BARNAWARTHA has secured a prized top-three finish after overpowering Kiewa Sandy Creek by 26 points at Barnawartha on Saturday.
The Tigers' 13.12 (90) to 10.4 (64) victory locked in the double chance with a 13-3-1 record.
While the fourth-placed Hawks now have the tough ask of winning four consecutive finals to claim the flag.
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Adding further merit to the victory, the Tigers were without coach Peter Cook (calf) for a fourth straight week.
Cook said he would be a definite inclusion for their final round clash against Mitta United on Saturday.
"Kiewa is a handy scalp to get ahead of finals but both teams were a bit under-strength," Cook said.
"But I suppose you just take each contest as it comes.
'We haven't had a consistent side on the park all season but I suppose most of the other contenders are in a similar boat.
"To finish top three considering our injuries and unavailability is a credit to the club's depth."