Unlikely finalist Hepburn has moved into the second week of the Central Highlands Netball League A-grade playoffs after a thrilling win over Dunnstown on Saturday.
The Hepburn Burras needed a last-round draw with premiership favourites Learmonth to climb into the top eight on percentage and beat the Towners by three goals to keep the fairy tale alive on Saturday.
The Burras finished the regular rounds eighth and upstaged the fifth-placed Dunnstown, which had won the teams’ earlier clash in round seven.
While Dunnstown has now bowed out of the competition, the Burras are left to prepare for a semi final showdown with Buninyong next weekend.
The Bombers finished the season in fourth spot on the ladder and had the daunting task of coming up against minor premiers Learmonth in the qualifying final on Saturday.
Buninyong tried hard, but in the end it was the Lakies that powered clear to win 47-26.
That means Learmonth moves through to a preliminary final and gets the week off along with reigning premiers Springbank, which won Sunday’s qualifying final against Bungaree.
The Tigers managed to get the better of the Demons in the clash at Buninyong, winning 46-39.
It was a huge result for Springbank, who drew their game with Bungaree earlier in the campaign and finished just percentage below its rivals on the ladder.
The Demons must take the long road to the grand final with a do-or-die battle with Waubra scheduled for next weekend.
The Roos were Sunday’s elimination final victors after getting past Ballan by 10 goals.
That result went according to end-of-season ladder positions, with the sixth-placed Waubra prevailing over the Blues, which ended the home and away campaign seventh.
This left them six points behind the Roos.
Waubra had also won the only meeting between the two during the year by 17 goals.
Winners of next weekend’s semi finals join Learmonth and Springbank as the last four sides left in the premiership race.