KANIVA-LEEOR United claimed its biggest scalp of the season at the weekend, knocking off reigning premier Penola in a one-point thriller at Kaniva.
Both sides went into the match with six consecutive wins, but it was the Cougars who edged out the Eagles by the smallest of margins in wet and windy conditions.
The host led at every change before the Eagles claimed the lead in the final term.
But the Cougars responded to claim a 7.11 (53) to 7.10 (52) win.
Cougars coach Neil Reeve said it was one of his side’s best performances this season.
“We knew we’d be in for a tough game – they were on top and they were there for a reason,” he said.
“We focused on a few things we had done right in our previous wins and tried to draw from that.
“It was probably our second-best all-round team performance for the year.”
Reeve said his side deserved to come away with the four points.
“The right team came out on top,” he said.
“We had about 60 per cent of the play and we were really earning our goals and they were battling for theirs – probably five of their goals came from free kicks.
Reeve praised his side’s defenders – Scott Brown starred and Steve Stallion kept the league’s leading goal-kicker Adam Merrett to just one goal for the afternoon.
Vice-captain Shane Vivian was also important, slotting into a back pocket as a late inclusion for in-form forward B.J Hawker.
Cougars key forward Leigh Ryan kicked two goals, while Ben McIntyre, two goals, was named the Eagles’ best.
Border Districts’ finals chances are gone after its 88-point away loss to Padthaway at the weekend.
The Lions led by just 15 points at the first change before taking control of the game after the break.
They ran out 17.18 (120) to 4.8 (32) victors.
A seven-goal to two final quarter blew out the final margin and ensured the Lions jumped to the top of the table on percentage.
Lion Thomas Edwards booted eight majors, while Clint Barras, two goals, was the Eagles’ lone multiple goal-kicker.
Despite the loss, Corey Burr continued his strong form and was named the Eagles’ best for the third time in the team’s past four matches.
In other matches, Mundulla thrashed Kybybolite by 115 points, Naracoorte edged out Kingston by 15 points and Keith beat Bordertown by 50 points.