North Melbourne defied recent finals history when it held on against the might of Geelong in a thrilling semi-final clash at the MCG in 2014.
The Roos finished the season in sixth position whilst the Cats finished in third place and had the same win-loss record as the top two sides for that season but had an inferior percentage.
But ladder positions are thrown out in finals and North Melbourne proved their worth, holding off a late surge from the Cats to advance through to a Preliminary Final date with West Coast, their first Preliminary Final since 2007.
The game started with a first quarter goal-fest, as North Melbourne kicked six goals within the first 17 minutes, but would only take a two-goal lead at quarter-time as the Cats clawed their way back into the contest
The goals were kept to just two for the second quarter, both going the way of the Roos as they held the Cats to just five behinds and opened up what would become a match-winning four-goal buffer.
Both sides kicked 21 points in the third quarter, but the final quarter would see the Cats almost pull off a miracle come-from-behind win.
The Roos appeared home when Jack Ziebell put his side ahead by 32-points at the 14th minute mark of the final quarter, but Tom Hawkins wouldn’t be deterred as he piled on the next three goals of the match to get the Cats right back into the contest.
A mark on the goal-line to Jimmy Bartel who then calmly converted his set shot from a tight angle then cut the margin to 6-points at the 27th minute mark, but that would be all she wrote.
The Cats continued to attack and increase their number of inside 50 entries, but North Melbourne repelled their countless attacks and held on in a thriller.
While Geelong’s season came to a disappointing end that night, North Melbourne’s season was extended by just one more week as they ultimately fell in convincing fashion to Sydney the next weekend.