A THRILLING four-shot win over top side Eaglehawk on Saturday has propelled Golden Square into the Bendigo Bowls Division finals.
Golden Square had entered Saturday's final home and away round in sixth position on the ladder.
However, its upset win over the Hawks, coupled with losses to Castlemaine and Kangaroo Flat, lifted Square into fourth position.
Both Golden Square and Eaglehawk won two rinks apiece, but it was the victories to Tas Wallis and Marc Smith that tipped the result in Square's favour.
Golden Square had been outside the top four since round eight, but three wins in a row have extended its season into the finals and given it an opportunity to vie for its first premiership since 1963.
Despite the loss, Eaglehawk ended the season on top of the ladder for what's the third time in the past five years.
Simon Carter and Phil Godkin were the winning skippers for the Hawks.
The loss was just the third of the season for the Hawks, with two of those having come against Golden Square.
• Kangaroo Flat surrendered its top-four position after copping a 53-shot belting from Bendigo.
The Flat missing the finals came after they had sat inside the top four all season, including as high as second when the competition resumed from its extended break last week.
In what was a season-on-the-line clash for both teams, the Flat never fired a shot against Bendigo and were smashed 117-64.
The rinks of Gary Carberry (15 shots up) and Ian Ross (20 shots) were the most dominant for Bendigo, which finished third on the ladder.
Ross' victory capped a superb home and away season for his rink as he finished on top of the skipper's ladder, having lost just once.
The defeat continued a disappointing end to the season for Kangaroo Flat, which lost its last three games, during which it won just one of 12 rinks.
• Inglewood finished on the bottom of the ladder, but ended its season on a high with a three-shot win over Castlemaine.
The victory was Inglewood's first since it beat South Bendigo by 17 shots in the opening round of the season.
Lindsay Kelly, Damien Mason and Frank Carbone all won their rinks for Inglewood, while a 16-shot win to Castlemaine's Rick Parr kept the contest close.
The shock loss was a missed opportunity for Castlemaine after it had started the last round just shots outside the top four.
• Bendigo East proved too good for South Bendigo, winning by 19 shots as it ended the season in second position.
East tuned up for the finals with a 105-86 victory in what was a game where both sides won two rinks.
However, East blew the game open with Brad Holland's 25-shot victory over Ray McCumber.
In its first season back in the top division, South Bendigo finished seventh - one point ahead of the last-placed Inglewood.
FINAL SKIPPER'S LADDER
1. Ian Ross (Bendigo) - 22 pts, 113 shots.
2. Phil Godkin (Eaglehawk) - 18, 93.
3. Simon Carter (Eaglehawk) - 18, 85.
4. Rick Parr (Castlemaine) - 16, 53.
5. Frank Byrne (South Bendigo) - 16, 36.
6. Paul Moller (Bendigo East) - 16, 19.
7. Marc Smith (Golden Square) - 16, -5.
8. Torie Babitsch (Bendigo) - 15, 61.
9. Barry Anset (Golden Square) - 15, 5.
10. David Keenan (Bendigo East) - 14, 57.