RUP-MURTOA has jumped to the top of the ladder after an important win against Jung Tigers at the Dimboola Road oval on Saturday morning.
Undefeated half-centuries from Rup-Murtoa batsmen Joe Gardy, Corey Morgan and Bailey Batchelor led the visitors to an imposing total of 4-210 after the second half of their innings.
Left armer Tyler Puls was the pick of the Tigers' bowlers, finishing with three wickets.
Jung was left requiring 120 runs for victory from its 23 overs, with captain Patrick Laffy, 45 runs, and Puls, 41 runs, playing important roles with the bat.
But Rup-Murtoa bowler Fergus Schier also played an important role, collecting three wickets to ensure a 38-run victory.
At Coughlin Park, Horsham Saints and West Wimmera played out a thriller, with the visitors just getting over the line in the final over.
Saints keeper Tom Wentworth took his season average to 82 with a score of 43 not out, and found support from Matt Burns, 34.
But half-centuries to West Wimmera's Todd Alexander and Louis Preston put their side in the box seat.
Some tight bowling from Seb Dalgleish, 2-13, and Jed Lehmann almost snatched an unlikely Saints win, but third-placed West Wimmera held its nerve, drawing level on points with the second-placed Saints in the process.
Natimuk has made certain it will play finals this season after a 36-run win at home against Blackheath-Dimboola.
The home side dismissed the Bulls for 126 inside the 40th over, with Kyle Schuller, Stewart Hallett and Jaxon Brown snaring two wickets each.
In reply, Bulls bowlers Peter Wren, 3-4, and Mickael Arthur, 2-8, inspired a collapse of 4-3 before Natimuk got over the line with four wickets in hand.
They finished on 8-162, with Kyle Schuller, 44 not out, and Alex Risdale, 31 retired, both contributing to secure their side a finals berth.
In the final home-and-away round of matches, starting on Saturday, West Wimmera hosts Jung at Nhill College and Horsham Saints will travel to Dimboola Memorial Secondary College to take on Blackheath-Dimboola.
Natimuk will meet Rup-Murtoa at Natimuk, which could give both sides the opportunity to size each other up before a possible semi-final rematch.