Former Collingwood utility Shannon Cox was the difference in the Collie Eagles' 31-point win over the Bunbury Bulldogs at Payne Park on Sunday.
Cox booted five goals in an inspirational performance, leading the Eagles to the 13.9 (87) to 7.14 (56) triumph – their 10th of the season.
Adam Bignall was also among the Eagles' best with a dominant display in the midfield, as was skilful goalsneak Blair Malatesta and defender Michael Roney.
Further south, reigning premiers Augusta-Margaret River had their season put on life support after a 67-point home defeat to Carey Park, also on Sunday.
The 21.18 (144) to 11.11 (77) loss at Gloucester Park means the Hawks, who have struggled to field their best 22 this season, are two wins outside the top five with five rounds to play.
Meanwhile, the win keeps the Panthers' push for a double chance in the finals realistic. They are one triumph outside the top three with a crucial clash against Busselton at Kelly Park looming this weekend.
In other games on Sunday, the Eaton Boomers returned to the winners’ list with a comfortable 60-point mauling of South Bunbury at Glen Huon Reserve and the Harvey Bulls defeated Donnybrook by 21-points at VC Mitchell Park.
On Saturday night, Busselton overcame a sluggish start to post a 39-point win over Harvey-Brunswick-Leschenault in an error-riddled contest at Sir Stewart Bovell Park.
The Magpies were led by spearhead Leigh Kelly, who bagged eight goals, and John D'Sylva, who registered seven majors in the 21.13 (139) to 15.10 (100) triumph.
After trailing by 11 points at quarter time and five at half-time, the Magpies piled on
12-goals-to-five in the second half, including eight in the final term, to strengthen their premiership claim.
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