THE region’s longest senior finals drought is finally coming to an end after Campbells Creek assured itself of a Maryborough-Castlemaine District Football League top-eight finish on Saturday.
The Creekers’ 18.17 (125) to 10.7 (67) win over Dunolly on Saturday locked up their first finals berth since 1999.
As well as having missed finals for the past 15 years, the Creekers also endured a year in recess during 2007.
The Creekers led the Eagles at every break on Saturday, with their best players including coach Sean Smith (three goals), Adam Pollock (four goals), Brett Thomson and Brandon Greenwood.
The Eagles - who remain mired to the bottom of the ladder - had good contributors in Tim Conway, Jesse Olsen (three goals), Joe Thompson and Dylan Gordois.
• Carisbrook forward Liam Cunningham kicked his second-consecutive bag of 10 goals in his side’s win over Harcourt.
The Redbacks won 18.14 (122) to 7.8 (50), with Cunningham’s haul of 10 following his 10 against Newstead last round.
Cunningham now has 70 goals for the season and has kicked at least four bags of eight in his past seven games.
As well as Cunningham, the Redbacks - who already led by 45 points at quarter-time - were best served by Jackson Bowen, Cole Roscholler (two goals) and Clayton Furniss.
While it’s still mathematically possible, the loss ends Harcourt’s realistic finals aspirations.
Chris Ling, Dean Watson, Kris Davis and Darren Colley played well for the Lions.
• For the second time this season, Newstead staved off a challenge from Trentham.
The Saints were only one goal down at three quarter-time and right in the hunt to end the 11-game losing streak they went into the contest with.
However, the Steaders kicked three goals to one in the final term to win 11.10 (76) to 8.5 (53).
In his first game for almost two months, skipper Mark Ramsey bagged five goals for the Steaders and was their best player. David Wall, Joel Smith and Zachary Tanner also stood out.
The best for Trentham - who lost by just 13 points to the Steaders earlier in the season - were Kasey Williams, James Gray, Jonathon Nadin and Lewis Bruton.
• Navarre improved to 15-0 with a 107-point victory over Maldon.
The Grasshoppers kicked their sixth score of the season above 150, prevailing 25.10 (160) to 8.5 (53).
Ben Scott (eight) and Ashley Driscoll (seven) kicked 15 goals between them for the Grasshoppers to be their best two players, with Luke Hendy, Aiden Lee and Josh Fowkes others to stand out.
Maldon had the consistent Hayden Kelly (two goals), Joel Cross and Xavier Mawson play well.
• Natte Bealiba kept its top-four aspirations alive with a 34-point victory over Talbot.
The Swans won 14.12 (96) to 9.8 (62), with Thomas Douglas, Jacob Long and Zac Perez (four goals) all influential.
Ross Wise kicked three of Talbot’s nine goals. The Hawks - who dropped from seventh to eighth with the loss - also had Josh Sullivan, Rowan Prentice and Danny Glen among their best players.
• Lexton’s winning streak extended to 14 with its 86-point victory over Avoca.
Justin Hobson bagged seven goals for the Tigers in their 16.21 (117) to 5.1 (31) win, with their score including an inaccurate 4.10 in the final term.
James Templeton again starred for the Tigers, along with Nigel Reid and Daniel Chester.
Alec Wiltshire, coach Adrian Pilgrim and Taylor Raine (two goals) were the pick of the Bulldogs.