Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong ensured they will enter finals full of momentum after a 61-point thrashing of Coolamon on Saturday.
The Hoppers were playing for their season but any talk of finals was quickly extinguished by a rampant Lions team, who ran out winners 23.14 (152) to 13.13 (91) at Kindra Park.
Coolamon needed a win to be a chance of jumping to fifth but looked far from a team playing for their season.
The Hoppers were competitive early before GGGM put the foot to the floor with eight goals to one in the second term.
GGGM schoolboy sensation Riley Corbett had the ball on a string and finished with seven goals in another commanding performance.
Ben Walsh (four goals) and Jacob Olsson (three goals) added further dimensions to a dangerous Lions’ attack, as GGGM enjoyed nine individual goal scorers.
GGGM coach Christin Macri could not have asked for a better performance from his team going into finals.
“Absolutely, it was a big game for us, coming off the bye, we wanted a good performance and they were fighting for a finals spot,” Macri said.
“We were very keen to atone for the poor result we had against them last time so yeah we’ve played well, set it up in the second quarter especially and it’s really positive.”
Unfortunately the win came at a cost for GGGM with midfielder Scott Proctor injuring his hamstring, which could keep him out of finals.
Injury aside, Macri was proud of the Lions’ effort to finish third and secure a double chance after winning just two games last season.
“Pride’s a big word and it gets thrown around a little bit but I’m really proud that we had some guys jump onboard with us that took a lot of courage to do that, coming off a team that’s only had two wins and some really poor results for a few years,” he said.
“To get those guys committed and just the pre-season, it was tough, but it was about learning, just trying to coach and give these guys some confidence.
“It took some time to get the mix right throughout the season, guys had to get used to playing with each other but the pleasing thing is I’ve seen little gains each week and over the course of 16 games you can see a big improvement from obviously round one, even round four to now.
“The back half of the season has been really, really competitive and we’ve been pleased with our results.”
GGGM will now prepare for a qualifying final against Collingullie-Glenfield Park at Robertson Oval.
The Hoppers will be disappointed with their year and now turn their focus to find a replacement for outgoing coach Connor Neyland.