East Wagga-Kooringal have set up an enticing showdown against Marrar next weekend after overcoming the dangerous Coleambally road-trip, and errant kicking, to rack up a third consecutive win.
The Hawks showed few ill effects after a bye to lead by a couple of goals at quarter-time and set the wheels in motion for a comfortable 12.13 (85) to 8.2 (50) win.
For a team which had injured ex-AFL player Jarrad Boumann (hip) replaced by dual league medallist Nick Hull (two goals) up forward, it was EWK efforts at the other end that really captured attention.
Undersized full-back Nic Curran enhanced his reputation, managing to keep Coleambally's powerful forward Jade Hodge to one goal, while Tim Smith was also strong down in the backline.
The Blues, helped by Luke Hillier's three first-half goals, stayed in touch primarily thanks to some straight kicking.
But the Hawks controlled significant stages of the contest, particularly the third term when they should've kicked right away, only to return 2.6 to the Blues' one straight kick.
Still, they had Coleambally requiring five goals to make up the difference and then denied them any hint of victory with four goals to three in the last.
"We let ourselves down a bit at times," EWK coach Matt Hard said.
"I thought we were pretty clean around the midfield and got our hands to the footy in the stoppages which was good but we probably played a bit indirect at times, which was frustrating."
Much of the credit was due to another excellent performance in the ruck from Caleb Wild, again filling in for Kyle North-Flanagan (broken nose) while Harry Fitzsimmons led the Hawks' on-ball brigade.
For Coleambally, Hillier was a handful early, Shaun Light provided some spark and Jake Breed worked hard again but they head for a break winless at home this year, and with just one victory in their first five games.
The Hawks, on the other hand, share the competition's longest winning streak (with North Wagga) as they prepare for a big game at Gumly against the Bombers.
"We still need to improve, there's no doubt about that," Hard said.
"We need to improve our consistency, that's one area we keep talking about.
"We've got to stop just doing enough. We'll need to improve to topple Marrar next week."
They could have some big inclusions with North-Flanagan, Boumann, Ben Absolum, Trent Garner and Saturday's late-withdrawal Kieren McCarthy all in the mix, while Hull's availability is a week-by-week proposition.
EWK: 4.3, 6.7, 8.13, 12.13 (85)
Coleambally 2.1, 4.2, 5.2, 8.2 (50)
Goals: (EWK) Alexander Rogers 3, Nicholas Hull 2, Jarrod Turner 2, Brocke Argus 2, Harrison Leddin 1, Benjamin Cadzow 1,Kade Rowbotham 1; (Coleambally) Luke Hillier 3, Shane Pound 1, Todd Clark 1, Jade Hodge 1, Shaun Light 1, Travis Collison 1.
Best: (EWK) Nicholas Curran, Caleb Wild, Timothy Smith, Harry Fitzsimmons, Ryan Bourne, Nathan Scott; (Coleambally) Jacob Breed, Shaun Light, Luke Hillier, Darcy Mader, Jess Spencer, James Lyell.
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