PERENNIAL powerhouse Osborne has ominously moved inside the top two after it overcame Murray Magpies by 40 points at Osborne on Saturday.
After an even first quarter the Cats kicked 13 goals to seven to notch their seventh win of the season — 15.12 (102) to 9.8 (62).
Daniel McAlister’s charges continue to defy the critics and can further consolidate their spot inside the top two with matches against Billabong Crows, Howlong and Jindera to complete the first round.
The Cats were buoyed by the inclusion of utility Darcy Judd in his first senior hitout of the season.
Judd has moved to Melbourne for work but has committed to the Cats for the rest of the season in a major boost to their big man stocks.
McAlister said premiership midfielder Luke Heyme was also likely to play the second half of the season.
Heyme is yet to play this year and had indicated he was likely to retire but will add depth to the Cats midfield rotations.
McAlister said while the Cats had laid the foundations for a top-two finish there was still plenty of hard work to be done.
“Each week is a challenge and any side from first to tenth can win on their day,” he said.
“Culcairn are sitting ninth and beat us two rounds ago.
“The competition is the tightest its ever been with percentage only separating the top-four sides.”
Des Kennedy medallist Rory Muggivan was the Cats’ best bursting from congestion and setting up teammates.
Brendan Dess, Jamie Parr and Judd were also instrumental.
McAlister said the Cats achieved the win with only one man on the bench after Patty O’Connell and Matt Klemke suffered game ending injuries in the first quarter.