Eaglehawk is the first team through to the BFNL grand final after scoring a brilliant 40-point win over Strathfieldsaye in Saturday night’s second semi-final.
The game was in the balance at three quarter-time, but the Borough put the reigning premier away in ruthless fashion by kicking seven goals to one in the final term.
The 16.9 (105) to 9.11 (65) win puts the Borough in the box seast to claim its first premiership in 10 years.
However, they have an axious wait for scans on injured duo Jonty Neaves and Riley McIvor.
Neaves left the ground in the last quarter with what appeared to be a broken wrist or arm, while McIvor didn’t play the final term because of a calf injury.
“Really pleased with the effort, particularly the way we finished the game,’’ an elated Borough coach Josh Bowe said.
“We had 22 contributors tonight, which was really pleasing.”
Bowe was right. The Borough didn’t have had a bad player. On the flipside, the Storm had too many passengers.
Eaglehawk looked the better side for most of the first three quarters and it was only some fine individual performances by some of Strathfieldsaye’s elite players that kept them in the game.
For the first time this season the Storm looked slow.
Eaglehawk’s slick ball movement and hard running broke the game open in the second quarter.
After leading by one point at quarter-time, the Borough kicked three goals in three minutes to open the second quarter through Shaun Knott, Bowe and Riley McIvor.
When Sean Williams kicked his second goal for the game midway through the second term the Borough led by four goals.
The Storm needed a spark and they got it through the hard work of key forwards Bryce Curnow and Hugh Robertson.
The Storm slowed the tempo of the game and tightened up defensively. Goals to Bailey Henderson and Robertson cut the deficit to 10 points at half-time.
The Borough again looked capable of taking the game away from the Storm at the start of the third quarter.
Knott’s second goal of the match followed by a brilliant left-foot snap by Jack Fallon opened up a 21-point lead for the Hawks.
Strathfieldsaye dug in and Curnow and Robertson came to the fore again with back-to-back goals.
Knott bobbed up with his third goal of the game for the Borough, but two goals in two minutes to Shannon Geary and Curnow had the Storm within two points, 21 minutes into the third quarter.
The Borough clung on to a one-point lead when the three quarter-time siren sounded.
Eaglehawk didn’t show any nerves in the final quarter.
Knott kicked his fourth goal from a set shot to open the quarter, then Sean Williams slammed home his third major of the night.
Robertson momentarily steadied Storm ship with another fine mark and goal, but yet again Knott stood up for the Hawks and he found space and kicked his fifth goal of the game.
His partner in crime – Sean Williams – marked 35m out and added his fourth goal and when Cam McGlashan kicked truly from 40m out the Borough led by 26 points at the 19-minute mark of the final term.
The Hawks didn’t relent. McGlashan landed another long bomb before Ben McPhee put some icing on the cake with his first goal of the game.
Knott and Williams were superb for the Hawks, kicking nine goals between them, while Brodie Collins and Bowe did plenty of damage through the midfield.
Curnow and Robertson were best for the Storm, while Henderson, Kell Smith and Shannon Geary tried hard.
The Storm’s cause wasn’t helped by the late withdrawal of skipper Kallen Geary, while they sorely lacked a crumbing forward option.
Storm coach Troy Coates has plenty to think about ahead of next Saturday’s preliminary final.