BORDER-Walwa relished being part of Upper Murray finals action for the first time in six years by running down Federal by 17 points in the first semi-final at Corryong on Saturday.
With the knockout final in the balance, the Magpies kicked the final five goals of the match to advance to the preliminary final.
Coach Craig Bosley was ecstatic with the way his charges refused to give up.
“I thought they showed a lot of character for such a young group,” Bosley said.
“We were in a bit of trouble early in the last quarter, but nobody gave up and we came away with a really good win.
“It was a tough match and we will get ourselves right for the preliminary final in a fortnight and who knows what can happen.”
Dan McCarthy was outstanding for the victors.
The league best and fairest contender was prolific through the midfield and drifted forward to kick six telling goals.
Ash Greenhill, James Wood, Matt Storey and Max Houston were also prominent.
“James Wood went into the ruck in the last quarter and was fantastic,” Bosley said.
“I don’t think he lost a hit-out and really got things going for us.
“All the young local blokes played well.
“Federal is a good side and it gives you some confidence when you are able to respond the way we did.”
Former Border-Walwa player Ted Coughlan addressed the Magpies before the match.
Federal, who sorely missed Ash Tyrell, were brave in defeat with Peter Whitty proving a surprise packet in attack with five goals.
In only his seventh match of the season, Whitty bobbed up at crucial stages and was supported by Zac Tyrell, Joel Bailey, Cam Sheather and Andrew Saliba.
The dangerous Tim Seymour carried an injury through the match and was well held by Magpie veteran Ray Estrada.
Bosley has a selection dilemma on his hands for the preliminary final.
“We pretty much have a full list,” he said.
“Four players were left out at the weekend and a couple of others will come into consideration for the preliminary final.
“It’s a good position to be in.”
Bullioh take on Corryong in the second semi-final at Bullioh on Saturday with the Bulldogs having the edge in head-to-head battles during the season.