Nagambie needed to stabilise after its loss to Stanhope last week, and that it did, charging away to a 94-point win against Merrigum on Saturday.
The Lakers were sharp defensively, keeping the Bulldogs to just 1.6 for the match.
The result was never really in doubt as the Lakers piled on goal after goal against their visitors.
Nagambie built its lead steadily in the first half, kicking four goals in each of the first and second quarters.
The Lakers equalled their efforts in the second half with three goals in the third and five goals in the final quarter.
Injury and unavailabilities forced the Lakers to field a half-strength side against the Bulldogs, but Nagambie coach Linc Sullivan was pleased with how his side coped, considering.
‘‘We’ve got about seven or so players who are sitting on the sidelines who could walk straight back into our best 18,’’ Sullivan said.
‘‘That’s no disrespect to our players that we do have playing but you can’t just replace your Michael Roberts, your Michael Shiels, or your Kyle Winter-Irvings.’’
Adding to the list, Anthony Haysom was knocked unconscious after a smother and took no further part in the game.
Veteran Bo Harrison put in a superb performance in the midfield in the absence of others around him, while Danny Haysom pulled his weight.
Jarryd Shepherd made a strong senior debut, coming in from the reserves side.
Shepherd kicked a goal and made several attempts against the Bulldogs.
‘‘It was the kind of day where we had players all over the ground who played well in their positions,’’ Sullivan said.
It’s unlikely that Roberts (hamstring) will recover in time to take on Violet Town this week.
Injured ruckman Michael Tatterstall is also still likely to be a few weeks away.
‘‘It’s likely that they’ll all get back, if not by Tallygaroopna then by Longwood,’’ Sullivan said.
‘‘It will be good to get them back in the side and get a bit of continuity going.’’
The fight for the minor premiership and the valuable double chance is now on.
Violet Town has just gone past Nagambie on percentage, and now holds top spot on the ladder.
The Towners, fresh off the bye, will host the Lakers this week in a clash that will seriously dictate this year’s finals series.
Score: Nagambie 16.10 (106) d Merrigum 1.6 (12).
Goals: P. Rattray 4; M. Waterson 3; D. Lowry, B. Hutton 2; H. Taylor-Lloyd, M. Shadbolt, J. Shepherd, B. Harrison, D. Haysom.
Best: B. Harrison, D. Haysom, M. Shadbolt, J. Shepherd, B. Hutton, D. Lowry.
Nagambie had a difficult time against Merrigum to go down by 48 points.
The Lakers held their opponents to a zero score in the first quarter but struggled to capitalise on the early advantage.
Nagambie kicked 2.4, setting up a 16-point lead but failed to really punish the Bulldogs.
The Bulldogs managed 4.8 and kept the Lakers scoreless in the second quarter.
Merrigum had flipped their first quarter deficit on its head and led the Lakers by 16 points at the half-time break.
A tighter third quarter saw Merrigum edge out further in front and build a 27-point advantage.
Nagambie had done the damage for the day and wouldn’t hit the scoreboard again.
The final quarter was a formality as Merrigum kicked into difficult conditions to run out comfortable winners.
Score: Nagambie 2.7 (19) lt Merrigum 8.19 (67).
Goals: W. Ulrich, M. Sloan.
Best: R. Bazeley, K. Shepherd, M. Mensfeld, M. Watson, G. Galvin, T. Schintler.