North Launceston has gone top of the table for the first time since May after keeping Lauderdale to just three goals down south.
On a day better suited to staying inside with a good book, the Northern Bombers chose to write a crucial if soggy chapter in their quest for a TSL three-peat by winning 9.14 (68) to 3.5 (23).
Lauderdale had been the only team to avoid defeat at the hands of the reigning premiers this season, but looked out of the game as early as quarter time.
A second-term 100m penalty was all that separated the home side's first goal midway through the opening quarter from its last three minutes before the final siren.
Noting the late withdrawals of key Lauderdale mids Bryce Walsh and Phil Bellchambers, Northern Bombers coach Taylor Whitford marked effort as his side's main improvement from losses in rounds five and 13.
"The disappointing thing the last couple of times was the application with hunting the footy - I thought we did a lot better job at going and winning loose ground balls and contested footy today," Whitford said.
"Whether it was inside the contest and hunting the footy, or defensively, or whether it was the mentality with what we were doing with the wind or against the wind, I thought the effort was really good."
A strong breeze meant just three goals and precious few inside-50s came at the petrol station end, but it did nothing to stop North's engine room.
Brad Cox-Goodyer, Josh Ponting and Jordan Tepper were relentless at stoppages and pressed forward to kick three goals between them.
Tom Donnelly played the whole game facing the breeze and kicked a goal via one of the day's only contested overhead marks, yet he was far from alone among impressive North talls.
Will Edmunds further pressed his case to become North's second key forward for finals while Bart McCulloch was comfortable enough in the wet to sell a much nimbler opponent some candy.
Perhaps the only Northern Bomber to have a bad day was the poor soul faced with getting mud stains out of 22 formerly white clash guernseys.
"It wasn't a day for a big key forwards but I thought Bart got back to some really good form which is pleasing for us," Whitford said.
"Will Edmunds made a really good contest for us and Tommy Donnelly played forward and back during the game, so our talls did a really good job to create a contest for us and let our smalls go to work."
ELSEWHERE IN SPORT
Shoe-ins for the minor premiership just a month ago, Lauderdale have lost three of their past four to leave North needing just one more win to secure top spot.
Whitford said the prospect of winning a third-straight minor flag meant little to his side's main goal.
"It [top spot] is not the end result and I said that to the guys after the game," he said.
"Win or lose today, it was more about a consistent effort backing up last week and they did that really well."
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