Buninyong came steaming home in the last half of Saturday’s first qualifying final after shrugging off early challenges from Waubra.
It was a 44-point win in the end in conditions that were difficult. Hail, lashing rain and a fluky wind tested players’ skills.
The Bombers led both terms in the first half, but were unable to stamp their authority on the game as the Central Highlands Football League minor premiers even drew level at one stage near the main break.
Within seconds of the third quarter starting Jake Coxall had booted a major, and in next to no time the Bombers had another.
The cracks were showing in the Waubra midfield where Buninyong showed quick ball movement and ruthlessness around the contests.
Coxall’s rapid-fire goals were soon joined by a pair from Sam Russell, who then booted two more in the final term. Russell’s brother Fraser was also a dominating force and both were among the best on the ground.
Buninyong coach Jarrod Morgan described the Russell boys’ performances as “sensational”.
“Sammy and Fraser are very different players. We have a lot of faith in those boys,” Morgan said.
“I thought Sammy around the midfield was unstoppable.”
They were in excellent company with Morgan, co-captain Ned Gilbert and indomitable Jarrod Rodgers putting in great games.
And what a performance from ruckman Liam Rigby, who also kicked a goal.
After a promising start to the clash at Learmonth, Waubra found itself in catch-up mode, but Jonathon Neville, Alex McPherson, Nick Dinsdale, Travis Parsons and skipper Tom Nash fought back.
The key to Buninyong’s win was an across-the-board team effort.
Morgan described it as “a good even performance”.
“We knew they were a momentum side. They finish well,” he said.
“So we tried to control the game as much as possible. It was good.”
Waubra coach Matt James thought his team played “too safe”.
“We had small flashes of where we used the footy well and we broke the line,” James said.
“But we played a bit too safe today. We didn’t take the game on as we have previously.”
Buninyong finished the day with no injury worries, but Waubra was assessing Austin Murphy after a corked thigh.
The Bombers now get the week off to rest up before a preliminary final, while the Roos meet Springbank in a semi final next weekend.