SOUTHS captain Matt Finlay laments that his side has found form at the wrong end of the season but makes no apologies for the nuisance value the Hornets are causing in the run to the semi-finals.
Finlay's men ended Macquarie's chances with a crushing 112-run win at No.2 Oval on Saturday, taking just 3.5 overs to take the final four wickets required as the Blues were bowled out for just 50.
Tim Berry, who had figures of 5/19 going into the second day, took a further three scalps without conceding a run to finish with 8/19, easily the best haul recorded in Whitney Cup cricket for a long time.
Despite the 112-run deficit, Macquarie captain Jason Green elected to go into the field and try to roll Souths quickly but when the Hornets made their way to 1/44 after 13 overs, the task was forlorn and both skippers elected to end play early.
With Macquarie's season ended, Souths will now turn their attention to matches against Rugby and CYMS, with both to have a bearing on the finals.
"We're not thinking of ourselves as being a nuisance to the other teams but we're still going out to win and if that is what we end up, then so be it," Finlay said.
"It's a pity we're playing our best cricket at this end of the season but that's just the way it's panned out.
"The game against Rugby could have a bearing on the minor premiership and the one against CYMS could affect third and fourth but we'll be doing our best to win both of those games."
After going winless in the first half of the competition, Souths' two post-Christmas wins have come at the expense of Macquarie.
But Finlay believes his side is better than their position on the ladder reflects.
"I don't think we've ever been smashed and if you look at a couple of games early in the season, we only lost really narrowly," he said.
"If we win these last two games we will probably look at the ladder and say we ended up getting reasonably close to that third spot but it just hasn't been our season.
"The form we've found is a reward for the boys because they have stuck around and realistically I think 'Bez' has been bowling well enough to take bags of wickets all season but he has probably been too good for the batsmen and hasn't got the rewards he has deserved.
"We've got good kids in second grade coming through so if we can win our last couple and get our more experienced first graders back to help develop those kids next year, that will be perfect."