NORTH Ballarat City has stamped its authority as the team to beat in the Ballarat Football League with a 22-point victory over Redan at Eureka Stadium on Saturday.
At one stage it seemed as though the reigning premiers were in trouble, with Redan dominating the first half to actually lead by 27 points early in the third quarter.
The Lions were well on top with sublime pressure and precision skills and a genuine boilover seemed on the cards.
However, North City kicked into gear all of a sudden, kicking five goals in the space of 16 minutes to hit the front.
Shaun Lyle had three goals to his name by three-quarter time but, uncharacteristically, missed a number of other set shots that could have seen his tally much higher.
Redan's Damien Horbury put the Lions back in front seconds before the final break, with the maroon and gold leading by three points at three-quarter time.
The third quarter would be all black and white however, with Redan's pressure falling away and North City taking full advantage.
The home side kicked five goals to one in the final term to run out 12.9 (81) to 9.5 (59) winners.
Jason McNamara and Simon McCartin were again good throughout the midfield, Ryan Hobbs was solid down back and Ryan Luke continued to show improvement from injury.
For Redan, Pat Britt was outstanding down back and Joel Mathews was promising in his first game of the year.
The wise heads of Ash Barker and Cal Currie were also influential, while Hayden Riley again stepped up to show why he is one of the best young players in the league.
ELSEWHERE, East Point kept its season alive with a 12.13 (85) to 8.10 (58) win over Sunbury.
With scores locked at three-quarter time, the Roos pounced in the last term, kicking six goals to one.
Both Sunbury and East Point sit on equal premiership points for the season, with the Roos just holding onto their spot in the top six by percentage.
David Brady and Brad Whittaker kicked three goals each for East Point, while Brent Fitzpatrick was named best on ground.
Michael Treweek was named best on ground for the Lions, while captain Andrew Duhau passed a last minute fitness test to play.
AT Darley Park, a horrid goal kicking display from the Devils almost cost Darley its seventh win a row.
However, Darley eventually proved too good for Melton, winning 10.26 (86) to 9.7 (61).
BALLARAT overcame Melton South to win by 40 points and Bacchus Marsh smashed Sebastopol by 137 points.
LADDER: NORTH BALLARAT CITY 52 premiership points, REDAN 44, BALLARAT 44, DARLEY 38, LAKE WENDOUREE 32, SUNBURY 28, East Point, 28, Melton 26, Bacchus Marsh 24, Melton South 12, Sebastopol 4