HILLWOOD fought off a determined George Town challenge to record a 20-point victory in yesterday's NTFA division 1 first semi-final at Youngtown.
The Saints faced a 40-point deficit at three-quarter time, but finished strongly coming home with a blustery wind at their backs in the final quarter to get to within 14 points at the 20-minute mark _ before Hillwood's Tom Bennett marked and kicked the sealer for the Sharks who held on to win 16.10 (106) to 13.8 (86).
Bennett finished with four goals for Hillwood as one of their best after a good battle with Corey Nankervis.
Josh Chugg booted three and Jesse Higgs, Jake Pearce and Tim Gibbons kicked two each.
Martin Tuthill finished with four for Georgetown with Zane Allan and Andrew Whitmore booting two each as the Saints only multiple goalkickers.
A strong four-to-five goal wind favoured the Southern end all day, the Sharks starting the better with the aid of the breeze, kicking 6.4 for the first quarter with their height and quick ball movement troubling the Saints.
George Town kicked three quick goals at the start of the second quarter to get within eight points and it appeared to be game on.
But the Sharks responded when it mattered, helped by some undisciplined acts from the Saints.
They booted four unanswered goals into the wind in a purple patch that proved crucial _ blowing the margin out to 32 points and setting up their victory.
Hillwood managed two goals to nil with the wind in a third-quarter arm wrestle to extend its 25-point half-time lead by 40 at the last change.
The Saints threw everything into the contest in the final quarter moving Andrew Whitmore, Todd Crane and Allan forward searching for goals.
Goals to Joel Mountney, successive ones to Whitmore, one to Tuthill, Zane Allen and Joel Baker got them to within 14 points as they banged on seven goals to four for the term _ but Bennett managed two into the breeze for the Sharks to halt their momentum and help his side record a deserved victory.
Tom Wilson, Pearce, Mark Walsh and Gibbons were among Hillwood's best with their big men in Joe Groenwegen, Leyth Gard and Sam Lyon influential around the ground with their height.
The Saints battled hard and never gave up with good pressure and tackling but missed the firepower of Shaun Muller up forward after he failed to take the field.
Coach Anthony Axton led from the front and was outstanding picking up numerous possessions for George Town, with Whitmore, Zane Allan, Todd Crane, Daniel Newton and Ben Tuthill other good players.
The win earns the Sharks another crack at Bridgenorth in next week's preliminary final with the winner to meet Rocherlea in the grand final in a fortnight.