MAIDEN Gully YCW tightened its grip on the LVFNL minor premiership after defeating Mitiamo in Saturday's top-of-the-table clash.
The Eagles made it 11-straight wins with an impressive 11-goal victory on the Superoos' home court.
A polished 58-47 triumph was their second straight over a finals-bound team, coming on the heels of a brilliant 12-goal win over Calivil United the previous week.
Maiden Gully YCW has not lost a game since being beaten by Marong in round one and looks set to qualify for this year's finals series in top spot, currently six points clear of both Mitiamo and Marong with two rounds remaining.
While the Superoos were without their star goal attack and coach Laura Hicks, they were able to mount a solid challenge.
Rival coach Christie Griffiths, who was again sidelined with a calf injury was thrilled to emerge with the points against an always formidable rival.
"Obviously we were both missing players, but it was a good contest and the girls certainly worked hard and got the win in the end," she said.
"Our start wasn't great, but there was probably eight to 12 goals in it at certain times throughout the match.
"We made some changes and the second half worked better and the girls started to play their games."
Griffiths felt the fixturing of a group of matches together against finals-bound clubs had left her side well prepared to meet the challenges thrown at them by those opponents.
"The girls are really putting into play what we are working on at training, which I am really happy about," she said.
"Even today, there were a couple of things they weren't doing, but when we spoke at the breaks, they were able to do those things and it made a huge difference to their games and the team.
"From here, we just need to keep building our game like we have been doing."
A solid all-around team effort by the Eagles was led by hard-working midcourter Leisa Barry, while Meg Patterson was a major influence at goal attack.
Other standouts included Rachael Gray and Laura Butler in defence.
The Eagles will likely be bolstered for next weekend's clash against Bridgewater by the return of their playing coach, before they round out their home and away season commitments against Bears Lagoon-Serpentine.
A win in either game secures them the top ranking going into finals.
Mitiamo, which has a bye next week, was joined on 46 points by Marong after the Panthers defeated Bears Lagoon-Serpentine 65-24.
A strong win was marked by the A-grade debuts of 15-year-olds Charli Coghill and Charlie Crawford, who played a half each.
The Panthers face a crucial clash against Calivil United next Saturday, with the outcome to have a big say in which team secures a double chance.
The Demons defeated Pyramid Hill 44-35.
Newbridge gained a measure of redemption for an earlier season loss to Bridgewater by coming out on the right side of another tight contest between the teams on Saturday.
The Maroons, beaten by two goals back in May, turned the tables to win by two goals on the Mean Machine's home court.
A thrilled coach Selina Holland hailed a resilient performance by her side, which was ill-prepared to let another good chance at a win slip.
But it was not without its anxious moments for both coach and players.
"We did get to five or six in front, but they did fight back like last time, so it was a relief to hold them off," Holland said.
"It wasn't so much payback, but the girls were pretty disappointed after the last time and felt they should have held on, but couldn't quite keep it together.
"But this time around they made sure they kept cool heads and did what they needed to do to get the job done."
Holland, who was first appointed for the cancelled 2020 season, said the fighting win was undoubtedly the highlight of her tenure so far.
She hopes it will be a stepping stone to future success.
"It was definitely our most heartfelt win," she said.
"I feel if we can keep this group together for next year, there's big things coming.
"It was a pretty interrupted start for us between weeks on and off, byes and then the first couple of games we did get to play we had girls out with COVID.
"It was a bit of a rough start for us, but in the second half of the year we've shown what we are capable of."
The Maroons' fourth win of the season was led by centre Georgie Hyett and goal keeper Sarah Lovell.
After beating Bears Lagoon-Serpentine the previous week, the Maroons will be aiming for three wins in a row when they clash with Pyramid Hill next week.
Bridgewater faces a tough encounter against top side Maiden Gully YCW at Marist College.
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