EAGLEHAWK kept its final hopes alive with a 44-point win over Maryborough at Barkers Oval, Princes Park on Saturday.
The game was in the balance at the final change, but a six-goal to none final term from the Hawks put paid to the home side, 13.14 (92) to 6.12 (48).
The victory means for the Hawks to make the finals they must defeat top side Sandhurst at the QEO next Saturday and hope that Gisborne beats Kangaroo Flat.
"We had to beat Maryborough to give ourselves a chance and we did that,'' Eaglehawk coach Luke Monaghan said.
"We've got a huge task to beat Sandhurst, but we did play well against them last time."
The win over Maryborough was full of merit.
The Hawks lost Damien Lock to a calf injury in the first five minutes of the game and midfielder Riley McIvor copped a heavy knock to the head late in the oepning quarter.
McIvor played out the game, but was only used in bursts by Monaghan.
The Hawks led by 21 points at the first break before Maryborough started to regain its mojo.
The Magpies closed down the Hawks' space, their midfield started to win their share of the ball and by half-time the margin was back to 12 points.
The third quarter was not one for the highlights reel.
The Magpies kicked the only goal of the term, while the Hawks wasted numerous opportunities inside forward 50.
The Hawks started the final quarter with a slender seven-point lead.
Down a rotation for much of the match, it appeared as though the Hawks would get overrun by the Magpies.
It wasn't to be as the Hawks put the Magpies to the sword in the final term.
The Hawks' use of the ball in the final term was as good as its been all season as they slammed home six goals to none.
"We controlled the first quarter without dominating the scoreboard,'' Monaghan said.
"The second and third quarter was a real slog and the game was played on Maryborough's terms... they like the congestion and contested football.
"The last quarter was excellent. That's the style of football we want to play."
Midfield duo Kevin Archbold and Ben McPhee impressed for the Hawks, while backline duo Tyler Miles and Brenton Conforti were superb, particularly in the second and third terms when Maryborough controlled the play.
Brodie Filo spent more time inside forward 50 than he did in the midfield and he had an impact, kicking three goals.
Key defender Kelvin Williams was clearly Maryborough's best player.
Williams didn't lose an aerial battle all day and used the ball well.
Lachy Edwards, Joel Radlof and Matthew Jukes battled hard for the Pies.
Maryborough finishes its season with a trip to Kyneton next Saturday.