Natimuk United will seek to arrest a concerning form slump when it hosts Laharum at Natimuk Showground on Saturday.
The Rams exploded out of the blocks with five straight wins – including victories against finals contenders Swifts and Jeparit-rainbow – but lost three of their next four including a 13.15 (93) to 3.5 (23) thrashing at the hands of Edenhope-apsley at the weekend.
The team was without key contributors Nathan Koenig and Callum Cameron and did not put up a fight after the main break – outscored nine goals to one in the second half.
For the first time this season spearhead Jaydon Stiles was kept to fewer than three goals, booting only one for the day.
The Saints, conversely, shared the ball around their forward line, with Carl Slape and George Walker kicking three each and five other goal-kickers bobbing up to get their names on the score sheet.
Saints midfielder Bart Nolan was the star of the day, while Natimuk United coach Sam Anson kept trying hard despite the lopsided score.
The Rams should fancy their chances against Laharum, which is also coming off a huge 24.13 (157) to 5.6 (36) loss to Jeparit-rainbow. The writing was on the wall after a 58-13 first quarter by the Storm, and the margin had been extended to 77 by half time.
Laharum has not scored more than 40 points in a game since round four and had no multiple-goal kickers for a fifth straight game. The best for the Mountain Men was coach Tom Crawford, who kept presenting up forward, while defenders Brett Ervin and Heath Mcinnes did their best under pressure all day.
There were a host of winners for the Storm, with Ben Warren, Peter Weir and Jakob Cocks kicking 17 goals between them and Shane Maslin dominating in the midfield.
Harrow-balmoral continued a theme of blowout results in round 10 with a 37.13 (235) to 2.4 (16) hiding of Pimpinio.
Despite having a 70-point advantage after two quarters, the Roos did not hit their straps until the second half, slamming on 13 goals in the third quarter and 11 in the fourth to complete the rout.
James Staude vaulted to third place on the league goal-kicking table with an incredible 13 majors, while former AFL player Michael Close kicked seven in his return from concussion issues.
Nathan Clough continued his excellent form this season and was one of the lone bright spots for the Tigers along with Simon Nuske and Dylan Baker.
In a third triple-digit blowout at the weekend Kalkee won 17.26 (128) to 3.3 (21) against Taylors Lake despite some errant kicking in the fourth quarter.
Simon Hobbs and wingman Louis Papst found plenty of the ball for the Kees, who had an even spread of goal-kickers up forward. Usual suspects Trae Martin, Dean Harberger and Mitch Whelan were the Lakers’ standouts.
At Rupanyup Recreation Reserve Noradjuha-quantong overcame a spirited effort by the home team to win 16.15 (111) to 11.10 (76). The Panthers were without star midfielder Elliot Kelly and coach Jack Musgrove but battled gamely on thanks to the efforts of Jack Kreuzberger, two goals, and Scott Niewand, three.
Dustin Cross played one of his best games of the season for the Bombers and Cam Bruce kicked five goals up forward.
The Bombers will now take on Edenhope-apsley as they seek to keep a toehold in the top six, while Rupanyup will have a chance to bounce back against struggling Pimpinio. Jeparit-rainbow will host Swifts at Jeparit and Taylors Lake faces a daunting task with a home game against Harrow-balmoral.
Kalkee has a bye.