BFNL reigning premier Sandhurst moved back into the top five after it thrashed Maryborough by 128 points at Princes Park on Saturday.
The Dragons had been outside of the top five for one month, but their 23.14 (152) to 3.6 (24) victory combined with South Bendigo’s loss to Golden Square has them well placed to play finals for the eighth season in a row.
The undermanned Magpies scrapped hard with the Dragons for the first 30 minutes when they had the breeze, but an eight-goal to none second term by the visitors broke the game open.
All three of the Magpies goals came in the third term and they were held scoreless in the final quarter.
The Dragons had 11 individual goal kickers for the day, led by Andy Collins and Lachlan Ross with four majors each.
Midfielder Joel Wharton was superb for Sandhurst, while skipper Blair Holmes, Ross, Zac East and teenager Isaac Ruff all impressed.
The Magpies didn’t have the class to go with Sandhurst, but you couldn’t question their endeavour. Sam McDowell, Matt Johnston, Tom Roughead and Chris Freeman were Maryborough’s best.