Sandhurst set a cat among the pigeons after handing BFNL flag favourite Gisborne its first loss of the 2022 season.
The Dragons' moved into the top five for the first time this season on the back of the 37-point triumph, while for the first time in 2022 Gisborne looked vulnerable, particularly through the midfield in the absence of Brad Bernacki.
Gisborne remains on top, one win clear of Strathfieldsaye after the Storm defeated Eaglehawk by 26 points at Canterbury Park.
The Hawks dropped to sixth place, while South Bendigo slipped to seventh after being dismantled by third-placed Golden Square at Wade Street.
Kyneton consolidated fourth place with a 126-point hiding of Castlemaine and Kangaroo Flat denied Maryborough a win on its 150th anniversary weekend.
With eight rounds to go the battle for top five spots, and ultimately the premiership, is wide open.
"That (Sandhurst-Gisborne) result opens everything up again,'' Strathfieldsaye co-coach Darryl Wilson said.
"Sandhurst is a very good side and it just shows that you have to be on your game.
"That's why we were very happy to get the points today. Plenty of clubs go to Eaglehawk and struggle."
Sandhurst has now beaten Gisborne and Golden Square this season and gets the opportunity to complete the top-three set when it travels to Strathfieldsaye next Saturday.
"We've got a fair bit of belief in ourselves and think that if we can play our brand of footy consistently we can win these sort of games and do some damage later in the year,'' Sandhurst coach Ashley Connick said.
Round 11 next weekend will have a huge bearing on the season.
Aside from the Storm-Sandhurst clash at Tannery Lane, Gisborne hosts an in-form Kyneton side chasing its seventh-straight win and it's hard to see the loser of the South Bendigo and Eaglehawk clash at the QEO making the finals.
At the other end of the table, the winless Maryborough will probably start favourite against an injury-depleted Castlemaine at Camp Reserve.
A Maryborough victory would set up an intriguing battle between the two Magpies to avoid the dreaded wooden spoon.
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