Scottsdale continued its winning momentum on the back of a stellar second half against Hillwood on Sunday.
It was a six-goal third term that inspired the comeback to set up a surging 14.14 (98) to 11.14 (80) victory in the NTFA division 1 cutthroat semi-final at Invermay Park.
The turnaround that had the Magpies come from 10 points down at half-time to 13 points in front at the last change proved indicative of the two combatants’ reversal of fortunes late in the year.
Hillwood has slumped to a fourth straight loss to end its season after clinching the double chance in the finals.
“That’s not the way we wanted to go out,” Hillwood coach Nathan Lowe said.
“We just didn’t make the most of our opportunities yet again. Right in front, we had kicks that weren’t pressure kicks we couldn’t convert.
“I thought we had them under pressure most of the first three quarters really well, but we just couldn’t maintain that in the last quarter.”
Geoff Mohr’s men have now won nine of their last 10 games – their last two times they have tasted defeat this season were both against unbeaten South Launceston.
It could have been a vastly different story on Sunday.
Scottsdale struggled to keep pace with the Sharks, who controlled the clash early on.
But the Magpies niggled their way to find four of their opening six goals coming from free kicks, including two giveaway 50-metre penalties.
It sparked a resurgence of faith to keep the pressure on Hillwood, who retaliated to the attention and started fumbling ball.
The coach was proud of turning around the outlook of the game, halting their rival’s 17 uncontested marks in the second quarter alone.
“It’s pretty much been the story of our second half of the year,” Mohr said.
“The first half of the year when we were challenged, we went back into our shells a bit. The second half we worked out how to respond.
“When we are challenged, we pretty much lift up a gear and know we have to put the pressure back on them.”
Livewire Brady Gee was the one of the few sparks for Scottsdale in the first half.
He kicked three of the Pies’ four first-half goals and another two of their first eight.
Lanky Julian Rattray was quick to follow suit, scoring two goals in each of the third and final quarters.
When the half-forward pair had nine of their side’s 12 goals, Scottsdale was all of a sudden 24 points up and out to the day’s biggest lead.
It took Andrew Whitmore’s third goal for Hillwood to put a stop to the five-goal run.
But Daniel Roozendaal’s set shot straight in front looked to seal back-to-back finals wins for the Magpies.
Mohr was delighted how his charges motored away in a 10-goal to five second half.
“In the second quarter, we started a bit slow and probably went away from how we wanted to play as well,” Mohr said.
“I challenged the boys at half-time and they stood up and really delivered.
“They went back to how we want to play footy rather than having it dictated to us.”