OLD Collegians were too hard and too skilled in beating South Rovers by 10 goals in the Warrnambool and District league match of the day.
The Warriors posted their seventh win of the campaign with a hard-fought but ultimately comfortable 16.8 (104) to 6.8 (44) result at Davidson Oval.
The win lifted them a game and percentage clear inside the top five, although wins to the three sides above them ensured a top-three spot is still beyond reach.
This was a match most expected Old Collegians to win and they were in control from early in the second term, having kicked against the breeze to start.
The Warriors led by six at the first break and 37 at half-time and withstood a third-term charge from the Lions to still be 29 up at three-quarter-time.
Three goals inside the first eight minutes of the last stanza - to Josh Stapleton, Matt Petherick and Colby Rix - put the result to rest.
A round of largely top-versus-bottom matches ensured lopsided results were commonplace across the league.
The next closest match of the round was at Cobden Recreation Reserve, where Nirranda did what it had to in beating Deakin University 12.14 (86) to 3.7 (25).
The Blues were inaccurate early - they had 1.7 to the first break - but straightened up thereafter to leapfrog South Rovers into seventh on the ladder.
Allansford produced a stunning second half to run away from Kolora-Noorat in a high-scoring match at Allansford Recreation Reserve.
The Cats won 22.13 (145) to 13.6 (84), holding onto third spot in the process.
Merrivale was too strong for Timboon Demons, winning 25.18 (168) to 6.7 (43) at Timboon Recreation Reserve.
Panmure thrashed East Warrnambool 30.23 (203) to 3.8 (26) at Reid Oval while Dennington did it easy against Russells Creek 28.20 (188) to 3.1 (19) at Mack Oval.
In the netball, Kolora-Noorat bounced back from defeat to Merrivale to account for Allansford 37-24 in the match of the day.
The result has done little to ease the mid-table congestion on the ladder - the Power is fourth but only two games clear of eighth-placed Deakin University.
The Sharks thrashed Nirranda 64-34, the highest score for the round, while unbeaten ladder leaders Old Collegians defeated South Rovers 61-29.
Panmure beat East Warrnambool 50-17 while Dennington outclassed Russells Creek 50-19. The Bulldogs and Dogs are two games clear in third.