KANGAROO Flat players were reduced to tears after hearing Eaglehawk had scored an upset win over Sandhurst to pinch fifth spot on the BFNL ladder.
The Roos went into the final round needing to defeat Gisborne or have Eaglehawk lose to top side Sandhurst to secure a finals berth.
Flat suffered a humiliating 26.11 (167) to 7.9 (51) loss to Gisborne, while Eaglehawk produced its best performance of the season to upstage Sandhurst 10.10 (70) to 7.9 (51).
The latter result also confirmed Strathfieldsaye as the BFNL minor premier for the second-straight season.
“It was a tough day,’’ a shattered Kangaroo Flat coach Jason Stevens said.
“Telling the players (that Eaglehawk had won) is one of the hardest things I’ve had to do as a coach.
“You could see the emotion straight away. We had tears in the rooms… they were all gutted.
“It’s a tough time for them, but they’ve got to use it as a driving force in the off-season for next year.”
On the flipside, Eaglehawk celebrated one of the upsets of the season.
Sandhurst had only lost one game for the season heading into Saturday’s game and top spot was up for grabs.
However, from the first bounce to the final siren Eaglehawk made the Dragons look second rate.
“It’s certainly one of the better wins I’ve been involved with at the club,’’ Eaglehawk coach Luke Monaghan said.
“No-one really gave us a chance, but all week we thought we could give Sandhurst a run because we feel as though we match up really well with them.
“It’s good to prove people wrong.”
The Hawks now play Golden Square in Saturday night's elimination final, while Sandhurst tackles Gisborne in Sunday's qualifying final.
Gisborne faces an anxious wait this week with star ruckman Tom Waters to front the BFNL tribunal.
Waters was reported for misconduct in the win over the Roos.
His booking came after Kangaroo Flat's Linc Frost was reported for an incident involving Ethan Minns midway through the third quarter.
Frost, who will also front the tribunal, and Waters were both shown yellow cards and sent from the ground for 15 minutes.
Kangaroo Flat coach Jason Stevens decided not to play Frost for the rest of the match.
"Linc is disappointed with his actions... he was frustrated and made a silly decision,'' Stevens said.
"He had a brain fade and he'll have to cop the consequences."
In other games on Saturday, Strathfieldsaye outclassed South Bendigo by 128 points, with the Bloods failing to kick their first goal until the 20-minute mark of the final term.
Golden Square was held goalless in the final term, but still proved too strong for Castlemaine by 18 points.
Kyneton rounded out its season with a convincing 98-point win over Maryborough. The victory lifted the Tigers above Maryborough to seventh place on the ladder.