, while veteran Sam Taylor was also among the side's best.
The Tigers could manage just 10 scoring shots and six goals, scoring only one major after the main break.
Lachlan Allison and Tristan McIntosh kicked two apiece, with Ricki Waters best for the Tigers.
Wandella travels to Nullawil on Saturday, while Macorna has the week off.
Blues back in the four
MURRABIT got the job done against Quambatook on Saturday to make a return to the top four.
The Blues went into the match sitting in fifth position behind Hay by 0.25 of a percentage point, but moved ahead and four points clear of the Lions after they went down to Nullawil.
Murrabit started well at the Saints' home ground, opening up a 34 point lead by the first break.
The Saints steadied the ship somewhat in the second quarter to go goal for goal with the Blues and trail by 38 points at half-time.
With percentage shaping as a potentially important factor for the Blues, who play Hay and Wandella in the remaining two rounds of the season, the visitors were eager to kick away in the second half.
The match went to plan in the third term, when Murrabit kicked four goals while holding the Saints scoreless, but fell apart in the final quarter when the Saints were inexplicably able to kick six goals to narrow the final margin considerably.
Nathan Henry, Justin McConnell and Nick Sims all kicked three goals for the Blues, whose best players were Bryden and Dylan Morison and Joel Cross.
Ethan Tibbles was the Saints' only multiple goal scorer, kicking two, while Jason Linke, Ash Davis, Andrew Hughes and Gregor Knight were the best performers for the home side.
Murrabit hosts Hay this Saturday in a ladder-defining contest, while Quambatook travels to Ultima hoping for an upset against the premiership contender.
Swans give Roos a scare
ULTIMA remains in touch with a second semi-final berth after defeating Moulamein, albeit in unconvincing fashion.
Fresh off almost upsetting Murrabit, the Swans remained right in the contest for most of the match, only trailing by four points at the final break, before the Roos kicked away to a 37 point win.
Ultima went into the match in third place on the ladder and almost assured of playing finals footy, but needing to win to remain in the hunt for the double chance.
The match began in somewhat sluggish fashion, with just three goals kicked in the first term and the Roos leading by 10 points at quarter time.
The Swans actually led the scoring in the second quarter to narrow the margin to seven points at half-time, with each side having scored only three goals apiece after a half of football.
Ultima should have put the Swans away in the third term with seven scoring shots, but could only manage three goals, while three from the home side saw the margin narrow to less than a kick.
Finally Ultima's superiority in the midfield came to the fore in the final quarter, kicking five goals while holding the Swans to a solitary behind.
Ryan Devereux kicked three goals for the Roos, whose best players were Zach Nichols, James Jordan and James Summerhayes.
Xavia Elford was best for the Swans, working hard to kick four goals, while Blake Larkings and Ethan Saville also performed well.
The Roos will need to beat Quambatook this week and Hay in round 18 to have a chance of displacing either Wandella or Nullawil and seizing the double-chance.
The Swans meanwhile have an opportunity to record their fourth win for the season against Wakool.