Hastings Valley Vikings only led for a minute or two, but it was long enough for them to steal a gripping 36-34 Upper Mid North Coast Rugby Union grand final victory on August 27.
Vikings' fly-half David Kennedy landed a 15-metre penalty goal after full-time to break Port Macquarie Pirates' hearts and keep them without a premiership for another season.
Pirates thought they were on the way to their first title since 2013 when Hugh Parsons landed a 35-metre penalty goal of his own with three minutes remaining to put his side in front by a point.
But whoever was writing the script for Vikings coach Hamish McCormack and brother Adam in their final match for the club had another twist in store.
Vikings captain Lyndon Gale had scored next to the posts in the 75th minute to put the Vikings in front after they had trailed all game before Parsons put Pirates back in front.
But Pirates seemingly panicked when in possession on their own tryline as the clock wound down following the restart after Parsons' penalty goal.
They then conceded a penalty for a ruck infringement which provided Kennedy with the opportunity to become a hero which he had no problem converting.
McCormack was overcome with emotion after full-time, choking up when he admitted the win was a perfect way to go out.
"I think that was a fairytale and it will be written in the Mccormack book of history," he said.
"They (grand finals) all mean something, but that's the last one."
The Vikings' ability to stay in the fight and remain calm and composed shone through after they had trailed 19-7 at the break.
Even after Parsons put Pirates in front, McCormack acknowledged it was the maturity and old heads that had been in that position before that allowed them to get the job done.
"While it was enjoyable to play, it probably shaved a few years off the end of my life," he said.
"You're never going to forget any grand final you play in, but to walk off the field as premiers with Adam in both of our last games for the Vikings is pretty special."
Pirates coach Cameron Gray admitted it was a tough one to swallow and lamented questionable tactics which came to the fore when the game was on the line.
"We were nearly on top of the mountain, mate. We were nearly there," he said.
"We just did stuff that we haven't practiced; it was bizarre. I would say we imploded, fatigue gripped us and we made poor decisions at the end which cost us."
The good sides just find ways to win and the Vikings somehow found a way to win.
"The last three minutes we couldn't close it out and that's what happens when you haven't won in a while... you just don't know how to win in those tight situations," Gray said.
Scrum half Jamieson Williams did all he could to get Pirates over the line, but it just wasn't to be.
"Jamie was good and he brought his A-game today like a lot of the guys and it was pleasing to see, but we were close, but no cigar," Gray said.
"That's the way sport goes, mate, it can be a cruel mistress."
While Gray was disappointed at the result, he paid credit to the Vikings.
"The Vikings are a great side and they've won a lot of championships and they were good again today. They were good enough when it counted," he said.
He admitted to feeling "numb".
"I'm really proud of the effort, just some of our execution was left wanting and there was some really silly stuff at the end which cost us. We couldn't put it away when we were up by one."