Inverloch-Kongwak returned to the summit of the Alex Scott & Staff West Gippsland Football Netball League senior ladder, courtesy of a fighting win against Phillip Island.
The Sea Eagles trailed all day and by 15 points at three quarter time, only to rally with a five-goal-to-two final term to snatch the win 10.10 (70) to 10.5 (65).
Toby Mahoney booted four goals and off-season recruits Jason Purcell and Shem Hawking starred for the home side, while Brendan Kimber, Nick Higginson and Steven Pimm (five goals) did likewise for the sixth-placed Bulldogs.
The narrow victory was enough to slide Inverloch-Kongwak back to the top of the tree on percentage, following Dalyston’s loss at Cora Lynn.
Like the Sea Eagles, the Magpies trailed from the outset, but were unable to overrun a slick Cobras outfit.
League leading goal-kicker Nathan Langley was the main man for Cora Lynn again, booting six goals in the 15.13 (103) to 11.11 (77) win.
Jeremy Monckton and Chris Johnson and Andrew Green were other notable performers for the home side, while Kyle Kirk, Dean Wylie and Michael Marotta fought hard for the Magpies, who suffered back-to-back defeats for the first time this year.
The result cost Dalyston top spot and narrowed the gap between the third placed Cobras and the top two to just two points with two rounds to play.
Bunyip’s late season revival went to another level, with a major upset win over Kilcunda Bass.
The Bulldogs were winless through the opening 13 rounds of the season, but strung together its third straight victory with an efficient 13.3 (81) to 9.8 (62) defeat of a Panthers side in very danger of missing out on the top five.
The game served as a microcosm of Bunyip’s season, with the Bulldogs failing to resister a score in the opening term, improving but still trailing through the second and third terms, before flying home with six goals straight to one behind in the final term to turn a 16-point deficit into a 19-point win.
Jeb McLeod, Ben Jostlear and Jason Fisher were best for the home side, while Brent Macaffer, Tim Smith and Angus Brown fought hard for the Panthers.
Nar Nar Goon moved a step closer to securing an unlikely finals berth, with a 46-point win against Garfield.
Nick Henwood, Jake Rose and Jackson Fromhold were the standouts, as the The Goon led at every change on their way to a 12.11 (83) to 5.7 (37) win.
Tyson Payne, Daniel Johnson and Tyler Hobson were best for the Stars.
The win was enough for The Goon to leapfrog Koo Wee Rup into fourth spot on percentage, despite the Demons’ 37-point win against Korumburra-Bena.
Tim Miller, Ben Kerrigan and Nathan Muratore led the charge for the home side in the 11.13 (79) to 6.6 (42) victory.
Michael Cooke (two goals) was best on ground for the Giants, with Alex Johnston and Will Jeffs also prominent.
It was a case of top half versus bottom half in four of the five A grade netball games in round 16, with the clash between Koo Wee Rup and Korumburra-Bena the most intriguing matchup of the day.
The Demons were level with the unbeaten ladder leaders at half-time, but the Giants slowly pulled clear after the main break, eventually winning 37-24.
In the other games, Phillip Island survived a scare against Inverloch-Kongwak 38-35, Dalyston saw off Cora Lynn 63-22, Bunyip rolled Kilcunda-Bass 75-10 and Nar Nar Goon dealt with Garfield 100-3.