Coolamon have not given up hope of an unlikely finals berth after an 11-point win over Wagga Tigers on Sunday.
The Hoppers moved back within four points and percentage of fifth spot after holding off a brave Tigers fightback, 10.13 (73) to 9.8 (62) at Kindra Park.
Coolamon kicked the opening four goals of the game to open up a handy buffer but were never able to break the game open against a resilient Tigers outfit.
Tigers closed within a goal on three-quarter-time and then got within one point midway through the final term, but Coolamon were always able to find an answer.
Coolamon coach Connor Neyland said the win kept the Hoppers’ faint finals hopes alive.
“We’ve still got a glimmer of hope,” Neyland said.
“I think it’s fairly far-fetched, we’ll have to win the next two but we’ve still got a glimmer of hope somehow.
“That’s what we’re actually aiming for still and playing for.”
Coolamon captain Mitch McKelvie was the Hoppers’ best on Sunday with a hard-working display through the midfield, that included two important goals.
Luke Redfern, Max Hillier and Nick Pleming were also valuable contributors.
Shaun Campbell and Nick Ryan were in everything for Tigers, while Ben Kelly was strong in defence.
The Hoppers lost Neyland for 15 minutes in the first quarter when he was yellow carded for a stoush that saw a Tigers opponent left laying on the ground.
The no nonsense Coolamon coach was happy again with how the Hoppers’ responded when challenged.
“Our depths have been tested again. I say it a lot but I think we had eight 17s playing today and they keep holding their spot, doing the right thing,” he said.
“Especially our midfield, we’ve only got one rotation for three positions at the moment and the blokes that went in there kept plugging away, they did the job.”