Moe toppled Maffra in a mud scrap on Saturday, joining the Eagles as one of three teams leading the competition on 12 wins with just two rounds to go in the season proper, 5.12 (42) to 3.4 (22).
Just a single goal was scored in the opening term as both sides struggled to adjust to the conditions, Maffra edging ahead at the first break by seven points as the Lions posted one behind.
Play was no more free-flowing in the second quarter as Moe converted their first goal for the day and the Eagles added one straight goal to retain a slender four-point lead at half-time.
A big momentum swing the way of the home side came at an opportune time in the third term.
Ash Dugan and Spencer White goaled within two minutes to restart play and Peter Ainsworth and Tyson Biffin joined the party in the closing stages of the quarter to make it four goals to none and give the Lions a handy 21-point lead.
Moe were struck with a case of the jitters in the final term and kicked five behinds from as many scoring shots, however, it was enough to hold off the Eagles who managed just one major for the quarter, courtesy of Jarryd Clohesy.
Among the best for Moe in the win were Darnell Grech, Jacob Wood, Tom Fleming and Mitch Stanlake.
Sale v Leongatha
A five-goal haul from Cade Maskell helped Leongatha to a well-earned win on the road over Sale, keeping their hopes of a top-three finish alive, 11.9 (75) to 9.8 (62).
The defending premiers now sit on 11 games, one off the pace of Maffra, Sale and Moe.
The home side kicked three goals and three behinds in the opening term to the Parrots’ two goals and three behinds to hold a six-point lead at the first break.
In an impressive display of accuracy, Leongatha kicked five straight in the second quarter to overturn the deficit and lead by 11 points at half-time.
The visitors increased the buffer by two points to go into the last term with a 13-point lead which stood at the final siren.
Other goalkickers for the Parrots included Cameron Stone (two) and John Ginnane, Josh Hopkins, Brok Davidson and Nick Nagel.
For Maffra, Brad Dessent kicked four while singles went to five others.
Drouin v Morwell
Three goals were enough for Drouin to fend off Morwell in a low-scoring contest on Saturday, 3.8 (26) to 2.3 (15).
The Hawks scored the only goal of the opening term while the Tigers failed to trouble the scorers and didn’t kick their first major until the last quarter.
Fletcher Robertson-Edgar, Will Collins and David Olsen were the goal scorers for Drouin.
For the Tigers, Nathan Noblett kicked their only two of the day.
Traralgon v Warragul
A slow start cost Traralgon in their round 16 clash with Warragul, the Maroons with just one goal to half-time as the Gulls went on to record their fifth win of the season, 5.7 (37) to 4.5 (29).
The visitors burst out of the blocks in the opening term, scoring two goals and three behinds to Traralgon’s single behind to lead by 14 points at the first break.
The Gulls added another one goal and one behind while the Maroons found their first major of the day but trailed by 15 points at half-time.
Traralgon walked away with some solace, winning the second half on the scoreboard with three goals to Warragul’s two.
Among the best for Warragul were Kim Drew, Mitch Nobelius, Jake Hughes and Brad Hefford while Jackson Hall, Will Broadbent and Dylan Loprese were standouts for the Maroons.
Bairnsdale v Wonthaggi
Wonthaggi notched their fifth win for the 2019 season, holding off a misfiring Bairnsdale on the road to win by eight points, 10.10 (70) to 8.14 (62).
The Redlegs were four points in front at the first break and five at half-time before the Power surged and kicked three goals to none in the third term to flip the standings and lead by 11 points.
The home side had the lion’s share of the ball in the final quarter and were primed to run away with the game but were undone by their inaccuracy on goal.
Bairnsdale had seven final-term scoring shots for two majors while Wonthaggi’s two goals and two behinds were enough to clinch the win.
A quartet of players – Nathan Jones, Thomas Davey, Elliot Staley and Troy Harley – kicked two goals each for the Power in the win.
Link Robinson was the only multiple goal scorer for Bairnsdale and finished with two.