Waubra survived a late charge from Bungaree to claim a 10-point victory in the second qualifying final at the weekend.
After leading by a seemingly unassailable 22 points early in the final term, the Kangaroos were threatened by a fast-finishing Demons outfit in the dying minutes.
But like all class teams, Waubra managed to soak up the pressure and quell any chance of a miracle finish from Bungaree.
In a hotly contested game from start to finish, Waubra’s dominance in the third quarter ended up being the difference between the two sides.
The Kangaroos only managed three goals to one in the term, but it was their ability to restrict the run of Bungaree that proved pivotal.
As the speed and fluidity of Bungaree’s ball movement dropped off, so too did its decision-making, as the Demons coughed up the ball in critical areas of the ground.
Star midfielder Shaun Mullane and half-forward Sam McVitty were particularly influential for the victors, their ability to work hard both ways a standout feature.
Coach Jason Allen described the result as a “good, gusty win”.
“I thought we really lifted in that third quarter, the premiership quarter,” he said.
“It was a real arm-wrestle until then. I also thought the boys lifted in the last few minutes as well
when they were coming at us.”
With the victory comes a well-earned rest for the Kangaroos, who will now have to prepare for a preliminary final in two weeks’ time.
As for Bungaree, its ability to match Waubra for all but one quarter underlined that it is still very much a premiership contender.
Lapses in concentration marred an otherwise impressive performance from the Demons, who will face Daylesford next weekend in a tantalising clash.
Coach Greg Middleton said that while his team was competitive, they could not allow themselves to be satisfied with a loss.
“We gave away a couple of goals through poor decisions, which really hurt us in the end,” he said.
“We believe we are equally as good as Waubra, but today we let ourselves down for small periods of the game and they made us pay.”
Veteran Ricky Cummins was industrious for the Demons, as was speedster Mitch Bruns with three goals, while Waubra defender Stuart Oliver received praise from Allen for his efforts down back.