Five goals from former AFL footballer Jordan Doering helped Mangoplah-Cookardinia United-Eastlakes keep their season alive on Saturday.
A strong performance from Doering at full-forward helped MCUE record a 65-point over Narrandera, 17.10 (112) to 6.11 (47) at Mangoplah Sportsground.
Doering's appearance provided a spark but it was an even spread from the Goannas that lifted them to their best performance of the season to date.
The big win, MCUE's second of the season, moved the Goannas into sixth position and within four points of a top-five spot.
Leading into the game, MCUE coach Jeremy Rowe declared the clash as make or break for the Goannas' season and he was thrilled to get the job done against the Eagles.
"Absolutely, that does keep a pulse on our season," Rowe said.
"As we've said before the game, we feel as though there had been a couple of scenarios this year where we've had our backs pretty solidly against the wall and were in survival mode and to get the job done today and to keep our season going is a real positive for us and something we hope can act as a bit of turning point of our season."
After an evening beginning, MCUE broke the game open with five goals to two in the second term.
Doering kicked three of those in quick succession to help the Goannas establish some breathing space heading into half-time.
The 39-year-old was cleared to MCUE on Friday afternoon and was rushed into the Goannas' team.
While he kicked five and had a big influence on the contest, Rowe revealed it may be one of very few appearances the former Carlton footballer makes this year in MCUE colours.
"As far as Jordan goes, it's a unique scenario and the water is definitely a little bit muddy in regards to what we may or may not get from Jordan ongoing," he explained.
"There is quite a few factors that go into that but we treated today on it's merits. He's been really honest with us and we were really happy that we had someone of his calibre to join us and he was terrific amongst the group.
"He's a great guy to have around any group of footballers and we were obviously pretty stoked that he kicked five goals and when he kicked three in short succession in the second quarter I think he almost put the game to bed.
"Whilst there is no guarantees going forward, there's a bit of uncertainty about that, we're just happy that today actually happened."
While Doering was the icing on the cake, teenage forward George Kendall marked everything that came his way at centre-half-forward and was best-on-ground.
Jake Hindmarsh kicked three goals and had a big influence on the contest with his run and rebound, while Lachie Kendall won plenty of the footy through the midfield.
Pat Killalea, playing in a back pocket, Tim Smith and Ethan Schiller were other strong contributors in the win.
Rowe hopes the win can prove to be a launching pad for MCUE's season.
"It definitely does give us a lot of confidence," he said.
"I guess you can win and get the points and that's obviously what was most important for us, or you can win and actually play a brand of footy that you're really happy and proud of and you think can actually take you some way forward during the footy season. It was just terrific that we were able to do that."
Narrandera were best served by Connor Vearing and Jordan Hedington.
The Eagles were missing Ben Perry, Luke Paterson, Nic O'Brien and Kyle Bull but won't get any of that group back for at least another fortnight.
Narrandera have the bye next week and then finish the opening round with a clash against Turvey Park.