IF Port City Breakers were a feline, they would have used up eight and a half of their nine lives at Wingham Sporting Complex on Saturday.
A chaotic final 12 minutes of the match saw them sneak past Wingham 30-24 after extra time, but they still had to wait to receive the green light from Group officials after the Tigers fired in a protest.
Wingham questioned whether the result should have stood shortly after full-time, believing Port City had fielded an extra man in the extra-time period.
Group officials confirmed on Sunday the result would stand and Breakers coach Dan Kemp was less than impressed at the way the Tigers attempted to take the shine off the match.
"The contest was fantastic and that should have been talked about, not some ridiculous half-hearted protest about us playing with the extra man which never happened," Kemp said.
"I don't even know where that came from."
It came after Breakers captain Adrian Daley was sent to the sin-bin with 30 seconds remaining of normal time in a crazy end to a match that had everything.
Tigers winger Harry Lewis appeared to have put them into the grand final qualifier when he crossed out wide in the 77th minute to put the hosts up 24-22.
Port City then put the kick-off out on the full before Tigers five-eighth Danny Russell then failed to find touch to give the Breakers a sniff.
They then received a penalty following a scuffle after the fulltime siren which halfback Ant Cowan coolly converted to lock the scores up at 24-all.
Winger Jarrod Robbins then scored in the corner in the 88th minute to give last year's grand finalists the lead which they held onto.
"The footy gods were on our side," Kemp said.
"With 10 minutes to go we should never have lost and with one minute to go we should never have won, but somehow we did.
"I've never seen anything like it, let alone been a part of it. It was something else."
The Breakers coach admitted the game was played in deteriorating weather conditions, with the ground blasted by a strong sou-west wind.
"It was very hard to be a good footy team yesterday and that showed across all four grades," he said.
"All games were pretty ugly and turned into little dogfights where you tried to make ground try and direct where your kick went."
Wingham coach Mick Sullivan agreed the Tigers didn't make full use of the howling wind at their back in the second half.
"But I can't fault the effort. We did enough to win the game. I'm thoroughly impressed with what they did, but not to get the win after all that, mate, I'm gutted.''
What else is happening in sport?
While you're with us, you can now receive updates straight to your inbox from the Port Macquarie News. To make sure you're up to date with all the news, SIGN UP HERE.