LAHARUM banished the mental demons of last year's straight-sets finals exit to beat Edenhope-Apsley in Saturday's qualifying final at Kalkee.
The Mountain Men's tackling pressure was manic from the opening bounce and the Saints struggled to get the ball past half-way in the first 15 minutes.
Captain Sam Winfield and coach Marcus Demaria put their bodies on the line early in the game and let Edenhope-Apsley know it was in for a physical affair.
Laharum had almost all of the attack in the opening term and three quick goals seemed to set the side up for a big win.
But the Saints managed to stem the flow after that and Laharum took just a 21-point lead into the first change despite dominating play.
Edenhope-Apsley was able to wrest the momentum back in the second quarter, with Will Middleton and Brent Christie extremely influential in the middle of the ground.
The Mountain Men reasserted their pressure after that but could never quite break the game open.
Despite being completely on top of the Saints, they led by just 15 points late in the last quarter before a brilliant smother and goal at point-blank range from Ben Peucker put the result beyond doubt.
Daniel Griffiths slotted seamlessly back into the Mountain Men's line-up with five goals in his first senior game since June, while Rhys Bennett did well without making an impact on the scoreboard.
Cameron Domaschenz provided a spark up forward for the Saints in the second half with three goals, while Bart Nolan and brothers Bernard and Jeremy Kealy never stopped trying.
Laharum coach Marcus Demaria said his side came switched on from the start.
"We wanted to start well we did that and it was important that we maintained that pressure over four quarters," he said.
"It was good because we attacked them hard and it had an impact, which is exactly what I asked for."
Laharum's physical attack drew a response from the Saints, with Dave McLeish yellow-carded for an altercation with Robbie Miller and Brent Christie. Demaria said the hard-fought and physical nature of the game would be perfect preparation for a semi-final showdown with reigning premier Kalkee on Saturday.
Edenhope-Apsley co-coach said he was disappointed with his side's competitiveness.
"We weren't good enough and just didn't bring our best game but full credit to them because they were good," he said.
"We were up and about, but mentally we weren't tough enough early and that's our trouble."
The Saints will be forced to make at least two changes before Sunday's game against Swifts, with Bart Nolan going overseas and Matt Close injuring his shoulder.
Laharum will assess a sore Brett Ervin during the week but hopes to name an unchanged line-up against Kalkee.