South are one win away from completing a perfect season after beating Solomontown to book a spot in the 2018 SGL Grand Final.
Sollies were strong early in the game, but the class of South shone through, and after a five-goal-to-one third quarter, the Bulldogs were through to the big game.
The Cats put South’s defence under siege early on, but couldn’t get a goal out of it, and when it was their opponents turn to go into attack, they made them pay.
Lionel Brown kicked back-to-back majors to give South the advantage as they began to get on top.
South’s midfielders were finding a lot more of the football after a slow start, but they conceded a goal through a 50-metre penalty to keep Sollies within five points at the first change.
Once again, the first five minutes of the quarter belonged to Sollies, who started the second term with a goal to Lindsay Bearman to put them in front. However, it didn’t take long for South to pick up where they left off, kicking the next four goals as the game heated up.
The players were throwing their weight around with a Grand Final spot up for grabs, and it was Bearman who responded, booting two late goals to make it three for the quarter. He brought the margin back to 13 points to keep the game alive at the main break.
As has been the case in many games this year, South put the afterburners on after half time.
Tom Hamilton set the tone early with a major, then four of his teammates followed suit, as South skipped away to a 38-point lead.
In response to their undefeated minor round, South finished off their first final with class. Vinny Urbancic put the game well beyond doubt, before Kahran McKenzie put the icing on the cake to run out 40-point winners.
Lionel Brown continued his goal kicking form with another bag of five, while Sollies’ captain Bearman chipped in again with three.
Corey Davey was outstanding despite the loss, as Jono Hayes continued his fine form and Bishop Medallist Mason Muzberg impressed in the ruck.
Just five days after being awarded the Madigan Medal, Aziel Stuart had another cracking game, but none were more impressive for South than Gary Warren.
Sollies now must front up in next week’s do-or-die preliminary final against Lions.
Meanwhile, South’s B Grade side also moved into the Grand Final after defeating Lions on Saturday.