One year after going through the season winless, Bears-Lagoon Serpentine is on track to make the LVFNL finals.
The young Bears stunned Mitiamo by 62 points on Saturday to jump from sixth to fourth on the ladder.
They’re now one game and two per cent clear of the sixth-placed Superoos with four rounds remaining.
“Going into the game both sides knew there was a fair bit riding on it,’’ Bears coach Greg Gadsden said.
“After our performance last week (26 point loss to Pyramid Hill) the guys really stepped up with a good, even team effort.
“The biggest thing for us was out intensity around the ball and we hunted in packs all day.
“We used the ball better and didn’t over use it.”
Gadsden said the 18.9 (117) to 8.7 (55) win in such a crunch game would do wonders for his side’s self belief.
“Belief is a big thing,’’ Gadsden said.
“After a game like today the boys know that they can stand up under pressure as long as they bring that intensity.
“If we can play like that each week then we’re going to give ourselves a chance to play finals and, who knows, we might even be able to sneak a final or two.”
Bears’ defender Nathan Twigg held Mitiamo coach Justin Maddern to three goals, while Nick Arthur and Nathan McNally controlled the middle of the ground.
Andy Gladman enjoyed a change of role and kicked four goals in attack, while Jasper Walker-Corbet also added four majors.
After being touted as a premiership contender at the start of the season, Mitiamo is now in danger of missing the finals.
“In the first quarter we were okay, but after that it was the same old story,’’ Maddern said.
“A few things didn’t get go our way and we dropped our heads. Some weeks we’ve been able to turn that around, but today we couldn’t.
“To Serp’s credit, they wouldn’t allow us to move the ball. We’d get to the centre and then turn it over and Serp would take it back and score.”
The result leaves the Superoos with little margin for error over the final month of the season.
“We really drove it into the guys about the importance of today and that makes the performance even more disappointing,’’ Maddern said.
“I really do think we have a good side, but it’s just not clicking at the moment and we have some work to do.”
While the Superoos are struggling, Calivil United is flying.
The unbeaten Demons handed an undermanned Newbridge an 88-point hiding on Saturday.
The Demons kicked 11 goals to one in a dominant first half before cruising to a 20.9 (129) to 5.7 (37) victory.
Star forward Bryce Curnow kicked 10 goals to take his season tally to 61 majors – one clear of Bridgewater’s Alex Collins in the race for the LVFNL’s leading goalkicker award.
Despite kicking 10 goals, Curnow didn’t get best on ground honours. That went to ruckman Chris Down, who has been in the Demons’ top four players in eight of the club’s past nine games.
The depleted Maroons were best served by Tom Wilson, Jordan Gilboy and Joel Kennedy, who kicked three of his side’s five goals.
Bridgewater overcame a sluggish start to defeat Maiden Gully YCW by seven goals at Marist College.
Missing several senior team regulars, the Mean Machine trailed the Eagles at quarter-time.
A seven-goal to one second term sparked the Mean Machine into action and they raced away to a 16.11 (107) to 10.5 (65) win.
The margin probably should have been larger, but the reigning premiers were happy to walk away with the four points and turn their attention to next week’s top-of-the-table clash with Calivil United.
In a game that rarely reached great heights, Bridgewater full-forward Alex Collins was the difference.
He bagged seven goals and had a hand in a couple of others to be the most influential player on the ground.
David Harrison, Zeb and Tom Broadbent and Kyle Chant were solid in the middle of the ground for the Mean Machine.
The Eagles have lost seven games on the trot, but it was an improved performance, particularly considering they had four under-18 players in the senior team.
Najem Aldorki battled hard in the ruck, Matt Roberts won his fair share of the ball in the middle and Jordan Crisp and Corey Walsh impressed.
For the first time this season, Marong won back-to-back matches.
A five-goal to none second term was the catalyst for the Panthers’ 16.12 (108) to 7.8 (50) win over bottom side Inglewood.
Aaron Bateson and Jarrod Fitzpatrick led the way for the Panthers with brilliant performances.
They kicked six goals between them and won plenty of the footy.
Big man Cam Ross was a tough match up when he rested forward and he kicked three goals, while Bryce Franzini and Ryan McGhie also played well.
Forward Shane Harris was the shining light for the Blues. He kicked three goals from limited opportunities. Second gamer Bailey Evans also showed plenty for Inglewood.