Lancaster threw everything it could at Nagambie, but the reigning premier prevailed by 13 points in an enthralling contest.
The Lakers pulled away in the second quarter of the Kyabram District clash to lead by 25 points at half-time, but the home side was not able to fold at Lancaster Recreation Reserve on Saturday.
The Wombats put in a spirited performance to hit the front briefly in the third quarter, but a goal after the siren ensured Nagambie regained the lead going into the last quarter.
Nagambie coach Linc Sullivan said it was a great effort from his side, doing it without dual McNamara medallist Mick Shiels who suffered a head knock and didn’t take part in the second half.
Tyrone Muir also went down late and could miss the rest of the season with a serious arm injury.
‘‘They (Lancaster) played well and it’s hard to defend when the ball is moving quickly and probably in the third quarter there were a few mismatches down back, so we had to change a few players around,’’ Sullivan said.
‘‘We got the momentum back and started to play on our terms a bit again in the last quarter and it was still tight until the end.’’
Nagambie had just four goal-kickers, but three were incredibly potent, highlighted by Kyle Winter-Irving’s five majors.
Anthony Haysom was best-on-ground and slotted four goals, while brother Danny kicked three of his own.
Both of Nagambie’s first-choice ruckman, including interleague star Alex Tattersall, weren’t playing, meaning Mark Nolan and Harley Taylor-Lloyd shared the ruck duties.
Ben Hutton, Matt Martin and Mick Roberts were serviceable contributors.
The result took Nagambie to a 9-1 record and kept it on top of the ladder with Violet Town right on the Lakers’ tail.
While Lancaster lost the game, playing coach Nick Bertoli said there were a number of positives to come out of the game.
‘‘It was tight and tense all day, they (Nagambie) were probably just a bit cleaner than us with the ball in the middle,’’ Bertoli said.
‘‘We played some good footy, kicked some good goals, but that last quarter they dug in a bit more and used the ball better.
‘‘Nagambie is a good side so it builds the confidence up a bit because we know if we make the finals we’re going to be having to play the likes of Nagambie, Avenel and Stanhope, so we’ve seen we can be more than competitive.’’
Michael Hill had a field day in an excellent display, while Andrew Pettigrove, Tannar Cerrone, Steve Thomson and Jack Donnell enjoyed good games.
The performance showed everyone the Wombats are serious finals contenders and could do some serious damage when they are there.