Hepburn staged an epic come-from-behind 29-point victory over Bungaree to book its place in a preliminary final.
It was the Demons that began the match with strong forward drive, scoring five unanswered goals in the first quarter.
A blistering seven-goal second term ensued from the Burras, which then held a slim two-point lead at half time.
Hepburn then piled on nine more goals to the Demons’ five to clinch the playoff win.
Burras coach Jason Olver said that after a slow start, it was time for his squad to respond.
“It was really just don’t panic as there was a lot of time to go. Sure we were five goals down and we got beaten in that quarter, but our mindset was to get three goals back and trail by two goals at half time,” Olver said.
“Once we started firing with goals, it was Bungaree that just started to fold away with doubts in their minds and our confidence grew.”
Olver said he is already planning for a preliminary final encounter with Buninyong.
“I always select our side based on who the opposition is so that we can target their strengths and weaknesses. Players will come in and out purely based on that. It’s more than likely there will be a change or two for the game next weekend,” he said.
The Central Highlands Football League premiership race is truly open according to Olver.
We are in the hunt. It’s now a one in four chance of winning the premiership.- Hepburn coach Jason Olver
“We are in the hunt. It’s now a one in four chance of winning the premiership,” he said.
Lee Cox and Andy McKay played vital roles in sealing the victory as they kicked three majors each under immense pressure, while Ricky Ferraro was relentless in his approach to winning the loose ball.
Hepburn stalwart Dan O’Halloran played his 200th senior game and was carried off the ground by his teammates.
Bungaree coach Heath Pyke told The Courier that there was a strong sense of disappointment among the playing group.
“It’s a very hollow feeling and not something that we planned on, but unfortunately in the two weeks we’ve fronted up we haven’t played our best footy and that results in straight-sets losses,” Pyke said.
“In the end, the class of Hepburn rose to the top in that last quarter and we were left flatfooted. We really struggled to play the style of football we wanted today and credit to Hepburn as they counteracted our attempts.”
Luke Mirtschin was a constant target up forward and kicked three goals for the Demons, while Jordan Payne was named their best.
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