RED HILL have battled through rain, hail, and shine to claim an emphatic win over Karingal in a difficult qualifying final.
Both sides travelled to Somerville Recreation Reserve coming off wins in the last round of the home and away season, and a win would book either side a spot in the semi final against Dromana.
Both sides endured a difficult start as strong winds made it difficult to hit the scoreboard. The first quarter saw just two goals scored, one for each side, as both team struggled to adapt to the conditions. Red Hill were the better side early on, but they failed to make the Bulls pay, as they only kicked one goal from their first 17 entries into the forward 50.
Things didn’t get much easier in the second term either, as the rain turned to hail for a short period of time. Red Hill persisted through the pain, as they kicked away to an eight point lead at the half time break.
After half time the Bulls got within reach, but Red Hill again kicked away and established a buffer. Chris Irving turned it on for his side in the third term to help Red Hill stay ahead, but with just seven points separating the two sides at three-quarter time it was all still to play for.
The Bulls let themselves down in the final term with poor kicking going forward, as they added just two more behind to their tally. Red Hill coasted through the final quarter with ease, and put the game to bed with four unanswered majors.
Zach Vines put the exclamation point on a big win for his side, capping off the game with a screamer of a mark inside the forward 50 with just minutes left to play.
In wet and wild weather, Red Hill earned their chance to play off for a Grand Final spot with a convincing win 8.11 (59) to 3.9 (27).
Red Hill will now face off against Dromana to determine who will claim the first spot in the Grand Final. They will enter the clash full of confidence, as they were the only side to beat Dromana during the home and away season. The match will take place at Thomas Barclay Oval at 2pm Saturday.
Karingal will get a chance at redemption next week when they take on Langwarrin in the Preliminary Final to keep their premiership hopes alive. That match will take place at RJ Rowley Reserve at 2pm Sunday.
Langwarrin earned their chance to play Karingal after a hard earned victory over Chelsea in the elimination final.
The Kangaroos only just snuck into finals, but made the most of the opportunity by holding off the fast finishing Seagulls at RJ Rowley Reserve.
Chelsea lost their double chance when they fell to Hastings in the last round of the home and away season, meaning they are now eliminated from contention.
The final score read 9.15 (69) to 8.9 (57).