It was a performance that had been brewing for 350 days.
Strathfieldsaye thumped Eaglehawk 14.16 (100) to 3.10 (28) in Saturday night's BFNL second semi-final at the QEO.
While a second semi-final victory doesn't make up for last year's grand final loss to the Borough, the Storm were hungry to make a statement on Saturday night and that statement will have mental ramifications for the Hawks should they get through next week's preliminary final.
The 72-point margin was the largest in a BFNL second semi-final since Gisborne belted Eaglehawk by 128 points in 2005.
"We were really disappointed with how last year finished off, so the boys were really hungry,'' Storm coach Troy Coates said.
"Having last week off helped freshen us up and having a healthy list helped as well.
"I couldn't be prouder of the way the boys played tonight. Everything we spoke about all week in terms of roles and how we wanted to play... we did it for four quarters.
"You have to keep respecting Eaglehawk because they can turn it on at any time, but I thought we played well for four quarters tonight."
The Storm set the tone with a brilliant six-goal-to-none first quarter.
The shellshocked Hawks struggled to get their hands on the footy as the Storm dominated the clearances and their movement of the ball was precise. Eaglehawk's only score for the quarter was a rushed behind at the 20-minute mark.
The Borough managed to even up general play in the second quarter, but the reigning premiers didn't make the Storm pay on the scoreboard when they had momentum.
It looked as though the Hawks would go into half-time only four goals down, but a Lahclan Sharp goal in the dying seconds gave the Storm a five-goal buffer and it took some of the wind out of the Hawks' sails.
The first 10 minutes of the third quarter was an arm-wrestle before a Lachlan Wallace snap bounced through for a Storm goal. From the resultant centre bounce, Jake Moorhead found Bryce Curnow on the lead and he kicked his second goal to extend the margin to 44 points.
A Riley Saunders goal from a free kick gave the Hawks' something to cheer about, but a short-time later star defender Tim Hill limped off the ground with a quad injury that looks likely to sideline him for the rest of the finals.
The final-term was one-way traffic as the hungry Storm piled on five goals to none.
The foundation of the Storm's success was complete before a ball had been bounced. Their planning was first-class.
The Storm ensured they had a mobile back six to cover the Hawks' mosquito fleet, while Harry Conway kept the Hawks' tall forwards quiet which allowed Bryce Curnow to play as a key forward.
Kallen Geary spent the majority of the season rebounding off half-back. On Saturday night the Storm gave the Hawks a taste of their own medicine as Geary played across half-forward and caused headahces with his leg speed and good ball use.
Coates and his selection panel made the brave choice to leave number one ruckman Harry Crone out of the side and use Bendigo Pioneer Will Wallace as the team's number one ruckman.
Wallace, with assistance from Lachie Ratcliffe and Ben Lester, didn't let the Hawks' big men have the influence on the game they did in the qualifying final a week earlier.
"Harry (Crone) missed the last two games of the season and has had a bit of a hammy issue,'' Coates said.
"We went with young Will Wallace and what we know about Will is that he's a competitive beast.
"What he did tonight in only his third or fourth senior game was pretty impressive."
Eaglehawk went into the game without Sam Harper (arm), Oscar Madden (ankle) and Trent Bacon (hamstring).
Madden looks to be the obvious replacement for Hill in defence.
Joel Mullen played deep in defence on Saturday night and restricted Storm star Lachy Sharp to two goals.
Clayton Holmes shared his time in the ruck and in key defence and was a solid contributor.
The Borough have some soul-searching to do.
Strathfieldsaye in 2017 and Gisborne in 2006 are the only teams since 2000 to lose the second semi-final and bounce back to win the premiership.
Strathfieldsaye 6.3, 7.6, 9.11, 14.16 (100)
Eaglehawk 0.1, 2.5, 3.6, 3.10 (28)
GOALS - Strathfieldsaye: Lachlan Wallace 3, Bryce Curnow 2, Lachlan Gill 2, Bailey Henderson 2, Lachlan Sharp 2, Joshua Formosa 1,Kallen Geary 1, Troy Coates 1. Eaglehawk: Shaun Knott 1, Ben McPhee 1, Riley Saunders 1.
BEST - Strathfieldsaye: Jake Moorhead, Harry Conway, Sam Heavyside, William Wallace, Lachlan Wallace, Caleb Sheahan. Eaglehawk: Joel Mullen, Clayton Holmes, Brenton Conforti, Gedd Hommelhoff, Jack Fallon, Cameron McGlashan.
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