HUNTLY will head into a knockout semi-final full of momentum after the Hawks held their nerve to win an epic elimination final in extra-time at Lockington on Sunday.
The Hawks were forced to come from behind at least twice at crucial stages of the contest to snatch a 58-57 win, to set up a clash against Elmore next week.
They trailed by as many as nine goals in the third quarter and by three early in extra time.
Their win came a week after the Hawks were forced into an elimination final, after failing to beat the Blues by more than 14 goals in their final regular season match.
Mount Pleasant presented a much tougher challenge this time round and would be no doubt feeling unlucky to be exiting the finals race.
Hawks coach Emily Eliades praised her players resilience and never give-up attitude, despite not always being at their best against the Blues.
"We really struggled at times, Mounts were leading most of the game," she said.
"But we just kept soldiering on and chipping away to get even, but when it mattered the girls just kept their cool.
"The girls played a possession game when it came to down to the dying minutes - we wanted to make sure we kept hold of it. In the end we were able to hold on."
Sunday's win was a measure of revenge for two consecutive finals exits at the hands of the Blues in 2017 and '18.
A stirring final quarter for the Hawks was led by shooters Chloe Fletcher and Ash Jenkyn, who shot at 100 per cent for the term, while Kym Bell was instrumental in lifting the Hawks troops throughout the match.
At the other end, Megan Baird was strong under the ring all day for the Blues, to give her side every chance of pulling off a win.
Eliades praised the performance of 19-year-old Fletcher, who got stronger as the game grew longer.
"She really stood up today and shot some fantastic goals and gave us great strength in the goal ring," said Eliades in an assessment sure to fill the teenager with confidence for next week's clash against the Bloods.
Eliades spared a thought for Mount Pleasant and opposing coach Belinda Pinner for a brave effort from the Blues.
"I've really enjoyed our rivalry and we've always been able to gfive each other a hug and a smile after our games," she said.
"It's been good, hard competition."
The Blues have had to deal with plenty of injuries during the course of the season and were admirable in clinching a third-straight finals appearance.
Elmore and Huntly have a win apiece in games played between the semi-finals rivals this season.
Have you signed up to the Bendigo Advertiser's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in central Victoria.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.