READ MORE - SATURDAY SCOREBOARD - August 17, 2019
READ MORE - Mitiamo v BL-Serpentine | PHOTOS
MITIAMO continued to answer the challenge from Bears Lagoon-Serpentine for three quarters and then kicked away in the last term to win Saturday's Loddon Valley league qualifying final by 49 points.
The Superoos were never headed after kicking the opening two goals of the game and set up a second semi-final clash against Pyramid Hill next Saturday with their 19.9 (123) to 11.8 (74) victory at Marong.
It was a timely return to goalkicking form for the Superoos, whose 19.9 came on the back of kicking more goals than behinds just once in their previous six games.
The perfect conditions made it a day tailor-made for big key forwards and Mitiamo's Justin Maddern made the most of them.
The Superoos' full-forward proved a constant thorn in the side of the Bears, booting seven goals - four in the first half and three in the second.
And Maddern proved just how long a kick he still possesses with a towering shot from 50m on the flank that sailed through for his third goal of the first quarter.
As well as Maddern's haul of seven, the Superoos also had co-coach Tyrone Downie and Tim Brooks kick three goals apiece.
All three of Brooks' goals were kicked in the third quarter after he had been shifted from defence to attack.
The second of Brooks' goals came after he centred the ball on his left from the boundary, but it took a "leg break" bounce that Shane Warne would have been proud of and went through the big sticks.
And Brooks' third goal was a booming set-shot outside 50 after he had started his run-up from on the wing.
It was a fast-paced - particularly the Superoos slingshot play out of their back half - entertaining contest played with plenty of intensity where the Bears were forced to spend the game playing catch-up.
For the bulk of the first three quarters the Superoos' lead hovered between the 14-20 point mark as they were consistently able to respond to the challenge from the Bears, who were able to keep themselves within arms reach, but not able to string together the goals needed to apply the genuine scoreboard blowtorch to Mitiamo.
The only consecutive goals the Bears kicked for the game were through Justin Laird from the pocket and Harry Gadsden that closed the margin to seven points 10 minutes into the third quarter when they grabbed the momentum.
But that would be as close as the Bears got for the remainder of the match as Brooks kicked a steadying goal for the Superoos to extend Mitiamo's lead back out beyond two kicks.
Mitiamo's advantage was 20 points at three quarter-time, before the Superoos put their foot down and cracked the game open with a six-goal to one final term.
"I thought it was a real tussle for most of the game today... we had our opportunities to break the game open, but they were able to keep coming at us, so credit to Serp," Mitiamo co-coach Andy Grant said.
"It was pleasing the way the game was able to open up for us late."
Among the Superoos' best players were a spread right across the ground - forwards Maddern and Downie, defenders Luke Lougoon and Ben Bacon, ruckman Michael I'Anson and prolific midfielder Doug Thomas.
The strong finish to the game gives the Superoos plenty of momentum to take into the second semi-final clash with Pyramid Hill at Serpentine where the first berth in the grand final is up for grabs.
"We'll get to next week in good shape," Grant said.
It's the third year in a row the Bears have lost on the first weekend of the finals.
But unlike the previous two years, this time the Bears have the safety net of the double chance.
"I thought for the first 10 to 15 minutes of the game we let them get away, but for the next two-and-a-half quarters we matched them fairly well," Bears coach Greg Gadsden said.
"Unfortunately, they blew us away in the last quarter, so it wasn't a great way to finish."
Nathan Twigg, who had an entertaining battle in the ruck with I'Anson, was the Bears' best player, while gun midfielder Matthew Gibbs won plenty of ball.
Gibbs also kicked the Bears' only goal of the last quarter - a classy 40m set-shot from the flank.
Forward Cody Gunn kicked three first-half goals for the Bears, while wily wingman Miggy Podosky did his best to give his side a lift with two nice goals at the netball courts end in the first and third terms.
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