CULCAIRN remain in the box seat to grab sixth spot on the Hume league ladder after stunning ladder leader Henty for the second time this season at Henty on Saturday.
The 15-point victory keeps the Lions two premiership points ahead of a fast-finishing Rand-Walbundrie-Walla who backed up last weekend’s victory over Osborne with a 47-point win over Jindera.
Culcairn can stitch up a position in the finals by rolling the Giants this weekend while Myles Aalbers’ side must defeat Culcairn and Henty in the final two rounds to sneak in.
Lions’ coach Josh Hillary praised his side’s ability to apply pressure for four quarters.
“I was really pleased with the effort across the board,” Hillary said.
“We got off to a good start in testing conditions and made use of the dry footy early.
“They came back at us hard but we settled and held on for a good win.”
Culcairn’s Drue Mortlock held Swampie star Damian Cupido to five goals while Dane Hallinan knocked up winning touches in the midfield.
Pat Wall, Nate Stroh and Dennis Pedemont were also relentless with their pressure.
Henty, who went into the clash without Shannon Terlich, Chris Willis and Dale Cox, were best served by midfielder Jared Brennan.
Hillary said the Lions would need to bring the same intensity to defeat Rand-Walbundrie-Walla.
“The Giants are in red-hot form so it sets up a mouth-watering contest,” he said.
The Giants stayed in finals contention by dismantling Jindera by 47 points at Walla.
With Aalbers and Todd Miller firing in attack, the home team won each of the four quarters thanks to strong supply from Sam Hargreave, Mitch Thomas and 200-gamer Jayden Quinlivan.
Brian Lieschke kept Bulldog star Trent Castles goalless.
Matt Osborne rallied hard around the packs for Jindera who has dropped to fifth spot on the ladder.
Billabong Crows held off an inaccurate Lockhart by eight points.
With George Sandral, Dom Buntin and James O’Connell winning plenty of touches, the Crows did just enough to register their fourth win of the season.
Demon Blake Jones played well but Andrew Emery and Jamie Clough were among the few to provide support.
Brock-Burrum speedster Josh McCudden continued to build form ahead of the finals by starring in the Saints’ 44-point win over Howlong.
After spending time in the reserves earlier in the season, he has kicked bags of four in the past fortnight to provide another dimension to the side’s attack.
John-Roy Williams, Eddy Ziebarth and Chris Boulton also dominated.
Howlong were best served by Brett Lefoe, Matt Lee and Ben Baker.
Holbrook trounced an injury-hit CDHBU by 105 points.
Curtis Steele and Sam Harris starred for the Brookers while Brad Talbot played a lone hand for CDHBU.
Osborne defeated Murray Magpies by 101 points at Urana Road Oval.