BOORT is returning to the North Central league finals for the first time since 2011 after cementing its berth on Saturday.
The Magpies’ 11.9 (75) to 9.8 (62) victory over Donald on Saturday means they can’t be dislodged from the top four.
With one round remaining the Magpies now have a six-point buffer from the fifth-placed Donald.
“It was basically a mini elimination final for the two teams today and all our guys really stood up,” Boort coach Corey Gregg said.
“We got back to basics and started to play the type of footy again that I know we’re capable of and it was good to put it together in a game as important as today.”
The Magpies have endured some tough years since they last made the finals, including two wooden spoon seasons in 2012 and a winless 2015.
“It has been six years since the senior team has played finals and the club is really hungry for success,” Gregg said.
“The goal at the start of the year was to play finals and now that we’ve given ourselves that opportunity, we don’t want to waste it.”
Gregg was sensational in setting the tone for the Magpies, kicking three goals and named their best, while his brother, Ben Gregg, was also influential.
Classy forward Seamus Young carried a heavy load for the Royals, kicking six of their nine goals.
• Sea Lake Nandaly Tigers notched their sixth win in a row, accounting for St Arnaud by 66 points.
The second-placed Tigers kicked 15 goals to five after quarter-time to win 18.16 (124) to 9.4 (58) at home.
Nathan Wight had a big day in attack for the Tigers with a haul of eight goals – two in the first and second quarter, one in the third and three in the last.
Wight and dominant ruckman Ryan O’Sullivan, who is shaping as tough to beat in the Feeny Medal, were best for the surging Tigers.
Nick Coghlan (four) and Justin Monaco (three) combined for seven goals for the Saints, whose best were Daniel London and Ben Batters.
• Wycheproof-Narraport cruised to a comfortable 102-point win over Charlton.
The Demons prevailed 23.13 (151) to 7.7 (49) in a game where they had 11 players kick goals, headed by Ricky Allan (five), Andrew Mead-Harding (four) and Corey Jones (four).
The Demons’ tally of 23.13 included kicking an impressive 16.4 after half-time.
Robert Binks, Jones and the consistent George Turner led the best players for the Demons, who in their three games against Charlton this year have outscored the Navies 60 goals to 10.
Thomas Finlay and Dean McKay battled hard for the Navies, who are now 3-12.
• Birchip-Watchem’s solid form continued with a 60-point win over Wedderburn, 15.18 (108) to 7.6 (48).
The victory was the Bulls’ fourth in a row – the past three of which have been by at least 10 goals.
After leading 2.5 to 2.0 at quarter-time, the Bulls gained the ascendancy in the second term when they kicked 7.3 to 0.3.
Gun forward Stephen Paulke kicked three of his five goals in the second term for the Bulls.
Paulke, Nathan Gordon and ruckman Lochlan Sirrett, who have been the Bulls’ three most consistent players, were again their best.
Wedderburn – which lost to the Bulls for the seventh time in a row – had good players in Nathan Holt and Robert Tonkin.