KANIVA-LEEOR United has returned to the winners' list after accounting for Kingston on the Saints' home turf on Saturday.
A dominant first half set up the Cougars' win, with the visitors piling on 11 goals to two to lead by 53 points at the major break.
But the second-placed visitors could only increase their lead by three points in the second half and they won 20.7 (127) to 10.11 (71).
Cougars coach Neil Reeve said the result was pleasing, but his side still had room to improve.
"It's pleasing to win and be back on the winners' list but it wasn't convincing," he said.
"We were 10 goals up at half-time and had our foot on their throat but couldn't finish the job.
"That's the frustrating part - we can get that far in front but can't put them away."
In their past five matches, the Cougars have only won two of a possible 10 quarters after half-time by three points in the third quarter on Saturday, and by one point in the third quarter against Bordertown two weeks ago.
Reeve said it was an area his side needed to improve in quickly.
"It's still a 10-goal win, but if we're going to be one of those top three teams, we need to start playing like it," he said.
"We're still sitting second, but I don't think we've played our best footy yet."
Tall targets Leigh Ryan and James Turner both kicked six goals to be among the Cougars' best players.
Reeve said ruckman James Lyon and midfielders Shane Vivian and Josh Jarred were also impressive.
Sam Braidwood kicked four goals for the Saints, with Henry Rothall named the host's best performer.
Nine goals from Clint Barras could not stop Border Districts from suffering its 10th consecutive loss.
In a high-scoring match, Naracoorte proved too strong for the Eagles, taking a 22.12 (144) to 17.9 (111) win.
Barras was named among the Eagles' best, alongside Fraser Adams and Daniel Skinner.
The Demons were well-served by James Dixon, eight goals, Sam Willson, five, and Kane Donnelly, four.
In other matches, fourth-placed Mundulla moved two games clear of fifth-placed Keith with a 60-point win at home against the Crows.
Penola thrashed bottom-placed Kybybolite by 131 points to remain in third position on the ladder.