RESULTS aligned to help Koroit Orange sneak into the Western District Playing Area midweek pennant finals series.
The team jumped from fifth to fourth on the back of a draw against Terang Blue in the final home-and-away round on Tuesday, dislodging Lawn Tennis whose season came to an abrupt end.
Lawn Tennis' comprehensive 82-45 loss to bottom-placed Warrnambool Gold proved costly.
The Lake Pertobe-based team finished the season with more wins (seven from 14 games) than Koroit Orange, which had six, but the latter's three draws, including two washouts, were enough to make the final-four and keep its premiership dream flickering.
In a top-of-the-table clash, first-placed City Diamonds defeated Timboon Maroon by one shot.
City Diamonds' Bryan Sheehan said it was a drama-filled final round.
"Kevin Carlin's rink (for us) had to get a five on the last end to win the match and they did - we couldn't believe it," he said.
He said he was "surprised" to see Lawn Tennis slip out of the top-four.
"Lawn Tennis played Warrnambool Gold at Warrnambool and lost all rinks and it's probably the first time for the whole season they haven't been in the four," Sheehan said.
"Koroit would've been excited because they were sort of on tenterhooks and they got in - excitement in lawn bowls."
City Diamonds and Timboon Maroon will play each other again next week with the winner gaining a direct passage to the grand final.
Third-placed Port Fairy Gold and Koroit Orange will play an elimination final.
The winner of that contest will play the loser of the City Diamonds-Timboon Maroon match in a preliminary final with the decider scheduled for three weeks' time on Tuesday, February 28 at Dennington Bowls Club.
"For the last few weeks it was obvious we were going to finish one or two," Sheehan said of City Diamonds.
"It doesn't matter if you finish one-two because it's no different (in terms of finals games) but it's nice to finish on top and we get to play Timboon again next week.
"They're a great team - they have won it (the premiership) the past two years, so they'll be hard to beat for sure."
Sheehan, who plays a rink skipper and is also the club's bowls manager, said little would separate the two sides, as evidenced in their one-shot final-round margin.
"We'll be expecting another close game, that's for sure because they're always tough to beat," he said.
"We've just got to hang in there."
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