East Wagga-Kooringal returned to third spot on the ladder with a hard-fought win at The Rock on Saturday, but need another win next week against Temora to secure it.
Hawks coach Matt Hard said their 6.11 (47) to 5.9 (39) win was an improvement on last week's big loss to Marrar, against an opposition keen to send Tom Yates out a winner in his last game as coach of The Rock-Yerong Creek.
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Two goals to one in the second quarter (to draw level) and again in the last (to extend a three-point lead at three-quarter time) was about all that stood between the teams, after the Hawks had been down by five points following a goal-less first quarter.
"It was wet and it was cold, the same conditions it was everywhere," Hard said.
"Coming off what we served up last week, there was a lot of improvement in areas, and in our effort. We'll have to improve a hell of a lot more against Temora next week but the boys are keen to do that.
"They (TRYC) were always having a crack in Yatesy's last game and their last game of the year, so they were up for the battle and we knew that.
"It's a positive, we got the four points, we're in third spot and we move on to next week."
Midfielder Chris Gordon led the way and kicked two goals (as did Nick Hull) along with Bryce McPherson and Brocke Argus, while Hayden Nelson and Tom Pocock were good at the back.
EWK will get forward Chris Ladhams and full-back Trent Garner back for their home game against Temora on Saturday.
As well as finalising third and fourth spots, that match will also determine where the qualifying final will be played the following week.
Gumly Oval is currently pencilled in as the preferred the venue for second v third. However, if the Hawks are to play in that game, the intention is to move it to McPherson Oval (provided North Wagga have earnt the week off as minor premiers).
For TRYC, Will Carroll, Jade Curtis and Joel Kelly finished the season off well as the Pies put in another valiant effort to try to clinch their fifth win.
Instead (with the bye next week) they closed it with yet another narrow loss, consigning them to finish second last.