HEATHCOTE'S cricket premiership dream is still alive, but they are going to have to do it the hard way.
The Saints have been forced into a preliminary final against Colbinabbin after losing to Elmore in Saturday's Northern United Cricket Association qualifying final.
After winning the toss and electing to bat, Heathcote soon found themselves in trouble away from home after openers Alex Williamson and Darcy McLean were dismissed cheaply leaving their side reeling at 2/15.
Luke Bell, who top scored with 42 runs, did bring some stability to the innings although he struggled to find support as captain Corey Gilmore was the only other batsman to reach double figures as Heathcote limped to 7/103 from 40 overs.
James Harney was a handful for the visitors as he took 2/15 from his six over spell.
Early wickets to Bell and Patrick Ring had Elmore on the back foot to start their innings, leaving the home side at 2-6.
Bailey Boyack brought stability to the hosts innings, although he was eventually dismissed by Shane Cox, leaving his side at 3-39.
Although, Harney's arrival at the crease marked the beginning of the end for Heathcote as he went onto top score with 45 runs.
Despite late wickets, Elmore were well in control of the contest as they reached the target inside 27 overs.
Heathcote will welcome Colbinabbin to Barrack Reserve on Saturday as they look to book a place in the grand final.
Colbinabbin earned their place in the competition's final three following a comfortable win over Bagshot in the elimination final.