HORSHAM is one win away from an 11th straight Wimmera Football League grand final after a crushing 112-point defeat of Warrack Eagles at Minyip Recreation Reserve on Saturday.
The Demons will take on minor premier Dimboola in the second semi-final at Davis Park in Nhill on Saturday.
The usual suspects of Nick Pekin, Jordyn Burke and Brad Hartigan were instrumental in their side’s 15th consecutive win, but it was Joel Geue and Alex Thomson who starred.
The physical pressure and hunger from the Demons was second-to-none as they extended their lead at every change to run away with the match.
Co-coach Burke said he could not be happier with his side’s work rate and effort all afternoon.
Burke was on-fire up forward with a game-high five majors, with Pekin, three, Thomson, three, Garrett Liston, three, and Dylan Parish, two, also chiming in.
Warrack Eagles were well-serviced by experienced trio Tim Inkster, Ben Harrison and Ben Spicer, while Peter Weir got plenty of the ball but was wayward in front of the sticks.
Inkster said the exclusion of VFL-listed pair Jesse Murphy and James Kirby did not help the Eagles’ cause.
Both players over-qualified for Wimmera league finals after playing more than nine VFL matches. “We only found out about 2pm on Friday that they were ineligible to play,” he said.
“We asked the league about a month ago and they said it was fine, but there’s certainly not an option of using that as an excuse.”
Inkster said his side had too many passengers compared to the even spread of contributors for Horsham.
“You wouldn’t be able to pick their best, but it was tough even picking a best player for us,” he said.
“Horsham taught us how to play finals footy.”
Young guns Tyler Blake, Billy Lloyd and Charles Gabbe provided plenty of run in the first half, leading the way as the Demons got out to a 35-point lead by the main break.
The match was out of the Eagles’ grasp by three-quarter time, but that did not stop Horsham’s relentless assault.
A 12-goal-to-one last quarter put an exclamation point on an already impressive performance from the Demons.
Michael O’Callaghan’s chances of a senior recall are up in the air after he copped a one-week suspension in the reserves for striking Horsham Saint Bowen Friend.
To make matters worse for Warrack, Dale Hinkley, concussion, and Leigh Dovaston, ankle, suffered injuries during the match and are in doubt for Sunday’s first semi-final at Dimboola Recreation Reserve.