Cowra Blues' quest for three consecutive CWAFL premierships remains intact following their 41-point win over Orange Tigers at Mulyan Oval on Saturday.
Their march into the decider was by no means an easy path, however, with a dominant final term securing a rematch against their long-term Bathurst rivals in next weekend's Grand Final.
Cowra's coach Chris Day was relieved at the result.
"We came into the game this weekend with a few down just wanting to get through it and we did," he said.
Running with the aid of the breeze in the first term, Orange were first to trouble the score board attendants with a minor score.
But a left foot snap to Blues ageless on-baller Frank Bright and a set shot from Josh Kennedy gave Cowra the advantage mid-way through the opening term and looked set to take an 18-point lead to the break until Tigers Michael Rothnie slotted one home just prior to the siren.
Julian Larsen's goal for the Blues within the first minute of the second quarter nullified Rothnie's effort and they stretched the lead with the wind at their backs.
A last ditch goal from Shane Properjohn gave the Tigers just their second major of the half and kept them within reach at the long break.
Orange spirits were lifted early in the third with consecutive goals.
Tigers were finding loose players forward while the Blues were off-target with their set shots.
Dan Sadler's major closed the gap to two and, as sides went to the final break, the scene was set for a gripping final term.
Tigers fired up in the huddle and exploited freedom up front early in the fourth to bring it back to a two-point game.
But Blair Holgate's grab and subsequent goal seemed to settle the Blues.
A short full-forward cameo from Mick McVey and the trusty left boot of Dave Manning extended the lead to 21 at the twelve minute mark of the last term.
When Nathan Worth put one through the big sticks, the Tigers talk and positive body language abandoned them. Chris Day and Frank Bright's running goals finished any hope of a miracle Tiger's comeback.
Injured Orange Tigers player-coach Joashim Mahon was proud of his side's effort.
"I don't think the 40-point difference on the score board really reflects the game," he said. "It was hard, physical and we didn't lay down.
"It took a lot of effort to fight their way back into the match to be within three points at three-quarter time and I just think the amount of energy that took out of us took its toll later in the game and we faded a little bit.
"We were pumped at the break and we got into the forward line but just couldn't get a goal. We kick a couple then and it could've been a different result."
Day felt the Tigers were within striking distance at the final change.
"It was a bit tight, they had the wind in the third quarter which helped out a fair bit and we didn't use it as well as we would have liked in the second," he said.
"We left them within breathing space - we just asked the boys how much they wanted to play next week and they stood up in the last quarter and got the job done."
Looking forward to the Grand Final on Saturday, Day said he hasn't contemplated a three-peat.
"Personally I haven't thought about it," he said.
"Any Grand Final is a good one - it doesn't matter whether you've played in one last year or two years in row or haven't played in one for twenty years. It is what you play footy for to make Grand Finals and we're coming red hot with a target on the Bushrangers back.
"We fell just short in the major semi but we are very confident going over there. Bathurst's home ground holds no fears for us and we are going to have a red hot crack at them."
Final score Cowra Blues 3.2, 5.6, 5.12, 11.16 (82) defeated Orange Tigers 1.2, 2.5, 5.9, 5.11 (41)