CARISBROOK produced a brutal first qualifying final performance on Saturday, belting Lexton by 132 points in the Maryborough-Castlemaine District Football League.
The Redbacks crushed the Tigers 23.12 (150) to 2.6 (18) at Princes Park to move through to the preliminary final in a fortnight.
The reigning premiers led by 26 points at quarter-time, 49 at half-time, and 89 at three quarter-time, before the final margin of 132 points.
Carisbrook’s win – the Redbacks’ 24th in a row – was the biggest in a MCDFL final since Trentham beat Harcourt by 148 points in the 1996 preliminary final.
“The boys came to play today and played well, but the margin probably surprised everyone,” Carisbrook co-coach Luke Treacy said.
“We tackled well and our pressure was excellent... there was one stage where they only had one inside 50 for a quarter, so our press worked really well again.”
Carisbrook’s Matthew Bilton again showed why he’s way too good for the MCDFL.
Bilton has dominated the competition in the midfield this year, but on Saturday he played as a permanent forward and bagged nine goals.
“We thought they might struggle to find someone to go with him close to goal,” Treacy said.
“It was a bit of robbing Peter to pay Paul taking him out of the midfield, but we went with it and it paid off.”
As well as Bilton’s nine goals, full-forward Nathan Wright kicked five for the Redbacks and now has 91 for the season.
Bilton, midfielder Marcus Emmett in just his fourth game of the season, co-coach Ben Kick off half-back and Nichols Wright led the better players for the Redbacks, who had Brendan Lloyd hurt a shoulder.
The best for the Tigers included Michael Jennings, Daniel Chester and Lachlan Pryor.
Lexton’s two goals were kicked in the first and last quarters by Pryor and Chester.
● Newstead upset Navarre by 24 points in the second qualifying final at Hedges Oval.
The game was up for grabs at three quarter-time as the Steaders held a one-point buffer.
But Newstead finished the game full of run, kicking five goals to one in the last term to win 14.12 (96) to 10.12 (72) in a fiery contest.
“We had no pressure on us today. We weren’t expected to win, but the boys had a real desperation about them, which was fantastic,” Newstead coach Ross Smith said.
“Navarre is an exceptional side and we needed to have a lot of things go our way to win. To the boys credit, they fought it out and played really good team-orientated footy, which was pleasing.
“I’ve backed our fitness in all year after we did a strong pre-season, so I always had faith that we had the run in our legs in that last quarter.”
Ruckman Jayden Bott was the Steaders’ best, while Ethan Ford played a super game in the midfield in his first match back after six weeks overseas.
Onballer Sam Kerr, Joe Park and Matthew Culvenor were others to play top games for the Steaders, who had Liam Bright reported for an incident in which Navarre coach Daniel Parkin was stretchered off.
Navarre – which is now 0-3 in MCDFL qualifying finals – was best served by Jayden Fowkes, Daniel Reading, Josh Driscoll and Ashley Driscoll (two goals).
● Eighth-placed Maldon pulled off another surprise result, defeating Harcourt in Sunday's first elimination final at Princes Park.
Going into the game having won just one of their past six games, the Bombers overcame a three quarter-time deficit to prevail by 30 points, 15.11 (101) to 10.11 (71).
Harcourt led by nine points at three quarter-time, 10.10 to 9.7, but the Bombers stormed home with the wind, booting 6.4 to 0.1 in the final term.
“We’ve got a bit of belief among ourselves and we know we can match it with the best, but we know we’ve got to work hard,” Maldon coach Brett Williams said.
“When it mattered in the last quarter, the boys were willing to keep running and we got the rewards at the end.”
Star midfielder Shaun Burchell (four goals), Bendigo Gold-listed onballer Tom Cain, centre half-forward Wayne Burchell (three goals) and Kyle Winstanley were the best for the Bombers, who meet Lexton in a semi-final next Sunday.
Scott Newton, Jack Douglass and Matt Giri (four goals) were among the better players for the Lions, who had gone into the game having won seven of their previous eight matches.
● Favourites Natte Bealiba proved too good for Avoca in the second elimination final, winning 16.5 (101) to 10.8 (68) at Hedges Oval.
The Swans led by seven points at half-time, before adding seven goals to three after half-time to kick away to a 33-point win and a semi-final clash with Navarre next Saturday.
Ryan Weir (six goals) starred for the Swans, while other good players included Brent Mortlock, Jacob Long and Dean Graco.
Murray Bond (four goals), Bryce Howell, Thomas Nankivell and Lachlan Edwards led the way for the Bulldogs, who lost an elimination final for the second year in a row.