CULCAIRN coach Josh Hillary came out of retirement to lift the Lions to a gutsy 20-point win over Holbrook at Culcairn on Saturday.
Hillary kicked three goals and had a hand in another two playing as a deep forward in his first appearance since April 14.
The comeback was virtually forced with Jye Shields and Jed Andrew (overseas) and Dennis Pedemont (injured).
Midfielder Tim Hallinan came off with a third quarter following a heavy knock to his back.
The victory has given Culcairn some much-needed breathing space in fifth spot with the Lions facing a nightmare draw in the final five rounds.
“It was an eight-point game for us,” Hillary said.
“They embarrassed us earlier in the season and I thought the boys’ response was fantastic.”
Dane Hallinan, Isovaine Huddlestone, Adam Eady and debutant Riley Knobel were prominent while Tim Haines was shifted to attack and kicked four goals.
Holbrook defender Lake Carman had his moments opposed to Haines, Aaron Baker was strong in the ruck and Brock Knights linked up well across half-back.
Henty overcame a finals-like examination to edge out Osborne by 13 points at Henty.
The Swampies trailed by three points at half-time before finding another gear with star forward Damian Cupido proving the difference in a low-scoring clash.
He kicked four goals on the back of good supply from Dale and Daniel Cox, Chris Willis and Heath Ohlin.
Osborne were best served by Declan O'Rourke, Michael Driscoll and Martin Bahr.
Lockhart defeated Rand-Walbundrie-Walla for the second year in a row at Walla.
The Demons dominated the first-half with ruckman Zac Sheather giving running players Jamie Clough and James Creasy an armchair ride.
The loss was a major blow to the Giants chances of playing finals with the side now sitting four premiership points behind Holbrook.
Defender Tom Simmons was reported for striking.
They will be hoping to regain Myles Aalbers, Ryan Lavery, Mitch Thomas and Kai Davies after the bye.
Howlong caused a surprise by defeating CDHBU by 52 points.
Blake Williams, Nick Sharp and Steven Jolliffe were in everything for the Spiders while Jay Koehler kicked four goals in his best match of the season.
The Power rallied through Kane Mills and Kade Rowe but sorely missed the grunt of Shannon Broadbent.
Murray Magpies blitzed Billabong Crows by 51 points at Urana Road Oval.