After a sudden shock at least now there's two weeks of finals fever to dive into before a fight for supremacy in the Ballarat Football Netball League.
It was a cruel way to end one of the most even seasons in recent memory.
North Ballarat claimed the minor premiership with just one loss to its name. Not since the Roosters did it themselves in 2014 has a club had such a good finish.
Fourth through to eighth could not be separated by points - Bacchus Marsh only missing finals by a measly 2.7 per cent.
Sunbury went from languishing in ninth to landing a spot in the top six within two rounds.
Ballarat, having finished in the bottom-two for three consecutive seasons, announced itself as a threat and earned its place in finals for the first time in seven years.
It's going to be some finish to the season. Let's look at how each side earned its spot.
1st - 9-1, 156.31 per cent
A loss to Lake Wendouree in round three is the only blip on an otherwise faultless season for the minor premiers. Brendan McCartney arrived with an indomitable game plan and backed in his young guns, while getting the best out of his older charges. The Roosters will enter finals having not lost since the start of May and are beating their opponents by an average of six goals. A deserved minor premier and a heavy flag favourite.
2nd - 8-2, 136.25 per cent
With all the disruptions, it's easy to forget how dominant the Bloods' start to the season was. Melton went through the first four games unbeaten before an understandable loss to the reigning premier, East Point. Those four games also saw season-ending injuries to Matt Denham, Ashden Crone and Dyson Stevens. The loss to East Point came while Stevens was still in intensive care after suffer a life-changing spinal injury. From there, Melton lost just one of its next five games. It's been some year for Melton and their brilliance in the face of adversity will only do them well in finals.
3rd - 6-4, 140.87 per cent
It was a home-and-away season of two halves for the reigning premiers. A season-opening loss was followed a big win. Their next game was a win, then there was a loss. After that, a win against Melton before a loss to North Ballarat. Now, the Roos seem to have shaken their hot-and-cold run and enter finals on a three-game winning streak. The mid-season coup of two-time AFL premiership ruck Darren Jolly is a big reason why. East Point should not be written off achieving a historic three-peat.
4th - 5-5, 127.61 per cent
It was last-ditch escape for the Burra, sneaking into the top six with a win in their final game of the home-and-away season. It wasn't just a little win either - without a solid group of first-grade players, Sebastopol ran riot in an 111-point win against Melton South. Inconsistency has plagued the Burra this season, only winning two games in a row. Granted, injuries haven't helped. Captain Tony Lockyer won't return this year and nearly 10 senior players are under injury clouds.
5th - 5-5, 109.57 per cent
The fairytale story of this year's finals series. The Swans will be playing in the business end of the season for the first time since 2014. The breakthrough comes after a tepid start to the season. Ballarat won just one of its first four games. Four wins in the next six propelled Joe Carmody's group into contention. An untimely bye to close the home-and-away season is the only reason Ballarat missed out on a top-four finish.
6th - 5-5, 100.62 per cent
A win in the last game of the home-and-away season launched the Lions from eighth to sixth and will have them playing finals for the first time since 2017. Few sides enter finals in better form. Sunbury won four of its last five games. It was some turnaround for a club on a four-game losing streak.
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