CARISBROOK kicked away from Natte Bealiba in the final quarter on Sunday to book its berth in the Maryborough-Castlemaine District Football League grand final.
Little separated the Redbacks and Swans for the first three quarters of the second preliminary final at Princes Park.
The Redbacks led by just four points at three quarter-time, but they finished with four goals to one in the final term to win 12.14 (86) to 9.14 (68).
The 18-point win sets up a grand final next Sunday against the undefeated Navarre.
“It was a tough game of finals footy,” Carisbrook coach Luke Treacy said.
“Both sides had their periods through the game where they had the momentum.
“We were a bit sluggish early, but as the game wore on we got better at winning the ground balls and the 50-50 contests and were able to get ourselves into the game, which was a good effort.”
Treacy said he was proud of the way his side ran the game out in the final term when the result was in the balance.
“We kept running in the last quarter and knew we had to keep winning those 50-50 contests,” said Treacy, who kicked two goals.
“We were able to keep getting ourselves to the next contest, and that was one of the biggest differences in what was a tight final.
“That last quarter was all about getting numbers to the contest and getting the ball forward.”
The best player for the Redbacks was young wingman Hayden Barby.
“He’s very athletic and was in everything. He won a lot of the contests where he may have been outnumbered and was able to break away with a bit of speed,” Treacy said.
Ruckman Jackson Bowen, Cole Roscholler (three goals, including two in the last quarter), Jakob Tidyman, Ryan Hudson-Morgan and Timothy Heenan also played well for Carisbrook.
Better players for the Swans included Thomas Douglas, who had a superb finals series, Lachlan Cameron, Brent Mortlock, Nathan Ross and Jared Hall (two goals).