St Pats has booked a preliminary final ticket and laid to rest an unwanted record after a resounding 69-point semi-final win over Evandale.
Having suffered a shock loss to the Country Eagles in last year's semi-final, Alex Russell's Saints took revenge with a seven-goal final term at Invermay Park to win 18.15 (123) to 7.12 (54).
The result marked the end of six straight finals losses since the 2015 grand final, and was the Saints' first finals win since beating Evandale in the prelim that same year.
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"If you go out in straight sets you're going to cop it, and I think today was a really great response to that to show that we're on the right path," Russell said.
"It's behind us, we're a team that's looking to go forward and it's got nothing to do with what we want to do this year."
Russell was everywhere early, kicking all four of the Saints' opening-term goals and their first of the second to build a 20-point lead.
Evandale boss James Storay was forced to send star ball-winner Tom Chugg to the Saints coach and the Eagles responded with their best patch of the day as Sam Bouwman kicked two in two minutes.
But Jake Laskey's first and a Joey Cullen snap restored the margin to 21 points, and there was more to come.
Laskey kicked two more in the third, establishing a 39-point last-change lead, and three more in the last to finish with six for the game.
The haul marginally bettered that of Russell and Bouwman, who kicked the Eagles' last five goals in an intriguing battle with Julian James, and was the result of stellar work from ex-Thistle Tom Allison and Mathew Williams.
ELSEWHERE IN SPORT
Russell said his side's performance had come as a stark contrast to last Saturday's qualifying final loss to East Coast, who awaits in the preliminary final next weekend.
"Last week we didn't get out to the start we wanted," Russell said.
"We had a big emphasis on impacting early, getting it our way and getting a score on the board, so it was really pleasing how the team responded and carried on throughout the day."
Storay was disappointed to suffer a heavy defeat in his final match as coach, but said there were plenty of positives for the side to look forward to next season.
"It's tough to finish like that, but to be honest we had a bit of a job losing 10 and gaining 10 [players]," he said.
"You look at us on paper and you go 'not a bad side', but in terms of structure and gelling as a team it was going to take time.
"Unfortunately it took us a bit longer than I would have liked, but again we've set ourselves up with a really good platform to move forward.
"Whoever coaches next year, if we can retain the list and a add a bit more there's no reason why we can't push deep into finals again."
St Patrick's 4.4, 7.7, 11.11, 18.15 (123)
Evandale 2.2, 4.4, 5.8, 7.12 (54)
- GOALS, St Patrick's : J. Laskey 6, A. Russell 5, B. Pearton 2, J. Knight 1, D. Sellers 1, J. Cullen 1, T. Hilder 1, C. Young 1
- Evandale : S. Bouwman 5, D. Ball 1, J. Storay 1
- BEST, St Patrick's : T. Allison, J. James, M. Williams, J. Cullen, J. Perkins, A. Russell
- Evandale : S. Bouwman, J. Maher, T. Chugg, J. Conroy, B. Jack, D. Ball
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