BUNINYONG has set up a preliminary final showdown with Waubra next weekend following a stirring victory over Springbank this afternoon.
The Bombers prevailed in an epic semi final encounter by 25 points, coming from two goals down at the start of the last quarter to win 18.8 (116) to 13.13 (91) at Waubra.
While the end margin suggests a somewhat comfortable victory by the minor premiers, it was far from the case.
The Tigers threw everything they had at the Bombers, fighting back from a 21-point half time deficit to lead by 12 points at the final change.
Buninyong, with the aid of the breeze in the last term, booted the first two goals before Springbank sharp-shooter Tom Eltringham clawed one back to regain the Tigers' lead.
But six majors to one in the in the remaining 20 minutes sealed the result and helped the Bombers avoid a straight-sets exit from the finals series.
"The wins keep getting sweeter as you keep winning through finals. There won't be complacency now," Buninyong coach Joe Gilbert said after the match.
"There's a genuine belief in the side and basically we just had to concentrate on some things where we were poor last week (against Hepburn). We were okay in a few areas last week, but just didn't have 22 (contributors). There was just things we didn't do well and they played well."
Springbank coach Sam Giblett addressed players and supporters out on the ground after the final siren and told The Courier he was proud of his team's performance.
"We definitely didn't make up numbers in finals," Giblett said.
"We showed that we can be dangerous, but also showed the importance that you just can't have mental lapses. For that last quarter, we got (five points up) and our structures... they went away from a little bit. You can't do that."
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Small forward Jarrod Rodgers was the most dangerous man on the ground, booting five goals for the victors, while skipper Adam Scott (two goals) played a vital role down back and when thrown forward in the last term.
Springbank forwards Paul McMahon (four goals) and Eltringham (three goals) worked well in tandem to give the Tigers a sniff, while Luke Fisher (three goals) had another telling display around the ground.
Tomorrow's second semi final will be played between Bungaree and Daylesford at Beaufort, with the winner to meet Hepburn in the other preliminary final next week.