AUSSIE RULES: BITS Saints fought off a gallant Gladstone Mudcrabs to finish the AFL Capricornia minor round with 10 wins and five losses.
Ben Dempsey kicked four goals and 100-game milestone man Jacob Mills (two) as the home side booted 4.3 to 1.6 in the final quarter to record a 11.12 (73) to 6.14 (50) win.
BITS will now face unbeaten Yeppoon Swans in the second semi-final on Saturday week likely in Rockhampton.
The first quarter was tight with just three points separating the teams at quarter-time with Saints leading.
It was the second quarter where the hosts seemingly broke the game open when they kept Mudcrabs scoreless to lead by 31 points.
Things got tense as the Mudcrabs were determined to go out with a bang.
This time Gladstone Mudcrabs kept BITS Saints goal-less in the third term to draw within 13 points at three-quarter-time.
BITS defender Jake Mostert said there is still room for improvement, but there were good signs.
"The three goals they scored in the third quarter was because of our lack of communication, but our backline and midfield were good and our forward line was kept nice and open,” Mostert said.
Mostert returned last week from a serious ankle injury and said he has felt good.
Best of the BITS players was midfielder Steve Pugh, Mills in the ruck and resting in the forward lines and Jackson Mangion.
Brendan Clarke offered a contest at centre half forward and Dion Simmons provided dash to continue his great form.
Gladstone Mudcrabs best were Adam Hornbrook, impressive Tyson Harris, Josh Roati in ruck, Josh Brown and Brandon Gilchrist in midfield and Sam Schofield.
As for beating Yeppoon to gain direct access to the grand final?
"We just need to be intense the whole time and always pressure the ball carrier,” Mostert said.
The Swans have been demolishing opposition teams, but Mostert can take solace from when the teams met at BITS Oval earlier in the season.
BITS Saints 'only' lost by 28 points and Mostert said the team will be stronger for the next big test in 12 days time.
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