Two tries in two minutes was all it took for titleholders Avondale to book their fifth grand final berth in six years.
The Wombats held a slim 10-7 half-time lead in Saturday's preliminary final against University at Ocean Park. Then early in the second half they scored back-to-back converted tries to set up a 29-17 win.
Aside from that decisive 14-point blitz, the Mallee Bulls proved a match for the minor premiers.
But the Wombats were able to relax a bit when they stretched the lead to 29-7 midway through the second half, knowing they were well on the way to another premiership showdown.
"Uni played really well, and if we were to run away with it that wouldn't do them any justice," Avondale coach James Patrick said.
"In all the years I've been playing and coaching against Uni, they never give up. They're a very fit team and they've got a lot of passion.
"It's semi-finals. The top four teams were all close, and what we did last year is a little bit different to this year.
"We were definitely better for last week's run. We've got a couple of injuries but we'll be ready.
"The boys have done all the hard work to get to the grand final, so that's what it's all about."
Neither team registered a point in the opening 25 minutes of the final.
The Wombats struck first with an unconverted try before the Bulls hit back with a converted try to take their only lead of the game.
Avondale caught Uni off guard with a quick tap on the halfway line and set up their second try.
The Bulls needed a good start to the second half but the opposite happened.
Once the Wombats took control, they never looked like losing.
"They were a bit more enthusiastic than us in the first 40 minutes and that was compounded by the amount of mistakes we made. And the team that they are, they punished us for our mistakes," Uni coach Shaun McCreedy said.
"We were a side that on our day is good enough, but we definitely showed today with the amount of mistakes we made the two best sides are going to the grand final.
"The boys dug deep all season and managed to put us in a position to play in the playoffs. But we weren't quite there today."
The Wombats will meet Camden in the grand final at WIN Stadium on Saturday.
Earlier, in the major semi-final, Camden had come from behind to beat Avondale 20-18.
"It'll be a good game of footy if it's anything like the major semi, and that's how you want your grand final," Patrick said.
"We've got no excuses. We've been there and done that now. It's our fifth in six years, which is a pretty good effort.
"Everyone says we've got the best team in the comp, but by no means is it the biggest team.
"The boys ... just work hard together and play for each other."
Camden beat Vikings 24-15 in second grade and Avondale defeated Vikings 20-5 in third grade. Vikings beat Engadine 27-19 in the Colts final.