Mangoplah-Cookardinia United-Eastlakes cemented their finals spot with an impressive 52-point victory over Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong on Saturday.
Teenage forward George Kendall starred with seven goals as the Goannas proved too strong for a disappointing Lions outfit, 16.11 (107) to 8.7 (55) at Mangoplah Sportsground.
MCUE started strongly and immediately had the Lions on the backfoot, kicking the only two goals of the opening term.
The Goannas extended their lead to 20 points at half-time and led by 19 points at the final change before running rampant with an eight-goal final term.
MCUE's win, along with Collingullie-Glenfield Park's loss, assures them of a seventh consecutive finals appearance but the performance was also a reminder of the Goannas are capable of when at their best.
MCUE coach Jeremy Rowe rated it alongside the win over Griffith as one of the Goannas' best displays of the season.
"Absolutely. Certainly the Griffith performance was one where we genuinely felt we played very, very good footy over four quarters and today was pretty similar and it definitely sits alongside that as our best performance of the year," Rowe said.
"We just clicked into another gear late and played some incredibly good footy and some footy that we're really proud of because we feel as though we've kept pushing really hard week-to-week to better our game and footy seasons are things where you have your ups and you have your downs but our group has never stopped trying to be the best version of themselves and I felt in that first 20 minutes of the last quarter, we were the best version of ourselves and it was just awesome to see and it was awesome for the guys to be able to enjoy that together."
Kendall, who kicked 1.8 in the win over Leeton-Whitton last week, fired against the Lions and finished with 7.1.
Dom Bunyan, Lachie Kendall, Nick McCormack and Trent Cohalan all made strong contributions through the midfield for MCUE, while Tim Smith was strong down back.
MCUE will almost certainly meet GGGM again in the elimination final in a month's time but Rowe does not believe the latest result will have any bearing on the sudden-death encounter.
"I think we take more from the fact we just played a really, really good brand of footy and that's probably more to the point," he said.
"If you look at what they did to us in the earlier rounds and what we've done today, they actually almost mimicked each other. There were times when the game was competitive and then one side rose to the occasion and got the job done.
"So really both sides will come in with the ability to reflect on a week that went really well for them and a week that didn't. For us, we'll draw more out of the fact that we reckon the style of footy that we played today holds up under any circumstances and against any opponent and that's what we take out of today more than anything else."
Jacob Olsson was best for GGGM and dominated the first half, while Jack McCaig, Matt Hamblin and Aaron Proctor made strong contributions.
It was the Lions' third loss from their past four games but their finals spot is safe.