Tathra have firmed up their stakes at the front of the Sapphire Coast AFL leaderboard after overcoming a good challenge from the Narooma Lions on Saturday.
The Lions have been enjoying some scintillating form in their last few outings and, at times, looked to cause an upset over the competition-leading Sea Eagles at Tathra's Lawrence Park on Saturday.
However it was not to be as the hosts built a small advantage to take the result 12-18-90 to 10-10-70.
The Lions' speed and jumping ability had the visitors in good stead early as they pulled away some Tathra scoring chances and quickly rallied to the other end of the field.
The Sea Eagles were left with a conundrum of how to shuffle players to match the Lions for speed in the middle, but the host club were largely able to quickly solve the concern.
Luke Taylor again proved a mainstay in the forwards, leading the score with four majors to his name through play, but a series of goal kicking options emerging from the middle provided the edge to the host club on Saturday.
Prolific goal scorer Mitch May settled into a supporting role for the Sea Eagles on Saturday, providing options deep into the goal square.
Narooma's Will Hodge had been able to fire four goals through for Narooma to match the options out of the forward attack, but Tathra's half-forward line pushed the advantage as well with Tyson Carracher putting the boot to three and Lachlan Rettke and Shane Gartside kicking two apiece.
The Lions fronted up their own options out of the half-line with Buster Ware bagging three majors, while Jason Sailuma put his name on one as did Ryan Holdsworth and Campbell Moresi.
The turn of speed from both clubs proved pivotal, with the Sea Eagles banking on their fearless backline defenders like Croc Little to halt further advances in later stages of play.
While Luke Talty was giving the hosts a headache through the middle with some good tackling and bursts of speed, there was plenty coming out of the home camp too through Louis Coulton and Shane Rettke.
The result has the Sea Eagles firming as the minor premiership favourites with just three rounds left in the calendar, while late wins could see the Lions leap-frogging the Panthers for second place as the season winds up.