BENDIGO Senior Secondary College won Tuesday's hard-fought battle with Catholic College Bendigo in the School Sport Victoria premier league football clash.
Top spot in the pool was at stake as the Lions tackled CCB at Epsom-Huntly Reserve.
Both colleges had already qualified for the June 18 semi-finals, but were desperate to keep the winning run rolling.
Bendigo Senior SC dominated for most of the first quarter.
A right-foot snap by Wade Minter brought up BSSC's first goal.
A star in BSSC's first and second round victories, Justin Bateson took a terrific mark near the goalsquare and goaled.
The Lions went further ahead when Fergus Payne capped brilliant teamwork through midfield and in attack.
CCB's Thomas Gill goaled in the final minute of the 20-minute quarter.
It was goal-for-goal in the second before CCB whittled the Lions lead from 21 points to just eight after goals by captain Tom Broadbent and Jack Exell.
The Lions roared to life in the third and goaled through Justin Bateson, Sam Simmons and Lachlan Ryan.
The goal by Simmons was set up by a superb pick-up and handpass from captain Dan Davie.
Although CCB did attack several times the final kick inside the 50m arc often went to an opponent.
The Lions led by 25 points as the final quarter began.
At the huddle, CCB coach Lee Coghlan urged the players to keep on running and back their fitness.
Final quarter fightbacks are what CCB had done earlier in the campaign.
CCB won the first centre break and a hurried kick was marked by Tom Gill to goal after less than 45 seconds.
Despite plenty of attacking play neither team could goal.
The deadlock was broken in the eighth minute when CCB vice-captain Dylan Morris attacked through wing and half-forward.
The courageous play by Morris was capped by Jayden Burke's goal on the run.
With 12 minutes to go CCB was within 14 points.
Three minutes later and the heat was rising after Isaac Miller was freed and goaled after a 50m penalty.
Another CCB foray was capped by Ned Slater's snapshot to cut the Lions lead to four points at 90 seconds to play.
The Lions withstood the pressure across half-back to clear to the highway-side wing.
BSSC is coached by Bendigo Pioneers coach David Newett.
"Our first quarter and most of the second quarter were excellent," Newett said after the contest.
"We then fell away in terms of workrate and discipline and CCB was able to score goals.
"This match showed a lot about mindset and attitude.
"The pressure in our next will be higher again, so we have to be prepared to work in every quarter and not coast.
"To the boys credit we got the job done and now have a semi-final to look forward to.
"We are one win away from a chance to play on the MCG."
The SSV semi-finals will be played on June 18 at Collingwood's Victoria Park.
Bendigo Senior SC 3.4 5.5 8.7 8.10 (58)
Catholic College Bendigo 1.1 4.3 4.6 8.6 (54)
GOALS - BSSC: Justin Bateson 2, Wade Minter, Fergus Payne, Sam Harper, Daniel Patterson, Sam Simmons, Lachlan Ryan. CCB: Thomas Gill 2, Patrick Ludeman, Tom Broadbent, Jack Exell, Jayden Burke, Isaac Miller, Ned Slater.
BEST - BSSC: Sam Simmons, Cameron Barrett, Mat Pickering, Jayden Fox, Josh Ryan, Daniel Davie. CCB: Ned Slater, Ryan Twycross, Jayden Burke, Tom Broadbent, Jack Coghlan.