LEAGUE powerhouse Bullioh advanced to the preliminary final and stated its case with a 55-point thrashing of Federal in the first semi-final at Corryong on Saturday.
Only a week after being on the wrong end of a 77-point thumping at the hands of Federal, the Bulldogs staged a stunning turnaround to send the Swans packing from the finals race with a 15.13 (103) to 7.6 (48) victory.
Bulldogs coach Mark Nichol set the tone early with a bone-crunching hip and shoulder on Alex Harris which clearly rattled the Swans play-maker.
Both sides went into the clash missing key personnel while several players took the field carrying injuries.
The Swans sorely missed key forward Matt Jones while Jon Smedley, Scott Brunnenmeyer and Jason Murray also missed the cut-throat encounter.
Bullioh was without ruckman James Bannister with best and fairest winner Clint Ried a surprise inclusion. He had a knee injury that was heavily strapped.
Despite being clearly hampered by his dodgy knee, Ried was inspirational for teammates with his attack on the ball, especially early on when the game was up for grabs.
The Swans fell down badly in attack with North Albury recruit Rob Hodgson soundly beaten by the Bulldogs coach.
Nichol was able to match Hodgson in one-on-one contests with his creativity and dash from defence a highlight.
Small forwards Luke Welsh and Scott Gigliotti were menacing in attack with 11 goals between them.
Welsh set the Bulldogs alight with seven goals and provided a lively and deadly accurate forward target.
Defender Chris Star, Ben Taylor, Kelven Bailey, Clayton Bosman and Peter Paton were also instrumental in the against-the-odds win.
The Swans were best served by coach Brad Tyrell and his cousin Cameron.
Bullioh will now meet the loser of this week’s second semi-final between minor premier Tumbarumba and Corryong in a fortnight.