CHARLTON has sewn up top spot on the North Central Football League ladder following an 80-point win over St Arnaud on Saturday.
The final scoreline didn’t resemble that of a first versus second clash as the Navy Blues kicked away in the last quarter to win 20.20 (140) to 9.6 (60) at home.
The Navy Blues had been 29 points up at three quarter-time, before their 10-goal to two final term blew the margin out.
Joseph McLean, Ben Walklate, Rhys Thompson and Daniel Thiesz were among the stars for the Navy Blues in what was their fourth win in a row – all by at least seven goals.
Joseph McGrath kicked four goals for the Navy Blues, while McLean and Thomas Finlay added three each.
The Navy Blues have the bye in the final round and now have a 21-day break before the second semi-final, which could be against any of St Arnaud, Wycheproof-Narraport of Wedderburn, who can all still finish second.
Charlton finishing on top of the ladder comes after it had missed the finals the past three years.
In what was the first time this season St Arnaud had been beaten by more than four goals, its best players were led by Jacob Patching, Dan McGrath, Lee Stewart and Matthew Brady. Nicholas Coghlan kicked four goals.
● Wedderburn survived a spirited challenge from Boort to prevail by 26 points and win its fifth game in a row.
Scores had been level at 78 apiece at three quarter-time, before the Redbacks kicked 3.9 to 0.1 in the final term to win 14.21 (105) to 12.7 (79) and move within two points of the top two.
Earlier, the Magpies kicked six of the first eight goals of the match to lead by as many as 25 points during the first term.
The best players in the Redbacks’ win included Danny Benaim, Cameron Perry, Robert Tonkin and Marc Reiffel, who kicked five goals, including two in the last term.
In what was Boort’s sixth loss in a row, Matthew Hodoras (three goals), Michael Henningsen, coach Ricky Easton and Nathan Gooding played well.
● Donald gained revenge for its upset loss to bottom side Birchip-Watchem last month, winning by 54 points at home.
The Royals led at every change and triumphed 16.11 (107) to 8.5 (53) and for the first time this season have won two in a row.
Adam Baird (two goals) continued his stellar season for the Royals, who also had Matthew Clifford (six goals), Lucas Anderson and James Heslop play well.
Better players for the Bulls – who kicked four of their eight goals in the final quarter – included Jesse Smith, Jake Hogan, Zac Holmes and Harrison Christie.
Steven Anderson kicked four goals.