KANIVA-LEEOR United has fallen to fourth on the ladder after its 29-point loss to Mundulla at Kaniva on Saturday.
It was the Tigers’ eighth consecutive win – a result that saw them leapfrog the Cougars into third place on the ladder.
The host was held to just one goal in the opening half by the Tigers, who led by 44 points at the major break.
The Cougars fought back after half-time, winning both quarters, but not by enough to eradicate the margin completely.
Mundulla ran out 12.14 (86) to 8.9 (57) victors.
Luke Wiese kicked three for the winners, while Daniel Burgess, Boyd Packer and Sam Luckett all chipped in with two.
Leigh Ryan, four goals, and Dylan Williams, three, did the bulk of the Cougars’ scoring.
Grady Obst was named the visitor’s best, alongside Heath Thorpe and Lachlan Duell.
Cougars vice-captain Shane Vivian stood out for his team, finding support from the likes of Williams and James Turner.
The Cougars will now need to win their final two games – and wait on other results – to finish in the top three and secure an all-important double chance.
Lucindale and Bordertown await for the Cougars, while the two teams above them and level on points – Penola and Mundulla – both have to face ladder-leader Padthaway in the final two rounds.
In other one-sided results, Adam Merrett kicked a whopping 20 goals as Penola thrashed Naracoorte by 102 points.
Padthaway thumped Kingston by 79 points, Keith defeated Lucindale by 54 points and Bordertown accounted for bottom side Kybybolite by a massive 70 points.