Merrivale's Cloe Pulling returned from an injury layoff for her side's blockbuster clash with Panmure and didn't take long to find her feet.
The defender was named her side's best player, as the second-placed Tigers' triumphed 38-35 over the third-placed Bulldogs.
Pulling reportedly was sore ahead of the clash but Tigers coach Elisha Sobey joked that she forced her to play.
"She had no choice," Sobey laughed.
"She hasn't played for a couple of weeks and she had a bit of a sore foot as well. She was our best-on today, she was bloody amazing."
The Tigers lead by three-points at the first break which was as close as the Bulldogs would come to being in front.
From then on, the match was a see-sawing affair, as Merrivale's defence held on for victory.
"I'm absolutely stoked," Sobey said. "I was a little bit worried about the game to be honest.
"Awesome match-ups, I think that was the trick of the game to try and get the right people on the right opposition.
"We weren't going to let them get those three points back.
"It just taught us a good lesson that you just can't get complacent against teams like that."
Sobey said the Tigers never underestimated the Bulldogs, who they defeated by 10 points in round three.
Bulldogs co-coach Kim Jamieson said she believed her side's performance was a "huge improvement".
"I'm pretty happy with how it went because we had a junior in Amy Jones, on there for her third game," she said.
"To jump in against these guys and play on Elisha is a pretty big ask. I think she did a fantastic job."
Jamieson said her side would look to improve their defensive pressure.
Sharni Smethurst was selected as the Bulldogs' best against the Tigers while Lisa Pender and Stephanie Jamieson weren't far behind.
Timboon Demons co-coach Carly Hickey said there was a silver-lining in her team's loss to South Rovers.
A depleted Demons' outfit lost 52-55 against the Lions, with Hickey impressed by a debutant.
"We've had Ash Finch do her ACL, so she's out for the season and she was having a stellar season as a main defender.
"Danica Clough was unavailable this week, she had placement away. And Holly Castledine was a late withdrawal on Thursday night.
"Tara Anderson she played B grade a couple of weeks ago and then made the step up to A reserve and then stepped up this week and played in A grade.
"She was fantastic and held her own."
Hickey also said Tessa Poot played a "fantastic game" in defence.
Poot was chosen as the Demons' best player, in front of Macy Gale and Nina Barlow.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.