Minor premiers Port City Breakers overcame the second-half sin-binning of lock forward Chris Piper to score the final 18 points of the match on the way to a 20-12 Group 3 rugby league grand final victory on Saturday (September 24).
As it turned out, the only thing that was buried at the aptly named Graveyard were Old Bar's 2022 premiership hopes.
The Breakers' eight-point victory ensured the Group 3 trophy remained in the northern half of the group for a 15th straight season.
When the Pirates took a 12-2 lead in the 49th minute and Piper was controversially given a 10-minute breather, their 23-year title drought appeared set to end.
It came after Old Bar co-captain coach Mick Henry crossed for his second try of the afternoon which sparked a scuffle in the in-goal before referee Bayley Dimarco controversially awarded a potential eight-point try.
But the Breakers found something, scoring two tries when they were down to 12 men, and when Piper returned they remarkably led 14-12 with 22 minutes remaining.
They extended their lead to what proved to be an unassailable lead 11 minutes from full-time when winger Corey Lewis won the race to the ball after man-of-the-match Nick Smith kicked back infield.
It was after Pirates' centre Kurt Lewis attempted to kick in behind the Breakers defence 80-metres back down the other end, but he dropped the ball instead and Smith scooped it up and ran 60 metres.
Breakers captain-coach Richie Roberts said Piper's sinbin proved to be the catalyst for his side.
"When we were down to 12 the talk was just to turn up for each other," he said.
"We deserved it; we didn't get given it, we earned it and not once did we pack up shop and put our tail between our legs.
"It's good to see all our hard work through the season pay off."
Roberts said it was pleasing to crash Old Bar's party and they had learned from the 28-24 major semi-final loss a fortnight ago.
"We knew last time wasn't us and we knew what we're capable of," he said.
"We overcame a bit of adversity. We got in our car, drove down and got the job done and now it's time to celebrate."
A downcast Pirates co-captain coach Mick Henry lamented a 20-minute period that came back to haunt his side.
He was arguably their best.
"You just describe a hollow feeling and it's one that got away," he said.
"I don't know if we got comfortable (after the sinbin) or they lifted, but they scored two tries on us when they had 12 on the field and you can't afford to do that.
"It just goes to show that it takes a 20-minute lapse and it all goes out the window."
Henry admitted the defeat would spark his side to go one step further next year.
"We'll look forward to next year; it's definitely not over. We've got a good nucleus here at the moment and we'll keep building on it," he said.
"There's definitely a fire in the belly after that."
Port City Breakers 20 (tries: Nick Smith, Cody Robbins, Corey Lewis. Goals: Cuban Piper 4/4) defeated Old Bar Pirates 12 (tries: Mick Henry 2. Goals: Joel Minihan 2/4)
EARLIER: Old Bar Pirates' Group 3 rugby league premiership drought will extend for another year after they blew a 12-2 second-half lead to concede 18 unanswered points in a 20-12 grand final defeat to Port City.
The Pirates looked certain to claim their first premiership since 1999 when they led 12-2 and had a one man advantage following Breakers' lock forward Chris Piper's 49th minute sin-bin.
But instead of falling away, the Breakers found another gear and scored two tries while down to 12 men to claim an unlikely 14-12 lead with 22 minutes remaining.
When Port City winger Corey Lewis won the race to the ball following man-of-the-match Nick Smith's kick back towards the posts, the Breakers led 20-12.
They then held on to claim their first premiership since 2017.