GOLDEN Square's pursuit of a sixth consecutive Bendigo Football League senior premiership is still alive after the Dogs' hard-fought victory against Eaglehawk in Saturday night's elimination final.
By the 15-minute of the contest it was the Hawks who had raced to a six-goal lead as Sam Thompson, Sean Williams (2), Damien Wust, Hayden and Brodie Collins were on target.
The Bulldogs did plenty of attacking, but were astray.
By the first break Eaglehawk held a 27-point lead at Queen Elizabeth Oval.
That margin was quickly whittled as Jacob Greenwood, Corey Jones and James Molinaro capped off the Dogs' increased workrate.
Hawks' captain Luke Button charged through the centre and kicked long to Brodie Filo for the Hawks' eighth goal.
There was no significant breeze, but 10 of 12 goals had been scored at the Barnard Street end of the big ground.
Golden Square ruckman Matt Compston took a strong pack mark and goaled.
A few minutes later and the classy Jones swooped when the ball spilt from a marking contest and goaled to put the Dogs within four points.
The Borough was up by seven points when Pascale Craig goaled on the half-time siren.
The third quarter was marked by what finals footy is all about - fierce tackles, bumps, strong marks and superb goals.
Two minutes in and Jones booted one of the goals of the night as his left-foot kick running away from goal curled through.
The Bulldogs were in front for the first time when captain Simon Rosa goaled on the run from the Rifle Brigade Hotel pocket .at the city end of the ground.
As Rosa's shot sailed through, key playmaker Jack Geary was heading to the bench.
Geary did not pass the concussion test and would take no further part in the game.
The Corey Jones Show rolled on with a 'banana kick' from alongside the point post in the scoreboard pocket.
Square's midfield would be tested after Rosa was concussed in a contest on the grandstand wing. He also spent the rest of the match off the ground.
The Dogs' run of goals was broken when Williams again beat the defence.
Che Walls and Jack Daley put Square up by 19 points before a fine snap by Eaglehawk's Brock Rogers went through.
Two of the younger players in the Golden Square team, Greenwood and Jaydon Cowling showed great skill and poise under pressure.
Their goals gave the Dogs a 22-point buffer before Williams booted his fifth.
There was just 16 points in it as the final quarter began.
In the space of five minutes, Greenwood put Square well in control against the Luke Monaghan-coached Eaglehawk.
The classy forward, nicknamed Cyril, showed he does not need a lot of possessions to do some damage.
Greenwood's shot from the Aquatic Centre pocket went through.
A couple of minutes later and he goaled on the run to put the Dogs in front by 28 points.
Williams and Craig goaled for the Borough, but it was the Bulldogs who celebrated a 25-point victory.
A first-year player at Golden Square, Corey Jones was superb.
Drafted from the Bendigo Pioneers, Jones played 157 matches for North Melbourne before he returned to his native Wycheproof-Narraport.
He won last year's Feeny Medal for best and fairest in the North Central Football League.
In this BFL elimination final it was Jones' experience and skill that played a big part in Golden Square going on to complete what would be a 10-goal turnaround.
Ruckman Matt Compston and onballers Jack Daley and Dale Lowry also racked up plenty of possessions.
Greenwood's four goals were a highlight.
Back in the Bulldogs' line-up after playing most of the season for Bendigo Gold in the VFL, Che Walls showed he will be a crucial player in what now becomes a September campaign for the blue and gold from MyJet Oval.
Best for the Hawks were onballer Brodie Collins and key defender Brenton Conforti.
Brodie Filo figured in a lot of the Borough's attacks. His penetrating kicks from midfield often hit a team-mate inside the 50m arc.
Glenn Daly and Luke Button won a lot of contests in defence. Hayden Collins and Sean Williams were key players in attack.
The seniors defeat capped a disappointing start to Eaglehawk Football Club's finals campaign.
Eaglehawk's reserves went down by 34 points in the qualifying clash with Sandhurst. The Borough did earn the second chance.
Saturday's action kicked off with Strathfieldsaye Storm winning the under-18s elimination final against Eaglehawk by 16 points.