At the dawn of finals, the established order is restored.
The challengers left to re-evaluate their AFL South Coast flag hopes.
A week after falling to cross-town rivals Wollongong Bulldogs, premiers the Lions produced a comfortable 10.8 (68) to 4.10 (34) win over Figtree.
With James Adamson back in the lineup to join Jake Hogarth and Ramez Dagher in the forward setup, the Lions kicked five goals to one in the second term, before finishing the game undermanned as they manage injuries for the finals campaign ahead.
Their major semi-final rivals Kiama sealed the minor premiership with a thumping 17.9 (111) to 3.4 (22) win over the Bulldogs at Bonaira Oval.
The Dogs will now meet Figtree in a do-or-die showdown at Hollymount Park on Saturday.
Lions coach Ray Burgess believes they’re well equipped for the finals campaign, with the qualifier and grand final played at their home at North Dalton Park.
“The balls in our court,” he said.
“I was really happy with our second quarter. The conditions deteriorated in the second half and we didn’t have a bench at the end, just trying to manage some injuries and sore bodies.
“But it’s great having Adamson back in, we’re working on some combinations with Dagher and Hogarth, but it helps spread the load a bit. We’re probably got two or three selection decisions to make depending on how guys pull up, but you’d hope the boys will be ready now for finals.”
Kiama finished with nine goals kickers in the Dogs demolition, despite missing the league’s leading goalkicker Troy Cole. In the other game, Shellharbour ended their year with a come-from-behind 15-point win over Northern Districts.
Meanwhile, the defending champions Wollongong Saints marched into the AFL Sydney Women’s division one grand final with a 9.7 (61) to 4.4 (28) win over the East Coast Eagles.
The Saints second-tier team is out of the AFL South Coast Women’s finals with a 25-point loss to the Bulldogs, while the Lions overpowered Kiama in the major semi-final.