Wangaratta selectors could face a gut-wrenching decision next week should Daniel Boyle play, as expected, in the grand final.
Boyle failed a fitness test at Birallee Park hours out from the second semi against Lavington.
"Daniel's got a bit of knee soreness, he's got some swelling, his knee's just not that great, he's been battling it all year," coach Luke Morgan said.
Boyle had been in terrific form, being named in the best in the last three games.
Daniel Sharrock took his place and had some strong moments.
IN OTHER NEWS:
If Lavington topples Myrtleford and gets another crack at Wangaratta, it will have to try something different.
In their three meetings, the Pies have won by 30 points, 20 and 34 respectively.
In round five, it was a shootout with 42 goals in all.
When the teams met in late July, the Panthers posted 69 points and backed it up with just 41 in Saturday's breezy conditions, so they've averaged only 55 points in those two games.
Lavington's three oldest players have been struck down at the worst time.
John Hunt, who turns 40 next month, is desperately trying to overcome a torn rotator cuff complaint to face Myrtleford, while Adam Butler hasn't played since mid-June with a hamstring and fellow 37-year-old Matt Pendergast's career looks over as he's still sore from the calf injury in his 300th game against North Albury on August 3.
Myrtleford has its own concerns with Liam Byrne unlikely to face the Panthers after hobbling off with a hamstring problem in the first quarter, while tall forward Riley O'Shea limped off with a knee complaint early in the third quarter.
O'Shea did return, but was clearly inconvenienced.
Unheralded Saint Paul Harrington is just one win away from a grand final after coming out of retirement.
Harrington had played for Barnawartha in the Tallangatta and District.
"Yeah, how good is this?," he said seconds after the thrilling win over Albury.
The 28-year-old was outstanding, producing a superb chase on speedster Michael Duncan, while a long run on the wing in the final quarter led to Tom Ellard's crucial goal.
"I was a bit down last week and to have a bit of an impact was good," he said.
Harrington is one of a number of lower profile players, including Brody Riccardi and Daniel Roche, who are excelling.
Just on underrated players and Lavington's Grange McMahon was outstanding against classy Brad Melville.
"Grange McMahon was fantastic, that was a good matchup, and 'Yenschy' (Tom Yensch) worked hard," coach Simon Curtis said.
EMPIRE STRIKES BACK
Myrtleford's Jarryd Wallace is set to cop some ribbing after he came off second best in an accidental collision with the umpire in the first quarter.
Both were uninjured.