Castlemaine overcame a sluggish start to record its seventh-straight CVFLW victory at Weeroona Oval on Sunday.
The undefeated Magpies went into the round nine clash with the Bendigo Thunder as a warm favourite, but by early in the second quarter a big upset looked on the cards after the home side kicked four of the first five goals of the match.
From three goals behind the Magpies worked their way back into the game.
They kicked their second goal of the match before half-time to reduce the margin to 10 points at the main break.
After half-time the game turned on its head completely.
The Magpies shut down the Thunder's run and did a better job of maintaining possession.
Crucially, the Pies' top-end talent got their hands on the ball more often.
Tia Davidge, Meg Ginnivan, Scarlett Orritt and Jemma Finning grabbed control of the game and key forward Shelby Knoll (five goals) took advantage of the midfield dominance.
The Pies kicked 7.11 to no score in the second-half to run out convincing winners, 9.14 (68) to 4.1 (25).
After such an encouraging first quarter-and-a-half, it was a disappointing finish for the fourth-placed Thunder.
The reliable Jess Kennedy was the Thunder's best player, while Katelyn Hazlett, Jacqui Graham and Brianna Burt could hold their heads high.
The round started on Friday night when Golden Square accounted for Strathfieldsaye by 44 points at Wade Street.
After an even first term, the Bulldogs' greater depth wore the Storm down.
Square kicked 5.12 to 1.1 after quarter-time to win 7.16 (58) to 2.2 (14).
Liz Watkins, Charlotte Beavan, Jayda Smith and Jessica Cox had big games for Square, while Keely Hare kicked three goals to be the only multiple goalkicker for the game.
Paige Panczel, Ireland O'Rourke, Eliza Long and Lucy Gorrie were best for the Storm.
Eaglehawk scored a 147-point win over Kerang at Canterbury Park.
The Hawks had 11 individual goalkickers in the 23.15 (153) to 1.0 (6) win.
Molly Metcalf (five) and Jasmine Burzacott (four) kicked nine goals between them for the Borough.
Courtney Smith, Kelly Mensforth and Freyja Pearce won plenty of the ball.
Kerang never gave up despite the lopsided scoreline.
Jessica Searle, Kendall Ash, Zalie Ash and Yasmin Harrington battled hard, while Toni Kelly kicked the Blues' only goal of the match.
At the halfway mark of the season, Castlemaine holds a one game, plus percentage, advantage over Golden Square at the top of the table.
Kyneton is a further game back in third place, with the Thunder rounding out the top four on 16 points.
Eaglehawk's big win on Sunday has the Borough one game and percentage outside of finals contention, with Strathfieldsaye sixth on eight points ahead of Kerang and North Bendigo.
Castlemaine 28 841.86
Golden Square 24 645.78
Kyneton 20 178.82
Bendigo Thunder 16 338.31
Eaglehawk 12 207.33
Strathfieldsaye 8 29.78
Kerang 4 5.74
North Bendigo 0 1.65
ROUND NINE RESULTS
Eaglehawk 7.1 10.6 23.15 23.15 (153)
Kerang 0.0 0.0 1.0 1.0 (6)
GOALS - Eaglehawk: M. Metcalf 5, J. Burzacott 4, G. Edlin 2, E. Field 2, E. Bailey 2, C. Edlin 2, L. Dawe 1, A. Cardilini 1, O. Murley 1, L. den Houting 1, F. Pearce 1. Kerang: T. Kelly 1.
BEST - Eaglehawk: C .Smith, K. Mensforth, F. Pearce, M. Metcalf, O. Murley, L. Dawe. Kerang: J. Searle, K. Ash, Z. Ash, Y. Harrington, R. Zerbe, J. Birch.
Castlemaine 1.1 2.3 5.10 9.14 (68)
Bendigo Thunder 3.1 4.1 4.1 4.1 (25)
GOALS - Castlemaine: S. Knoll 5, E. Gretgrix 2, L. McMahon 1, M. Ginnivan 1. Bendigo Thunder: G. Gordon 2, B. Burt 1, B. Mueck 1.
BEST - Castlemaine: T. Davidge, M. Ginnivan, S. Orritt, J. Finning, S. Knoll, B. Semmens. Bendigo Thunder: J. Kennedy, K. Hazlett, J. Graham, B .Burt, I. Kendal, H. Perry.
Golden Square 2.4 4.7 6.9 7.16 (58)
Strathfieldsaye 1.1 2.1 2.2 2.2 (14)
GOALS - Golden Square: K. Hare 3, A. Carrod 1, M. Ward 1, E. Collins 1, A. Donnelly 1. Strathfieldsaye: L. Gorrie 1, P. Panczel 1.
BEST - Golden Square: L. Watkins, C. Beavan, J. Smith, J. Cox, A. Donnelly, K. Hare. Strathfieldsaye: P. Panczel, I. O'Rourke, E. Long, L. Gorrie, T. Anderson.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.