The Heathcote District Football Netball snapped a three-game inter-league losing streak when it defeated Sunraysia by 35 points in Mildura.
The 14.13 (97) to 8.14 (62) win lifted the HDFNL to 16th on the AFL Victoria Community Championships rankings.
"I've always regarded Sunraysia as a major league, so for Heathcote District to come up here and win is a great sign of what's to come for the league,'' HDFNL coach Nick Carter said.
"Heathcote District is getting better all the time and if we can get close to our best team on the track then where as good as any side."
HDFNL made a nervous start with Sunrayia's mobile forwards causing trouble in the first quarter.
The home side pounced on the HDFNL mistakes and grabbed a five-point lead.
The second quarter was a different story as the HDFNL midfield started to get on top.
The HDFNL added 5.2 to 3.3 to lead by six points at the main break.
A strong defensive effort in the third quarter helped set up HDFNL's victory.
Sunrayisa had enough of the ball to hurt HDFNL on the scorboard, but the visitors held firm.
HDFNL added 3.6 to 1.6 to extend the margin to 18 points with a quarter to play.
The first goal of the final quarter was always going to be vital and it was the HDFNL who made the most of its opportunities.
The HDFNL ran out the game much stronger than the home side.
Sunrayisa didn't kick a goal on in the final term and finished with 1.10 in the second half.
"In the second half our midfielders lifted their defensive running hich was really pleasing,'' Carter said.
"The guys were pretty cooked in the final quarter, but they did enough to stop them scoring.
"Early on it appeared as though the game might become a bit of a shootout, but once we got our balance right between defensive and offensive running we took control."
HDFNL captain Jarrod Findlay was named best on ground.
"From the first contest of the game in the middle he was superb,'' Carter said.
"He went forward and kicked a couple of goals and put is body on the line.
"There was already a level of respect for him going into the game, but when you're captain and you get best on ground that respect goes to another level.
"He's the type of person that commits to inter-league every year and that's what we want to see from everyone in the league moving forward."
Aaryn Craig and Rhys Irwin were superb down back for the HDFNL.
"Aaryn Craig is all class and every time I've seen him play at inter-league level he's been in the best two or three players,'' Carter said.
"He's just about the first defender you'd pick at this level.
"Rhys Irwin played his role and showed that he's in the best mix of players in the league which he should take real confidence in going to back to club level."
Midfielder Todd Clarke, Bart Phillips and Darcy Richards (three goals) also impressed in a HDFNL team that had few passengers.
HDFNL 3.2, 8.4, 11.10, 14.13 (97)
Sunraysia 4.1, 7.4 8. 10, 8.14 (62)
GOALS - HDFNL: D. Richards 3, J. Findlay 2, H. Whittle 2, S. Kerridge 2, R. Grenville 2, C. Price, B. Phillips, T. Clarke. Sunraysia: N. Pezzaniti 3, W. Hancock 3, P. Moi Moi, D. Coghlan.
BEST - HDFNL: J. Findlay, A. Craig, R. Irwin, T. Clarke, B. Phillips, D. Richards. Sunrayisa: M. Taylor, W. Hancock, R. Hards, A. Morrish, N. Mee, J. Carmichael.
Have you signed up to the Bendigo Advertiser's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in central Victoria.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.