WATCH THE VIDEO BELOW
SEBASTOPOL v LAKE WENDOUREE
Sebastopol will take on reigning premier East Point in its first finals appearance in 19 years after securing the double chance in the Ballarat Football League.
The Burra fended off a challenge from Darley to hold second position and lock in a qualifying final berth with an emphatic display against Lake Wendouree at Marty Busch Reserve on Saturday.
Sebastopol kicked its highest score of the season - 19.14 (128) - dispense of Lakers by 81 points and build almost a five percent cushion over Darley in third. Less than one percent separated them at the start of the day.with seven goals.
Burra coach Leigh Hutchinson, who is in his second season at the club, said the win was an impressive way to round out the home and away season, but as good as it had been Sebastopol would now have to take its game to another level.
See how the ladder changed throughout the season.
Although the double chance had been on the line, Hutchinson said the focus against Lakers had been to ensure it played the brand of football it wanted.
He said all they could do was get a win by keeping structures which had lifted them into the top six.
"We couldn't predict whether we'd finish second or third. You can't rely on other results. First things first was to play the game the way we wanted to play."
Hutchinson said having winning form going into finals was important and Sebastopol had been able to do that, bouncing back from a loss to East Point to beat Melton and Lake Wendouree, which has claimed two big scalps in its past two outings.
"I think that will hold us in good stead. Obviously the pressure will be up again against East, but if we continue to do what we have today they'll have to do a few things to counteract us." he said.
Lakers coach Dale Power was impressed by Sebastopol, which kept the visitors scoreless in the first quarter and then kicked away with seven goals in the third.
He said once again Lake Wendouree had been physically overpowered.
Power said unfortunately when Lakers did look dangerous they were unable to finish off the work oin the scoreboard - a matter highlighted by 2.7 in the last term.
EAST POINT 52 155.03
SEBASTOPOL 52 52 135.67
DARLEY 52 130.88
SUNBURY 52 124.62
MELTON 48 139.24 - up one position
REDAN 48 112.39 - down one position
North Ballarat City 36 94.97
Bacchus Marsh 32 114.05
Lake Wendouree 30 66.95
Ballarat 22 69.54
Melton South 16 42.65
QUALIFYING FINALS at Eastern Oval
Seniors: East Point v Sebastopol, 2.15pm
Reserves: East Point v Sunbury, 11.55am
Under-19: North Ballarat City v Redan, 9.55am
ELIMINATION FINALS at Darley Park
Seniors: Darley v Redan, 2.15pm
Reserves: Darley v Lake Wendouree, 11.55am
Under-19: Ballarat v Melton, 9.55am
ELIMINATION FINALS at Darley Park
Seniors: Sunbury v Melton, 2.15pm
Redan v Melton, 11.55am
Under-19: Sunbury v Lake Wendouree, 9.55am
Sebastopol 5.6, 8.7, 15.12, 19.14 (128)
Lake Wendouree 0.0, 2.3, 4.4, 6.11 (47)
GOALS - Sebastopol: Michael Powell 7, Simon Butler 2, Matt Austin 2, Daniel Widgery 1, Chase Dummett 1, Lachlan Cassidy 1, Toby Hutt 1, Ben Hutt 1, Jai Harvey 1, James Keeble 1, Tony Lockyer 1. Lake Wendouree: Nathan Pring 3, Joshua Bibby 1, Jacob Lohmann 1, Callum Mc Kay 1
BEST - Sebastopol: Lachlan Cassidy, Daniel Widgery, Ben Hutt, Luke Kiel, Michael Powell, Marshall Cain. Lake Wendouree: Nathan Pring, Bailey Edwards, Jacob Lohmann, Joshua Bibby, Jacob Coxall, Scott Carlin
DARLEY v BALLARAT
It was a matter of the cream rising to the top as Darley finished all over Ballarat by Darley Park on Saturday.
The Swans took the game right up to third-placed Darley for three quarters, but ran out of steam as the Devils poured on eight goals in the last qiuarter to charge home by 51 points.
After missing three games, playmaker Nick Graham was quickly into his stride and it was clear that Ballarat was going to have its hands full keeping the former Carlton player under control.
With its sights on lifting its percentage past Sebastopol and getting into second position for the double chance, Darley was dominant from the opening bounce with a strong wins at its back.
Heath Scotland, Brian Graham and Jake Edwards were clearly on their game, and the Swans struggled to get their hands on the football and when they did keep possession.
In the end, Ballarat did well to be within 27 points at the first break.
The Swans made the most of their turn with wind and after a hard-working third term was within seven points.
However, Darley then took charge and brushed aside Ballarat with eight goals in the last stanza.
Ballarat coach Joe Carmody said the Swans just ran out legs against a class outfit.
He praised Toby Fisher for a run-with job on Nick Graham, and the tireless defensive work of Taylor Sutton and Bailey Van De Heuvel, who have been among Ballarat's most consistent contributors in the second half of the season.
Carmody said there were some good signs for the future, with the effort typical of the output over the season.
Nick Graham, Edwards and Scotland each finished with four goals, Edwards moving from a deep forward role to play behind the ball to give Darley late impetus. Scotland went forward after having a midfield role.
Tom Thewlis ended his first season with Ballarat as it started - dislocating a shoulder. He faces surgery in the off-season.
Nick Weightman's bad run with injury also continued, having to go to hospital after suffering a split lip.
Swans assistant coach Andrew Hooper kicked four goals - enough to secure him the BFL goalkicking award with 41.
Andrew Hooper (Ballarat) 41 - average 2.56
Michael Powell (Sebastopol) 39 - average 2.79
Jake Edwards (Darley) 36 - average 2.25
Jake Owen (Bacchus Marsh) 35 - average 2.19
Jordan Johnston (East Point) 35 - average 2.19
Aaron Willitts (Bacchus Marsh) 34 - average 2.12
Brad Whittaker (East Point) 34 - average 2.12
Grant Bell (Redan) 31 - average 1.94
Lachlan George (Redan) 30 - average 2.00
Braedan Kight (Melton) 28 - average 28
Darley 6.4, 8.4, 9.7, 17.11 (113)
Ballarat 2.1, 6.4, 8.6, 9.8 (62)
GOALS - Darley: Nicholas Graham 4, Jake Edwards 4, Heath Scotland 4, Leigh Spiteri 1, Brian Graham 1, Jackson Carrick 1, Brad Inglis 1, Jack Bewley 1. Ballarat: Andrew Hooper 4, Daniel Kennedy 2, Ben Hobbs 1, William Garner 1, Sam James 1
BEST - Darley: Jake Edwards, Nicholas Graham, Brian Graham, Bryce Stephenson, Harley Inglis, Jacob Zeestraten. Ballarat: Taylor Sutton, Bailey Van de Heuvel, Sam James, Bailey Fraser, Tobias Fisher, Luke Wynd
MELTON SOUTH v NORTH BALLARAT CITY
Port Melbourne VFL-listed Dylan Conway produced a powerhouse performance in attack to lead Melton South to an upset 27-point win over North Ballarat City at Melton Recreation Reserve on Saturday.
Conway kicked seven goals, with North unable to surpress his influence.
Conway had also kicked bags of six and four majors in just a handful of appearances for the Panthers, adding to 20 he booted in four games last season.
It was only Melton South's second win for the season, with it finishing on the bottom for the second year running.
Coach Heath Pritchard said it had been a great response to a most disappointing loss the previous week.
"I couldn't have been more pleased. We were great across the board."
He said important to show this type of resolve at a time when the club was looking to secure recruits for next season.
"It showed what we're capable of," Pritchard said.
Pritchard believes Melton South caught North Ballarat by surprise with what it produced - a sentiment echoes by City coach Shane Skontra.
"They were very good. They out-played us."
Skontra said the Panthers were quicker than they expected.
"We battled hard as we've been doing, but it wasn't the result we were looking for,"
Skontra believed some injury issues that some players had been carrying had caught up with them.
The game was still up for grans at three quarter time, but Melton South skipped away with six last-quarter goals.
Melton South 3.3, 6.6, 8.7, 14.10 (94)
North Ballarat City 2.1, 4.4, 6.10, 9.13 (67)
GOALS - Melton South: Dylan Conway 7, Daniel Vasjuta 2, Billy Sullivan 1, Jonathon Bell 1, William Thornton-Gielen 1, Matthew Notman 1, Brayden Wood 1. North Ballarat City: Brock Leonard 1, Oliver Nash 1, Nathan Olver 1, Simon Mc Cartin 1, William Young 1, Jason McNamara 1, Cameron McCallum 1, Mitchell Gilbert 1, Harry Loader 1
BEST - Melton South: Dylan Conway, Cody Chapman, Matthew Sullivan, William Thornton-Gielen, Dale Houghton, Daniel Leggett. North Ballarat City: Clay Jenkins, Oliver Nash, Sam Bromley-Lynch, Cameron McCallum, Ryan Hobbs, Timothy Speirs
REDAN v MELTON
Melton will go into the Ballarat Football League finals at the top of its game after rounding out its home and away campaign with a crushing 70-point victory over Redan at the City Oval on Saturday.
Although Redan was missing key personnel, Melton made it look anything but a finals combination.
The Bloods had the better start and never looked back as Redan managed just two goals for the day - each off the boot of second-gamer Kayne Councillor in the Lions' lowest score of the season.
The tall forward combination of Mark Orr and Liam Carter worked beautifully.
Melton moved the ball freely and endured little resistance from the Lions, who have had a less then ideal preparation for finals.
For Melton, it was much different - building confidence with another win on the road.
Melton coach Aaron Tymms pointed to the fact that the Bloods, along with Sebastopol, had the best defensive numbers in terms of scores against and this had again been highlighted in restricting Redan.
For Redan has some minor comfort that it will have Lachie George back from suspension and hopefully Oreenstephenson and Grigg back for an elimination final against Darley.
However, in the heat of battle as Melton dismantled Redan, there was nowhere to hide for the Lions.
It was a day for the Bloods, with coaches and players alike struggling to identify any individual standouts, such waas the complete team performance.
This was a win the Bloods needed to have, although the end result even shocked coach Tymms.
"We came prepared for the result to be a lot tighter than that. We actually played really well and just denied them a lot of the footy, I was really happy," he said.
Redan coach Jarrett Giampaolo questioned whether his side had the hunger to be able to respond against Darley next week.
"Our focus during the week wasn't necessarily based on the result, but more so how the guys went about it.
"There's a bit of pressure on the boys to come out next week and show that they want it and more than they wanted it today.
"We've been good for parts of the year, but we have also had bad parts, so this is a chance for these blokes to come out and be fair dinkum and show that they actually do care," he said.
Melton 4.5, 7.6, 11.9, 14.10 (94)
Redan 1.2, 1.6, 1.7, 2.12 (24)
GOALS - Melton: Mark Orr 4, Liam Carter 4, Braedan Kight 2, Jack Walker 2, Ryan Davis 1, Matt Denham 1. Redan: Kayne Councillor 2
BEST - Melton: Jack Walker, Liam Carter, Mark Orr, Matt Denham, Ben Archard, Mitch Brockwell. Redan: Jacob Short, Angus Cleary, Alexander Harvey, Jarrett Giampaolo, Nicholas Barker, Liam Hoy
SUNBURY v BACCHUS MARSH
Bacchus Marsh was unable to capitalise on a bright start with the wind at Sunbury's Clarke Oval.
The Cobras gave up a 26-point lead to go down by 65 points - with Sunbury adding 18 goals over the past three quarters.
Jarrah Maksymow made his mark with six majors against his former side.
Bacchus Marsh coach Peter Davey, in charge for the last time, said Aaron Willetts was among the players to fire in the opening quarter, kicking 4.2.
He said after that Sunbury's class showed through, withe Cobras having no answers.
"We weren't up to where they're at."
Ryley Stulhdreier finally succumb to a foot stress fracture in the first half.
Sunbury 2.2, 8.8, 14.10, 20.16 (136)
Bacchus Marsh 6.4, 6.4, 9.10, 10.11 (71)
GOALS - Sunbury: Jarrah Maksymow 6, Luke Goater 3, Jacob Bygate 2, Michael Edwards 2, Alik Magin 2, Leigh Brennan 1, Alec Goodson 1, Mitchell Trimboli 1, Jack Sheahan 1, Lachlan Bramble 1. Bacchus Marsh: Aaron Willitts 5, Daniel Burton 2, Billy Griffiths 2, Tyson Shea 1
BEST - Sunbury: Lachlan Bramble, Alik Magin, Jarrah Maksymow, Michael Edwards, Jack Sheahan, Gregory Hay. Bacchus Marsh: Daniel Burton, Aaron Willitts, Tyson Shea, Jake Owen, Thomas Wardell, Brodie Easton