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Hepburn has named Central Highlands Football League great Andy McKay to return from a knee injury in this Saturday's semi-final showdown with Buninyong at Wallace.
McKay has not played since the Burras' loss to Beaufort on June 29.
Head coach Clive Raak said McKay was to be assessed at training on Thursday night, but said a call probably wouldn't be made on his place in the team until Friday.
"At this stage he's only in light training mode," Raak said before Thursday's session.
"You can't go into finals half-hearted..."
Big utility Julian Lockwood missed last weekend's elimination final success against Skipton and Raak was hopeful he would be able to return from illness to take on the Bombers.
Buninyong veteran Adam Scott's first senior game of the season will be his last after copping a three-match ban for head-butting.
Scott was called up to the team for last weekend's qualifying final loss to Waubra, where he was reported twice for intentionally striking and making forceful contact to an opponent using the head.
He beat the striking charge at the tribunal during the week, but was handed the hefty suspension for the head-related report.
Scott has been replaced in the side by onballer Tim Brayshaw, who coach Shaun O'Loughlin said missed last outing through soreness.
O'Loughlin said the performance on Saturday against the Roos was unexpected.
"It's nothing like we have played for the previous three months. It didn't resemble anything like it," he said.
"We think we know why, but have to be able to turn it around now."
The weekend's other do-or-die encounter will be between reigning premiers Beaufort and Gordon at Buninyong on Sunday.
Crows coach Rohan Brown said the important Levi Cox would make his way back into the starting line-up after sitting out the hard-fought elimination final triumph over Springbank.
The Eagles are counting the cost of a third anterior cruciate ligament injury this season.
Brad Horsham left City Oval in an ambulance on Sunday during the clash with Newlyn and subsequent scans have revealed a dreaded ACL issue.
His loss is a blow for the Eagles, which were outplayed by the Cats in the second and third terms before trimming back the end margin to 23 points at the final siren.
Gordon coach Ron Watt said his team had generally been good at playing a simple style of football and perhaps went away from taking the first option on the weekend.
The winner of Saturday's battle between Buninyong and Hepburn will meet Newlyn in one preliminary final, while the victor of the Gordon and Beaufort showdown then takes on Waubra for a spot in the decider at Mars Stadium.
Predictions: Buninyong and Gordon.
BUNINYONG v. HEPBURN
B: L. Baker, D. Connor, I. Baker
HB: L. Cullen, G. Younger, A. Bomitali
C: J. Dunne, H. Givvens, J. Robertson
HF: C. Barrenger, J. Lee, N. Gilbert
F: S. Russell, N. Shell, D. Kelly
R: L. Rigby, J. Romeril, T. Brayshaw
Int: J. Rodgers, D. Micallef, F. Hunt, J. Morgan
Emg: P. Lannen, M. Phelps
In: T. Brayshaw
Out: A. Scott
B: N. Johns, J. Clarke, M. McKay
HB: J. Fowler, S. Wood, B. McKay
C: S. Asa Leausa, K. Cummings, J. Lockwood
HF: T. Horne, A. Ware, B. Coffey
F: J. Hogan, S. Dunstan, B. Johns
R: N. Dunstan, D. O'Halloran, R. Jenkins
Int: D. Klimeck, H. Rodgers, T. Brown, A. McKay
Emg: T. Wills, J. Liversidge, A. Ferrier
In: A. McKay, J. Lockwood
Out: F. Anscombe, A. Ferrier
GORDON v. BEAUFORT
B: T. Wason, J. Evans, G. Clifford
HB: I. McCabe, M. Gunnell, B. Hallam
C: L. Gunnell, M. Raworth, J. Toohey
HF: T. Murphy, A. Toohey, S. Nippress
F: J. Gorman, B. Sutcliffe, M. Nolan
R: Z. May, J. Clampit, E. Crackel
Int: B. Quinlan, M. Hoy, J. Murphy, B. Schiltz
In: B. Quinlan, M. Hoy, J. Toohey
Out: R. Clampit, B. Horsham, M. Spezza
B: L. Marshall, B. Howard, D. Day
HB: D. Kelly, D. Morris, A. Beer
C: J. Chester, M. Foster, J. Orr
HF: M. Jenkins, L. Murray, L. Pfeifer
F: J. Mason, J. Trigg, J. Garvey
R: J. McDermott, N. Sullivan, R. Sangster
Int: A. Coleman, A. Petrie, L. Cox, L. Ward, Z. Leckie
Emg: J. Blackburn
In: L. Cox
NEWLYN v. DUNNSTOWN
B: L. Fishwick, J. Green, B. Slater
HB: C. Eastwell, C. Prendergast, B. Wills
C: L. Orr, J. Bish, J. Cassells
HF: F. Hay, S. Cawthan, J. Eastwell
F: L. Bell, M. Dodds, L. Shaw
R: J. Sullivan, J. Slater, D. Wrigley
Int: N. David, R. Glen, J. Barker, R. Wynd
Emg: C. Brosnan-Colvin, J. Burgess, J. Dwyer
B: A. Plucke, B. Sinclair, N. Duggan
HB: J. Cahir, W. Short, J. Williams
C: L. Guiao, C. Murphy, K. Neville
HF: T. Giles, J. Keating, D. Simpkin
F: C. Ronan, N. Sammons, B. Dunwoodie
R: H. Marquand, B. Duffy, J. Mann
Int: A. Murphy, L. Spratling, X. Jones, S. Glenane
SPRINGBANK v. GORDON
B: A. Wethling, J. Kennedy, T. Knowles
HB: S. Quinlan, S. Basilone, S. Wethling
C: J. Waller, M. Hodge, D. Haintz
HF: S. Baldwin, M. Kane, C. Winter
F: T. Toohey, J. Bowen, J. Tiley
R: R. Conroy, J. White, T. Maher
Int (from): C. Vaughan, T. O'Loughlin, K. Maher, T. Haintz, B. O'Neil
From: S. Miller, D. Hunt, C. Elliott, M. Anderson, R. Cording, M. Conder, D. Callanan, G. Busuttil, K. Gall, S. Nicholson, I. Bowker, Z. White, B. Quinlan, J. Maher, L. Toohey, M. Kersley, C. Myers, B. Morshead, P. Monaghan, J. Toohey, M. Labbett, J. Gartner