WITH four rounds remaining in the Maryborough-Castlemaine District Football League season, could three finals hoodoos be on the verge of being broken?
When it comes to finals, there has been little joy for Royal Park, Talbot and Campbells Creek, in particular, over recent years.
But after 12 rounds, Bushy, the Hawks and Creekers all find themselves in the top eight and right in the mix for a long-awaited return to the business end of the season.
No senior team across the five local leagues covered by the Bendigo Advertiser - Bendigo, Heathcote District, Loddon Valley, North Central and Maryborough-Castlemaine - has had a longer absence from the finals than Campbells Creek.
The Creekers last played finals in 1999, and haven't won a flag since 1953.
They sit eighth on the ladder, with three of their last four games against sides that between them have won just four games - Trentham, Maldon and Dunolly. The drought should break.
Royal Park - a club that only two years ago copped 10 hidings by more than 150 points - is bound for its first finals series since 2006 in what has been a mighty turnaround.
Bushy is four games clear inside the top eight, with its eight wins already coming on the back of just six the previous four years.
As for Talbot - the club that played in every grand final between 1994 and 2003 - the Hawks have yo-yoed in and out of the top eight all season and are currently seventh as they chase their first finals berth since 2008.
That six-year absence from the finals must seem like an eternity for a club that between 1983 and 2008 only missed finals five times.