HENTY is poised to potentially break its premiership drought after a confidence-boosting 23-point win over Brock-Burrum at Brocklesby on Saturday.
With their stars firing, the Swampies jumped the Saints, resisted a fightback and then ran away with a 12.7 (79) to 7.14 (56) win that guaranteed them a coveted double chance next month.
The Swampies now have the bye, followed by the first week of finals off before facing Rand-Walbundrie in the second semi-final. They are out to break a premiership drought stretching back to 1996.
The loss put a dagger through the heart of Brock-Burrum’s top-two aspirations with the defending premier now facing the daunting prospect of winning four consecutive finals if it is to capture back-to-back flags.
Some of the gloss was taken off the win after Ryan Hon tweaked his knee in the opening quarter and took no further part in the match.
It was Hon’s first match back from a knee injury in round 14 and he now faces a race against time to be fully fit for the second semi-final on September 6.
Henty co-coach Jamarl O’Sullivan said it was pleasing to upstage a flag contender.
“We will take a fair bit of confidence out of the win with finals just around the corner,” he said.
“A few of the young blokes played really well and Jason Brown made the most of his opportunities up forward.
“It’s probably not the ideal thing to have two weeks off before our first final.
“But it will allow us to freshen up and get over any niggles.”
Strong-marking forward Jason Brown kicked six goals — his biggest bag this season — on his way to best-on-ground honours.
O’Sullivan, Roy Jaques and Jim Ellis were also instrumental in the triumph.
Although the Saints finished with more scoring shots, they struggled to kick goals with Harry Macreadie outstanding opposed to last year’s Des Kennedy medallist, Kylin Morey.
Beau Connell was equally impressive, restricting the dangerous Darryn McKimmie to just one goal.
The clash between Billabong Crows and Walla was abandoned with less than 10 minutes to play after Crows Jeremy Bourchier and Nick Morris were knocked unconscious in a head clash.
Both left the ground by ambulance, with Morris suffering a broken eye socket.
The Crows won the match by eight points.
Howlong moved inside the top six after a 46-point win over Culcairn, with the Lions’ Brent Barber notching his 300-match milestone.
CDHBU prevailed by six points against Holbrook, despite Brookers big man Brad Thompson booting six goals.
Rand-Walbundrie livewire Sam Terlich booted seven goals in the Tigers’ 22-point win over Osborne.