Kooringal Colts went around Lake Albert and into third place on the ladder with a 12-run win over their closest rivals on Saturday.
The Bulls had the chance to clear away from the chasing pack at Rawlings Park Turf, but failed to chase down the 185 needed for victory.
Once more David Bolton led the way.
He made 72 at the top of the innings to maintain his standing at the top of the competition’s runscorer list this season.
Captain Keenan Hanigan is thrilled with the role the opener is playing for the club.
“He’s obviously in form and batting really well at the moment,” Hanigan said.
“He gets us off to a good start and to his credit he’s in form and taking advantage of it.”
Bolton was well-supported by Hanigan (39) while Sam Whitfield made 27 as the Colts finished their 40 overs at 6-184.
In response, the Bulls struggled to maintain the required run rate.
Although Jesse Hampton (48), Alex Smeeth (34) and Danny Webber (26) made good contributions, the premiers finished at 7-172 to slip to fourth.
Hampton and Smeeth put on a good partnership, before Hanigan picked up the breakthrough.
Smeeth followed soon after, falling victim to Jayden Beattie.
Hanigan thought it changed the outcome of the match.
“I thought we were in a bit of trouble when Hampton and Smeeth were smashing us around and they were 2-120 at one stage,” he said.
“We got a couple of wickets, took a couple of good catches in the outfield and it really turned the game pretty quickly.
“The boys really stepped up when we needed to and got the win.
“We got them a couple of overs apart and it turned the game.”
Coming into the Christmas break, Hanigan thought it was an important win.
They are now a point clear of the Bulls, after their Twenty20 clash with St Michaels was washed out on Friday night, and with a 10-point buffer on the fifth-placed Saints.
“It was a big game and we played some good cricket,” Hanigan said.
“To be sitting third before Christmas is a massive bonus.
“No one probably expected us to be sitting third.
“A lot of people wrote us off at the start of the year, and we have been struggling for numbers, but we are starting to get more numbers now since we’ve been playing well, training has been good and everyone seems to be enjoying it at the moment.
“That is showing on the field.”
Colts tackle Wagga RSL when the competition resumes on January 5 but will have a couple of players away.
Meanwhile Lake Albert will be looking to respond when they take on St Michaels.
Both sides can make up ground on the leaders with Wagga City and South Wagga to face off.