THE gap between the top-three teams and the rest of the ladder has opened up after an intriguing round of matches on Saturday.
Dennington has bedded itself down in third place after a 43-30 away win over Allansford.
The result has the Dogs equal with second-placed Panmure on 10 wins with Old Collegians unbeaten and two games further ahead at the top of the ladder.
It was Allansford’s third loss in a row and has dropped from fifth to sixth.
The Cats are on seven wins, along with Kolora-Noorat and Merrivale, with life not getting any easier as they face Panmure this Saturday.
But life is moving along in a much more pleasing way for the Dogs who have won their last four games.
They laid the foundation for victory against Allansford on Saturday with a sparkling start which gave them a 14-5 quarter-time lead.
But to the home team’s credit, it fought back to trail 19-15 at the half, forcing the Dogs to make some positional moves.
Marlie Boyd moved from goal defence to goal attack and Lana Keane moved from goal shooter to goal keeper.
Both moves proved to be winners as the Dogs settled to have the better of the third quarter and lead 31-22 at the last break.
They continued on in the last quarter in a win that pleased coach Sue Fleming, who watched from the sidelines due to a neck injury.
“The potential was there for us to hang our heads a bit after they came back at us in the second quarter,” Fleming said.
“After we had such a good start they made some smart moves which created some mismatches in that second quarter. But the girls were really good after half-time and it was pleasing to see us finish the game off so well.”
Fleming said moving Boyd to goal shooter to team with the taller Katie Burt was a move the Dogs are likely to continue.
She said having a smaller, mobile target in Boyd and a taller option was a better set up with Keane showing she is more than capable of doing a defensive job at the other end of the court.
In other round 12 matches, Panmure put in a dominant display to blitz South Rovers 54-24, Nirranda was a 40-34 winner over East Warrnambool, Old Collegians had a big 58-36 win over Russells Creek and in the closet match of the round, Deakin University defeated Timboon Demons 49-48.