LOCKHART’S late-season surge towards the finals gathered further momentum after a hard-fought 10-point win over Jindera at Jindera on Saturday.
With both teams playing for their season, little separated them at the last change with the Demons clinging to an eight-point lead.
The Demons kicked the only goal of a tense final quarter to prevail 12.13 (85) to 10.15 (75), with the Bulldogs their own worst enemy after kicking seven behinds.
The victory all-but ensures the Demons their first finals appearance since 2009 while the Bulldogs are likely to miss out for only the second time in the past decade.
Lockhart co-coach James Richards was ecstatic to finally emerge from the finals wilderness.
“We have been tested a few times this year and had our backs against the wall late in games,” Richards said.
“But we have been able to respond, which is a good test of character and it was a fantastic win in the end. Even though it looks like we will play finals we know we can’t afford to relax and need another four points against Holbrook this week.
“The last five or six weeks we have been able to put the same team on the paddock and feel we are playing our best footy at the right time of the season.”
Giant ruckman Zac Sheather continued his outstanding form with another dominant display and capped a polished display with three goals.
Blake Jones, Dane Campbell and Tim Beckmans were also good contributors for the Demons.
Zac Stuart, Dan Middleton and Nick Nott were the Bulldogs’ best.