LOCKHART has kept its finals hopes flickering with a stunning 22-point win over Osborne at Lockhart on Saturday.
The Demons trailed by 13 points at the first change but a devastating seven goal to three second quarter paved the way for the impressive 13.11 (89) to 10.7 (67) victory.
Azzi medallist Nathan McPherson was a withdrawal on Thursday night with a knee complaint but was a late inclusion in a major boost to the Demons’ midfield.
McPherson terrorised the Cats with 30-plus touches with former coach Dane Campbell and Zac Sheather also prominent.
The victory sets up a mouth-watering clash with Jindera this week with the pair locked in a fierce battle for the remaining spot inside the top six.
Lockhart co-coach James Richards said the victory also smashed a long-standing hoodoo against the Cats.
“The boys were talking after the game and we think it could be five years since we last beat Osborne,” Richards said.
“We obviously knew our season was on the line, so to be able to beat our fiercest rival with so much at stake was massive in the context of our season.
“It was probably the first time that our intensity was up for the whole 120 minutes.
“We didn’t have any lapses which has been our biggest problem throughout the season.
“We live to fight another day and it looks like if we can beat Jindera this week we should be able to clinch a finals berth.”
After sitting in top spot after round 14, the Cats have now lost their past three encounters against finals contenders to slip to fourth with a 11-5 record.