The Tathra Sea Eagles have done enough to swoop on a finals place, leap-frogging the Bega Roosters in the process with a late win over the Cooma Stallions.
Following a loss to the Narooma Devils 28-18, the Bega Roosters were relegated to seventh place on the table and will miss the finals with their season having wrapped up for 2021.
The Roosters finished just one competition point out of the standings.
For Tathra, centre Adam Blacka stood up late in the piece with a pair of tries in the dying minutes helping to secure a 36-30 win over the Cooma Stallions, advancing them to fifth place on the ladder.
Fullback Kyle Shepherdson opened the account early at the Cooma Showground on Sunday, scoring after just three minutes, then when James and Declan Bower-Scott backed up with a further pair of tries inside of 20 minutes the Eagles jumped to a commanding early lead.
However, the Stallions battled back with tries to Luke Bracher and Steven Dunn in the first half, before catching up to Tathra and taking the lead about 20 minutes through the second half.
Declan had finished off a double in the first half on the back of some strong runs, while Josh Finucane scored early into the second half to establish a good race to the finish.
Again the Stallions came back at the visitors with Keegan Caldwell and Damien Hayden finding the chalk before a third try in the second half to the hosts had them in front 30-28.
The Sea Eagles had a little under 15 minutes to pull something together and they were able to make it stick with a left edge attacking raid 71 minutes in with Blacka finding the line to put the visitors ahead 32-30.
With nine minutes to play the score was still wide open, but the Sea Eagles were able to shut the gate just four minutes later when they again went to the left and sent Blacka over once more to finish out the scoring 36-30.
Meanwhile, the Roosters scored three tries in the second half of their clash with the Devils, each coming from the fringes with Toroa Rapana, Shae Gray and Bryce Philipzen putting their name on one apiece.
The tries had the visitors just two points off their rivals at the time, but the Devils' speed came to the fore late in play and a pair of tries in the final five minutes sealed the result to eliminate Bega from finals contention.
Both clubs will advance in the reserve grade competition, league-tag ladies and in the under 18s.
For Tathra's first grade, a win over Cooma is a morale boost as it will be their first test in an elimination final this weekend with a repeat visit to the Cooma Showground.
Sunday will see the Moruya Sharks facing off with the Narooma Devils in the qualifying semi, while the Pambula-Merimbula Bulldogs finished as minor premiers and have a bye.